McDonald’s international efforts haven’t only been directed toward fattening up the Israelis; it’s also been busy trying to convince Russia it’s not a restaurant, but a supermarket.
The Telegraph reports that McDonald’s Russia has convinced a Russian court that it should be classified, for tax purposes, as a food retailer instead of a restaurant. This means that the fast-food chain — which based its argument on the fact that many of its products are prepackaged — will continue to pay 10 percent tax on its profits instead of the 18 percent leveled at restaurants. The ruling is expected to encourage many fast-food chains to follow suit.
For all its outward absurdity, the Russians may be on to something. No one in their right mind considers McDonald’s a restaurant, and given that its prepackaged food receives only a modicum of human preparation before it’s served to customers, there’s really only a counter and some booths to separate it from the frozen-food section of the average supermarket. Regardless of how it’s defined, the distinction will likely be lost on its customers: 1 million Russians patronize McDonald’s 276 locations across the country every single day.
[Via The Food Section]
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on July 14, 2011