On November 23, the fast-food restaurant chain that formerly operated under the McDonald's brand underwent a rebranding and officially revealed its new brand name — I'M, QazMonitor reports.
Asset Mashanov, CEO of Food Solutions KZ LLP, the operating company of the restaurants, discussed the concept and updated elements of the brand's corporate identity.
"We have been preparing for the launch of a new brand of our restaurants for a long time, and finally, we are pleased to introduce it to our guests. I am delighted to announce that the entire chain of restaurants in Kazakhstan will continue to operate under a new brand."
McDonald's suspended its operations in Kazakhstan on November 18, 2022, due to supply chain disruptions. The restaurants in the country were unable to purchase meat from Russia, as the American company prohibited the Kazakh franchisee from buying minced meat from Russian suppliers “after disruptions triggered by the invasion of Ukraine”, as reported by Bloomberg in January 2023.
Additionally, Kairat Boranbayev, the owner of the McDonald's franchisee in Kazakhstan, was on trial for embezzlement of funds on a large scale in the quasi-governmental sector at the time. In early November of this year, the businessman was released from custody by the decision of the Akmola Regional Court replacing the unexecuted part of his sentence with a restriction of freedom. It was explained that the perpetrator had fully compensated for the damage caused to the state. Earlier, Boranbayev was sentenced to six years of imprisonment with the confiscation of property.
The first McDonald's restaurant in Kazakhstan opened in 2016. As of now, Food Solutions KZ LLP operates 24 restaurants in Almaty, Astana, Atyrau, Aktobe, Kostanay, and Karagandy. Currently, the company employs over 1,700 people across the country.