An Impressive Story About How Soviet Union’s First McDonald’s Was Opened

On January 31, 1990, the first Soviet McDonald’s opened, in Moscow

An Impressive Story About How Soviet Union’s First McDonald’s Was Opened

It was the largest McDonald’s in the world at the time of its construction

An Impressive Story About How Soviet Union’s First McDonald’s Was Opened

And a venue with 900 seats needed a lot of employees, too

An Impressive Story About How Soviet Union’s First McDonald’s Was Opened

In a country where unemployment did not exist, 35,000 people applied for a job in the fast food restaurant

An Impressive Story About How Soviet Union’s First McDonald’s Was Opened

Around 600 were hired

An Impressive Story About How Soviet Union’s First McDonald’s Was Opened

The venture had been in talks with the Soviet officials since 1976

An Impressive Story About How Soviet Union’s First McDonald’s Was Opened

And you could say that the appearance of this notorious symbol of capitalism was a sign that times were changing

An Impressive Story About How Soviet Union’s First McDonald’s Was Opened

Reportedly, the restaurant expected to serve around 1,000 during its first day, but more than 5,000 Russians lined up in Pushkinskaya Square before it even opened

An Impressive Story About How Soviet Union’s First McDonald’s Was Opened

The summer came but the lines just kept growing. People from other cities were flocking the restaurant just for a single hamburger

An Impressive Story About How Soviet Union’s First McDonald’s Was Opened

“We stood under the melting sun for around eight hours,” one visitor said

An Impressive Story About How Soviet Union’s First McDonald’s Was Opened

“That wasn’t so much of a problem as we were used to standing in lines for days just to get our monthly ration of sugar and tea”

An Impressive Story About How Soviet Union’s First McDonald’s Was Opened

“Once inside we were blown away by the number of young cashiers behind the huge counter, smiling, moving like bees, serving one meal after another”

An Impressive Story About How Soviet Union’s First McDonald’s Was Opened

“Nothing like our fat old ladies in white gowns sitting in front of empty shelves, pyramids of dusty canned food as window dressing”

An Impressive Story About How Soviet Union’s First McDonald’s Was Opened

“I still remember how insanely huge the milkshake looked and I didn’t know how to hold a Big Mac with my tiny hands”

An Impressive Story About How Soviet Union’s First McDonald’s Was Opened

The Moscow McDonald’s initiative was a joint venture between McDonald’s of Canada and Moscow city council

An Impressive Story About How Soviet Union’s First McDonald’s Was Opened

A plan first envisioned when George Cohon, founder and CEO of McDonald’s Canada, met Soviet officials at the ’76 Summer Olympics in Montreal

An Impressive Story About How Soviet Union’s First McDonald’s Was Opened

“I’m particularly proud of the people story behind the first opening, both from Canada and Russia, learning from each other and working as one team”

An Impressive Story About How Soviet Union’s First McDonald’s Was Opened

“This is a story about co-operation between nations”

An Impressive Story About How Soviet Union’s First McDonald’s Was Opened

“And it is also a story about the Soviet who saw a sign outside reading ‘Rubles Only’ – and who said to me, ‘This is my restaurant’”

An Impressive Story About How Soviet Union’s First McDonald’s Was Opened

The opening drew many important people

An Impressive Story About How Soviet Union’s First McDonald’s Was Opened

Including Boris Yeltsin who later became the 1st President of Russia

An Impressive Story About How Soviet Union’s First McDonald’s Was Opened

And in the country where the average salary was about 150 rubles per month

An Impressive Story About How Soviet Union’s First McDonald’s Was Opened

A Big “Mak” was selling for 3.75 rubles

An Impressive Story About How Soviet Union’s First McDonald’s Was Opened

And people couldn’t get enough

An Impressive Story About How Soviet Union’s First McDonald’s Was Opened

In total, over 30,000 customers passed through the doors on the opening day of the restaurant

An Impressive Story About How Soviet Union’s First McDonald’s Was Opened

Setting a record for the number of customers served by a single McDonald’s in a day

An Impressive Story About How Soviet Union’s First McDonald’s Was Opened

The Soviet Union dissolved on December 26, 1991

An Impressive Story About How Soviet Union’s First McDonald’s Was Opened