How Turkish fast food is opening up Russia —

Chitir Chicken and Yesen Burger enter Moscow with an eye on all megalopolises

Turkey’s leading fast-food chain Chitir Chicken is starting to expand its outlets in Kazan from next year, the owners of several malls told Realnoe Vremya. In Moscow, the launch of the Turkish restaurants Chitir Chicken, Yesen Burger, Little Kitchen and Arabica cafes is expected in the coming months. Meanwhile, another Turkish chain, Gagawa, is already strengthening its presence in the Kazan restaurant market, preparing to open a franchise for the sixth restaurant in the capital of Tatarstan and the 25th in that of Russia.

Turkish fast food will go to Moscow

With the withdrawal of the original McDonald’s, the capital’s fast food restaurant is becoming more like a big brazier, where new players are improving gastronomic skills. This year, the big Turkish chain will try to replace the American fast food giant.

“Turkish restaurant chains plan to enter the Russian market by the end of the year. According to the franchise, the fast food chain Chitir Chicken and Yesen Burger, using their investments – the Little Kitchen restaurant and the Arabica coffee chain,” NF Group (ex. Knight Frank Russia) told Realnoe Vremya. “It is known that Little Kitchen plans to open three restaurants in 2022 and Arabica plans to launch the first flagship coffee shop in Moscow.

Official confirmation from the networks themselves has yet to be received. The Russian Council of Shopping Centers told our publication that negotiations with them on finding locations in shopping centers are not yet underway. “We don’t have such data yet,” said RCSC spokesman Mikhail Rychagov.

However, the Russian-Turkish working group of the Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs is convinced that the Turkish restoration is ready to replace the companies that have left.

According to Arsen Ayupov, the chairman of the group under the RCSC, these are all new brands for the Russian market. According to him, Chitir Chicken and Yesen Burger are ready to expand into Russia under a master franchise, and Little Kitchen and the Arabica coffee chain will enter with their investments. Some of them will open their own cafes and restaurants in the near future, others are looking for franchise partners, he says.

And in Kazan — in the second wave

The managers of Kazan shopping centers are also aware of the upcoming entry of the Turks. According to Fanili Yapparova, the Respublika shopping center, one of Turkey’s fast food chains, will open in Moscow this year, and next year in Kazan.

“Chitir Chicken will first be grounded in the metropolitan metropolis and will only enter Kazan in the ‘second wave’,” confirmed one of Kazan’s restaurateurs.

Most large restaurant chains operate on a franchise basis. The more franchise partners there are, the greater the network in the country. The entry threshold is 1 million rubles.

“Turkish restaurateurs want to develop independently at first – without the involvement of local partners,” says Galina Sharafutdinova, director of the Association of Restaurant and Hotel Owners of the Republic of Tatarstan. “It’s understandable. Offering a franchise to local players, you have to show by personal example that it’s a model that works, that’s one thing in Turkey, it’s another thing in Kazan.

In his opinion, Kazan entrepreneurs will follow the development of the network in Moscow with interest, and then they will take a close look at the franchise. As an advantage of Turkish fast food, she named a varied menu. “Turkish cuisine is similar to Tatar cuisine, and Turkish chains have a high level of cuisine. If they come into the market, it’s a variety of concepts,” she pointed out.

Chitir Chiken is often referred to as the Turkish equivalent of the KFC chain, which is one of the three big fast food chains in Russia. This chain of restaurants is part of the large MAKFRY GROUP (one part is specialized in the production of household appliances and culinary products: sauces, meats, seasonings, pickling sauces, the second is a chain of restaurants). The company’s plans to enter the Russian catering market first became known in March. Then the head of the Union of Shopping Centers Bulat Shakirov announced the negotiations of the network with Russian partners. It is planned to open 5-10 points of the network in Moscow and in cities of more than a million, and the approximate investment volume is estimated at $ 100,000.

Yesen Burger is a chain similar to Burger King, which continues to operate in Kazan. The basis of sales is hamburgers. Arabica Coffee House is the largest chain of cafes in Turkey, the first point opened in Ankara in 2014. Little Kitchen is a chain with a more versatile menu, where, in addition to burgers and pizzas, there is a cuisine ” healthy”.

Photo: a screenshot

Gagawa defends: two more points

Chitir Chiken may become a competitor mainly for another big Turkish chain, fast food restaurant Gagawa, which opened its first restaurants in Russia 8 years ago. Moreover, the first point was thrown in Kazan. Since then, it has been promoted by Turkish entrepreneurs who have diversified their business structure in Russia. Of Turkish origin, the chain works with a classic Russian menu – pasta, cutlets, mashed potatoes, salads. Currently, five fast food outlets operate under a franchise in Kazan – in large shopping centers. There are a total of 23 fast food restaurants in Russia.

“The sixth point in Kazan is being prepared for the opening – in the Yuzhny shopping center. It will be the 24th in Russia,” Denis Khokhlunov, director of network development and franchise, told Realnoe Vremya. “And the 25th restaurant of the chain will open in Moscow. Kazan’s partner opens it in Kazan, Moscow’s partner — in Moscow. The whole network is developing around the franchise. Most of our partners are residents of Turkey who permanently reside in Russia.They are the first to believe in the brand and open more than one or five restaurants, some have more than seven.”

The company is skeptical about Chitir Chiken’s prospects. “It’s not the first time an entry has been announced, but no one has come yet. The Arabica coffee has been announced – it hasn’t been announced yet either. We will assess the fact, depending on the situation Meanwhile, there are no competitors for today. The average check is 670 rubles. Activity among entrepreneurs for the right to obtain a franchise is “very high”. But not only do we offer a good franchise, but we also help businesses,” he says.

The first Gagawa restaurant was launched in Kazan. Photo:

Turkish sweets are frozen

Many other Turkish businessmen were preparing to open their own cafes in Kazan before the start of the special operation.

“Turkish restaurant chains were going to come to us, and that’s not just true for fast food,” Galina Sharafutdinova said. “A little over six months ago, we spoke with representatives of Turkish companies who were planning to enter with the concept of full-fledged patisseries and cafes. They wanted to go directly to Kazan. They already had selected sites. The special operation has hindered these plans a little. The political situation is holding them back a little. But they are not giving up on these plans, it’s just that everything will be a little later. Any entrepreneur who has good technologies will always try to scale.

Well-known Kazan restaurateur Nurislam Sharifullin believes that with the appearance of Chitir Chiken, some fast food vendors may disappear from the streets of the city: “If they make a fancy and affordable menu, like in Turkey, they will be able to pull a lot of shawarma manufacturers who stand along the streets of Kazan. Their customers usually know where the most delicious shawarma is, where it is the cheapest. If the Turks can beat them on this ground, then they will have bad days and they will start closing.

According to him, the demand for fast food during the economic downturn will be stable if the chains can maintain the price tags.

“Even in times of famine, people don’t stop eating. For catering establishments with an average check of up to 350 rubles, probably nothing will change. They will only have an increase – cheap fast food will grow, and expensive – will collapse. It’s a worldwide trend: what is cheap is growing rapidly and in volume, and what is expensive is decreasing. Food gets more expensive and food gets cheaper. Stores that have managed to arrange delivery deliver ready meals. This is a significant portion of revenue. Now they order ready meals – they bring it in 15 minutes and you’re full,” says the P.Love project manager.

Nurislam Sharifullin admitted that he himself tried to open a Turkish cuisine restaurant in one of the hotels in the center of Kazan, but it did not work out. “Turkish cuisine is very tasty and varied. To be honest, we have also thought of opening a Turkish cuisine restaurant and are looking for Turkish partners who could help us. We wanted to open a restaurant in the five-star Turkish hotel Kazan Palace by Tasigo with a Turkish chef. But they refused, they said there were other plans for these premises.

However, the restaurateur noted the successful promotion of Turkish fast food Gagawa in Kazan: “Standing next to the big three, he competes with them, squeezes their audience. By serving pasta with cutlets, they manage to earn a lot of money. In my opinion, Chitir Chiken has every chance of ousting someone from the big three. All have a menu based on the use of chicken. They need to find buyers for the franchise who will be willing to buy 10-20 restaurants at a time. Then they can fight with KFS for the consumer. There are instances where local national networks beat the big three.

Luiza Ignatieva


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