Ex-McDonald's outlets in Minsk rebrand to Mak.by

Ex-McDonald's outlets in Minsk rebrand to Mak.by
McDonald's has left Belarus and has been replaced by Mak.by with an almost identical offering. / bne IntelliNews
By bne IntelliNews April 18, 2023

The former McDonald's restaurants in Belarus have reopened under the Mak.by brand, KSB Victory Restaurants, the company that now owns the establishments, said on its website on April 18.

In keeping with other takeovers of other international fast moving consumer goods (FMCG) companies leaving Russia and Belarus, the new owners have introduced new brands that are very similar to the departing brands. KSB Victory Restaurants has rebranded the Belarus McDonald’s as Mak.by.

This move follows McDonald's withdrawal from the Russian market in March and the concurrent exit from the Belarusian market. Prior to its departure, McDonald's had 25 restaurants in Belarus that served over 10mn customers annually. The Russian and Belarus franchises have been sold off to local entrepreneurs who have rebranded, but kept the new model close to the original.

The network in Russia was sold to local licensee Alexander Govor, with the first 15 restaurants reopened under the Vkusno i Tochka (Tasty. Period) brand in June 2023.

After leaving Russia, McDonald's also decided to withdraw from the Belarusian market. In November 2022, it was reported that the network's establishments in the republic would operate under the Russian Vkusno i Tochka brand, but the new owner has since decided to break with the Russian marketing and set up an independent brand that emphasises its Belarusian ownership.

KSB Victory Restaurants said on its website Mak.by that it will continue to uphold high standards of product quality and service while maintaining the current team of employees and managers.

“The company will provide high standards of product quality and hospitable service. We will continue to offer a varied menu while maintaining the favourite taste of all our dishes,” the company said.

Amongst its leading products are: the Big Burger, Grand Cheeseburger, Chicken Classic and Cheeseburger, all of which are almost identical to the McDonald’s analogues down to the sesame seed buns.

KSB Victory Restaurants has also retained the former staff that have been trained by McDonald's and so are likely to offer an identical service. The company has also taken over the physical restaurants, where the only change is a new sign.

“For a significant event, we have reduced the prices of our favourite burgers. An additional gift for our guests will be the launch of the MyMak.by mobile application from today. Users will be the first to know about new products and promotions, [and] receive unique profitable coupons,” KSB Victory Restaurants announced on the day of its official launch.

KSB Victory Restaurants stated its commitment to maintaining the same level of quality and service that customers have come to expect. The move is also likely to provide a boost to the local fast food industry, as customers have one less multinational chain to choose from.