McDonald's to Open First Restaurant in Kazakhstan
McDonald’s Corporation will open its first restaurant in Kazakhstan on March 8, in the capital city of Astana. It will mark the 120th country in which the Oak Brook, Illinois, USA-headquartered fast food company is doing business. Worldwide, the Golden Arches are present at over 36,000 locations.
Owned and operated by local businessman Kairat Boranbayev, who is a current McDonald’s franchisee in Belarus, the 9,000-square-foot restaurant will have more than 200 seats, a drive-thru window and self-order kiosks. Its menu will feature Big Macs, Chicken McNuggets, french fries and other familiar products.
A second restaurant is expected to open in Almaty later in 2016, as part of a plan to establish approximately 15 additional units in the Central Asian country over the next five years.
"We're proud to bring McDonald’s to Kazakhstan," said Steve Easterbrook, McDonald’s president and chief executive officer. “We look forward to becoming a part of the local culture and delivering a modern and progressive restaurant experience as we continue to grow our brand internationally."
Khamzat Khasbulatov, president of McDonald’s Russia, remarked: “We’re pleased to partner with our franchisee Kairat to make McDonald’s a welcoming destination for the millions of Kazakh people. He has a diverse business background and a proven track record of running successful business ventures in his home country as well as our restaurants in Belarus.”
Boranbayev is chief executive officer of Kazakhstan’s largest holding group, Almaly Asset Management Company. Operations in Kazakhstan will be run by Managing Director Alexey Fillipenko, who previously worked for McDonald’s Russia.
Developmental Licensee for Romania
Meanwhile, Premier Capital SRL, with Melo Hili and Daniel Boaje playing key roles, was recently appointed developmental licensee for McDonald’s in Romania. It took over the ownership and operation of all 67 McDonald’s restaurants and 19 McCafes on January 22, and will ensure the capital to fund further development of McDonald’s in Romania.
McDonald’s has a relationship dating back to 1995 with the Malta-headquartered holding company, which is its developmental licensee in the Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, Malta and Greece, and has significant experience working with McDonald’s restaurant teams and suppliers.
Boaje, the current managing director of McDonald’s Romania, will remain in this position under the new agreement.
“Over the past 20 years we have invested over €160 million in our restaurants in Romania,” said Boaje. “We have served over 65 million customers a year, meaning that over 180,000 customers visit our restaurants and McCafés every day. I’m really proud of everything McDonald’s has achieved in Romania since we opened our doors here back in 1995, and am excited to be working with Melo on this new phase of our development.”
McDonald’s employs more than 4,000 people in Romania and has built over 300 local partnerships with suppliers. In 2015, for the second year in a row, it was named the nation’s best employer by the AON Hewitt human resources and consulting outsourcing company.