Residents of Kyiv stood in line for hours outside McDonald’s restaurants on Tuesday (September 20), as the American fast-food brand reopened three locations in the Ukrainian capital for the first time since Russia’s invasion started nearly seven months ago.
The locations only offered delivery services when they first opened, but some customers were so eager to have their food that they waited outside the eateries to pick it up from the couriers standing in line next to them.
For some, the meals provided a taste of life prior to the invasion and highlighted a difference with Russia, where McDonald’s withdrew its operations in response to Western opposition to the conflict.
“I would really like to detach from the bad vibe of the war and be in those times before the full-scale Russian invasion. This (McDonald’s) is what symbolises that time (before the war),” said Denys, an 18-year-old management student, one of the lucky ones to get a meal just in time for lunch.
When he learned that the fast food restaurant had reopened its delivery service, Denys’ friend Oleh, who is also a student, opted to work extra shifts to supplement his income.
Due to the overwhelming demand, orders were no longer being taken by the neighbourhood Glovo delivery service.
Anastasiia Tolchynska, a bank employee, 29, joined the line outside the restaurant to place orders for herself and her coworkers.
“I am happy we have McDonald’s and the Russians don’t and won’t have it. Let the truth be on our side and let (international) business support the truth,” she said, even though her order couldn’t get through the overloaded system.
More McDonald’s locations in western Ukraine will be reopened in the next weeks, and beginning next month, patrons will be allowed to place orders and eat inside the restaurants.
(With inputs from agencies)
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