updated - March 8, 2014 Saturday EST
McDonald's Corporation is planning to open its first restaurant in Siberia, a region in East Russia.
According to The Voice of Russia, the first McDonald's will be in Krasnoyarsk, with other locations being actively scouted out by the company with intentions to open additional restaurants in Novosibirsk, Barnaul, Tomsk and Novokuznetsk.
Earlier in the year, McDonald's signed an agreement with Rosinter to franchise restaurants which will see the fast food giant adding 45-50 restaurants in the country each year. Until now, all of the 324 McDonald's restaurants in Russia were present in the western part of the country since the supply chain and logistical constraints did not allow the fast food chain to open on the Eastern side.
The first location will be a "detached building with a drive-thru service, separate facilities for children and a banquet hall," reported Voice of Russia. The Krasnoyarsk restaurant is currently slated by the fast-food giant to open at the end of 2013 or beginning of 2014, reported The Moscow Times.
McDonald's comparable sales growth in Europe for this year so far has hovered in the region of 2-3 percent as it is feeling the heat due to the weak economy. Comparable sales growth was driven by strong performances in the U.K. and Russia. Expanding in Siberia will give McDonald's a better mix of restaurants since the Russian GDP growth rate is not only above the global average, but also does not face any imminent debt crisis.
McDonald's had reportedly been seeking entry into Russia since the mid-1970s, and opened its first restaurant in 1990, currently employing over 30,000 people in the country. No word on what menu items might be available in the Siberian McDonald's.
Not unlike other companies, McDonald's is actively seeking expansion in emerging markets.
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