Russian filmmakers appeal to Putin for support of national fast food chain “to rival McDonald’s”

Russian filmmakers appeal to Putin for support of national fast food chain "to rival McDonald's"
Director Nikita Mikhalkov

9 April 2015

Veteran Russian filmmakers Nikita Mikhalkov and Andrey Konchalovsky have appealed to the Russian government to back plans to launch a Russian fast food chain. Mikhalkov and Konchalovsky, two brothers known for their anti-western rhetoric, have asked for financial backing to the tune of $18m for their restaurant chain Let’s Eat at Home!, which is set to provide Russians with “an alternative to western fast-food”.

Excerpts from a letter sent by the directors to the Russian President was published in business daily Kommersant, in which the two directors request official backing on grounds of the project’s “socio-political character”. They add that the amount required for investment will be recouped in less than five years.

“The goal of the project is to promote import substitution and the creation of alternatives to western fast food,” the brothers’ letter reads.

Between 30% and 40% of dishes on the menu at Let’s Eat at Home! will come from regional produce, according to the proposal, with food at the 41 proposed cafes to open in Moscow and Kaluga regions to be supplied from local kitchens.

Amid mounting tensions between Russia and the west last year, Russia’s consumer watchdog closed four branches of McDonald’s in the Russian capital citing sanitary violations, a move which many commentators slammed as politically motivated. After a three-month closure, McDonald’s flagship branch reopened in Moscow.