Most Russians Support McDonald’s Closures, Poll Says
(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – April 15, 2014) Liberal Democrat Party leader Vladimir Zhirinovsky’s call to close all McDonald’s restaurants in Russia received a lot of media attention, and a recent poll shows that most Russians would be glad to see the back of the fast food chain.
Sixty-two percent of respondents support the closure of all McDonald’s in Russia, according to a survey conducted by SuperJob’s Research Center in the week that followed the company’s announcement that it was shutting its three restaurants in Crimea.
Younger Russians were more likely to defend the Big Mac purveyor, with 33 percent of those aged below 24 saying they wouldn’t like to see the golden arches disappear from their towns.
SuperJob said that respondents’ explanations for their choices were often rooted in patriotism, with many saying that U.S. fast-food franchises should be replaced by cafes serving domestic cuisine. Those against shuttering the restaurants, which first opened to a massive fanfare in Russia in 1990, cited a lack of good cheap alternatives.
McDonald’s April 3 announcement about its Crimean suspension spurred headlines that ran the gamut from Zhirinovsky’s comments to reports that Burger King would open restaurants on the former Ukrainian peninsula.
Burger King Worldwide later denied reports that it plans to expand into Crimea.
The poll was conducted from April 4 to 10 among 1,600 respondents in 249 cities and towns across Russia. No margin of error was given.