Friday, 22 August 2014

By Jingo - Its A RusBurger

Do you remember 'Freedom Fries' or 'American Fries'?

Freedom Fries - Jingoism At Its Finest

It was that bit of US jingoism which erupted in 2003 when the then Republican Chairman of the Committee on House Administration, Bob Ney, renamed the menu item in three Congressional cafeterias in response to France's opposition to the proposed invasion of Iraq ... an act followed by several other national restaurant chains. My how clever that looks now!! Boy who was right, and who was wrong .... needless to say that the bit of the Anglo-Saxon hubris that 'Freedom Fries' represented was very quietly dropped later, and now its "French Fries" again.

So you would think that the Russians would have learnt something from this episode .... but apparently not, if the antics in the Crimea are anything to go by. In April McDonald's closed its three fast-food outlets in the Crimea, citing 'problems with sourcing ingredients' ... yeah right! Anyway, the abandoned franchise stood empty and then rumours circulated that Burger King would take over the restaurant in Sevastopol (after the CEO of the chain's Russian operation suggested that they could step in), but this didn't happen after the US Parent stepped in.

So, the shop was taken over by a local concern, probably at war-time prices aka a steal. Now at the moment, Russian nationalism is at full tide ... so no chance the venue would retain any American feel in the name. They got their heads together and no doubt many names went through their minds 'Putin Pullets'? ..... No, too political. 'Rah Rah Raspullets'? What to serve, maybe 'Veal Orloff', Chicken Kiev? ..... or maybe Sturgeon fillets with Tartar Sauce? 

The list seemed endless but back came the Russian PR companies advice .... and up went the signs.

Paid A Pretty Rouble For This Name

RusBurger says it only uses Russian produce, such as veal, vegetables and cheese, and so won't have the ingredient problems its US rival faced .... err OK.

In the rest of Russia, Putin's supporters in the consumer watchdog Rospotrebnadzor, have turned on the remaining McDonalds chain with the decision to temporarily shut McDonald's four restaurants in Moscow along with Russian MPs also calling for checks on other US fast-food brands, including Burger King and KFC. The actions come amid continuing rising tensions and sanctions between Russia and the West, over the crisis in Ukraine.

What's the betting that in a few years, the name RusBurger will have been dropped for something like 'Tex Burger' .... its all a storm in a McFlurry.


  1. RusBurger is not a name thats going to attract the customers is it?

    Here's a few American food chain names:

    Chick-Fil-A - chicken based dishes
    Big Boy - Burger with the famous secret sauce
    Burger King - great name (the King of Burghers!)
    Dairy Queen (aka DQ) - ice cream and desserts
    Long John Silver’s - Seafood
    Arby’s (aka R.B's) - roast beef sandwiches, with secret Arby’s sauce
    Taco Bell - mexican food

    Of course there are boring american franchises as well -

    White castle

    The names hardly make one salivate with anticipation either -- americanised to Russ Burgher it would fit in nicely with this list.

    1. I like the 'King of Burghers!' ... whether intentional or not. Thanks for the comment Molly

    2. How About

      So European chains ....

      Supermac's from Ireland - creator of Curry and Chips (or so they say)
      Nando's from the United Kingdom (or possibly South Africa!) - Portuguese flame-grilled Peri-Peri chicken.
      Chicken Cottage from the United Kingdom - the homegrown KFC

      and finally

      Hesburger from Finland - Their menu ironically includes the 'Ruis Burger'

    3. Thanks for your comment ... Greasy Chippies. I am always surprised when a post takes off in an unexpected direction, like this one has on food chain lists. There are probably African Chinese and South American chains as well.


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