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American junk food conquers Murmansk

Architect-design of the proposed McDonald's restaurant and Drive-Through on Kolski Prospekt in Murmansk.

Big Mac and Whopper go north as both McDonald’s and Burger King plan to open restaurants in Russia’s Arctic capital.

Location

McDonald’s already have 330 restaurants in Russia and is now ready to expand to Siberia and the Kola Peninsula. 40 to 45 new restaurants will be opened annually throughout Russia over the next few years. 

Several locations in Murmansk are now under consideration by city authorities and McDonald’s. The fast food chain wants to build a combined restaurant and drive-through near Kolski Prospekt 101, the main entrance road to Murmansk from the south, reports Komsomolskaya Pravda. Other locations are also under consideration, like near the Statoil gasoline station in Leninsky district. In the center, McDonald’s hopes for space in the renovated shopping mall Volna on the central square as previously reported by BarentsObserver.

Murmansk city mayor Alexey Weller explained to local bloggers earlier this year why the city administration was so actively involved in finding good locations for McDonald’s.

“McDonald’s is a very famous brand, popular around the world. There are even such figures showing that cities where McDonald’s exists are cities with a good investment climate,” Weller said quoted by Region51.com.

Big Mac will, however, not get monopoly on the coming American burger sales in Murmansk. The world’s second largest hamburger chain, Burger King, wants a share of northerners’ demand for fast food. In a job description posted on job.ru, Burger King seeks restaurant manager for Murmansk. 

The fast food chain recently announced a grand plan for expansion in Russia with several hundred new restaurants. No details are provided for the numbers of restaurants in Murmansk or possible other locations on the Kola Peninsula. 

When opening, McDonald’s can brand its Murmansk restaurants as the northernmost in the world. Today’s northernmost McDonald’s is located in Rovaniemi, northern Finland. Burger King has a restaurant in Tromsø, northern Norway, which is further north than Murmansk.