Although several global fastfood chains can be found in the capital of Belarus, McDonald’s still remains number one – even 20 years after its opening.
First McDonald’s in Minsk welcomed its visitors on 10 December 1996 and here are six crazy facts about that day.
1. Belarus became 100th country for American fast food, and the first country where three restaurants opened on the same day
The hype was so big that the city had to close because of which even had to cover the main street.
2. The opening was scheduled at night in three locations
The central restaurant at the crossroads of the present-day Independence Avenue and Lenin Street, one McDonald’s near the State Medical Institute and one in Bangalore Square. All of these three restaurants operate till present.
3. About 9000 people gathered near the central restaurant, in the Independence Avenue (then Skaryna Avenue), at midnight
The crowd was so big that city authorities had to close the main street all the way down from the Circus to the main post office, McDonald’s being somewhere in the middle.
4. There were fireworks at night and an orchestra playing near the central restaurant on the next day
The queues were just as long as at night.
5. In total, about 23 thousand people visited the three McDonald’s restaurants that day
Another 3.5 thousand Minskers stopped at McDrive for the first time.
6. Visitors bought 15 thousand Big Macs on the first day
In 20 years many things have changed, as has the attitude of many Belarusians to McDonald’s. Still, a visit to the restaurant remains a big event in the trips of school children from the regions to Minsk. Sometimes the most coveted.