Russians Suggest New McDonald's Names, 'Z-Burger, RusDonald's, MakRus'

Russians have responded to an appeal to rename McDonald's, which will continue to operate in their country under a new brand.

The fast food chain was among the many Western companies that announced a withdrawal from Russia following its invasion of Ukraine, sparking uncertainty over the future of its 850 restaurants and 62,000 staff.

On Thursday, the U.S. fast food chain announced it would sell its Russian restaurants to Siberian businessman Alexander Govor for an undisclosed sum.

Govor, who already operated 25 McDonald's restaurants in Russia and is the co-owner of oil firm NefteKhimServis, will take over responsibility for the chain's existing supplies, rent and utilities.

McDonald's in Moscow
Russia's Ministry of Industry and Trade has put out a call for people to come up with a new name for McDonald's. In this picture a man walks past a closed McDonald's restaurant in Moscow on May 16, 2022. Konstantin Zavrazhin/Getty Images

With the Golden Arches brand set continue in a different guise, Russia's Ministry of Industry and Trade (Minpromtorg) put out a call for people to come up with a new name for the chain.

"What will the new network be called?" the ministry said in a post on its Telegram social media channel. "The name for the Russian fast food chain has not been invented yet and we'd love to hear your suggestions."

"We will give the most creative and interesting ones to the Russian owner," it added. "Who knows. Perhaps you will become the author of the name that will be on hundreds of restaurants. Go for it!"

People certainly did and the suggestions had a distinctly Russian take on the American brand, although some of them may have been tongue in cheek.

A number of people put forward "МакРос" (MakRos), "МакРус" (MakRus) and "MакНаш" (Mak Nash) referring to the Russian word for "our." "Matryoshka," the name for Russian nesting dolls was also popular.

"Rosburger," "RusDonald's" and "Mashkinfarsh," were among other options, as was "ZBurger," likely in reference to the letter which has become the symbol of the Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

In an update to its post, Minpromtorg said that it had received more than 1,500 comments following a "great brainstorm."

McDonald's temporarily closed its Russian outlets on March 15 amid tough international sanctions in response to the war in Ukraine. The chain has enjoyed a 32-year presence in Russia that started when the first branch opened opposite central Moscow's Pushkin Square on January 31, 1990.

As one of the first Western brands to enter Russia, the opening of the restaurant was seen as a landmark event following the collapse of the Soviet Union.

This week, videos on social media showed Russians lining up to grab a final meal at one the few restaurants still open in Moscow, before the chain changed ownership. "We came here to say goodbye," said one Russian in a video.