US fast food giant McDonald's is to open as many as ten restaurants in Novosibirsk region in 2013 in a major push into Siberia
'We're loving it' - so far the only McDonald's in Siberia, in oil-rich city of Tyumen. Picture: The Siberian Times
He sees the burger giant's imminent arrival as a vote of confidence that Novosibirsk region is open for business.
'McDonald's presence is like an entry ticket to business and proof that this region runs business in exact accordance to international standards.
'So I consider it very important for the region's image. Now the task is to figure out nice locations with a good stream of people'.
So far McDonald's has only one outlet in Siberia - in oil-rich Tyumen - but it will now find itself in direct competition with rival Burger King as it seeks to expand into one of the few places in the world unconquered by American hamburger chains.
'McDonald's presence is like an entry ticket to business and proof that this region runs business in exact accordance to international standards'.
Picture: McDonald's in Tyumen, by The Siberian Times
Last month Burger King announced a major push into Russia having admitted 'we were 20 years late to the game'.
Jose Cil, president for Europe, Middle East and Africa operations for Burger King, recently made clear he has ambitions in Siberia, telling the Moscow Times his company wants 'to capture the market share that nobody's been able to capture yet'.
But he stressed: 'It's not like the race to the moon. What matters is that we actually do it right.'
However, Burger King's local partner Burger Rus expressed a bolder approach.
'We may be 20 years late into Russia, but we're determined to become the market leader,' said Dmitri Medovoy, general director of Burger Rus, according to Vedomosti.
'Siberia is a priority region for us - it has a high purchasing power and low competition.'
The first Burger Kings were expected to open in Surgut by the end of this year, say reports.
As for McDonald's, apart from Novosibirsk, it has designs on Krasnoyarsk, which has been tipped as the first new opening. In addition Tomsk, Barnaul and Novokuznetsk as in its sights, part of an agreement with Rosinter.
Russian fast food chains are already widely represented across Siberia and the Far East and Western brands such as KFC - with seven Siberian outlets - and Subway, with almost 50, have had more success than the burger purveyors.
This, though, is now about to change.
Meet our unique Siberian love child, a female cross between a lion and a tigress, and the undisputed star of Novosibirsk Zoo.