In 1999 McDonald’s opened its doors on Rustaveli Avenue in Georgia’s capital, Tbilisi. At the time country was still on the tail end of a politically tumultuous decade with basic infrastructure still not entirely dependable.
Speaking to Investor.ge, managing partner Tengiz Kapanadze had to attend attend training sessions in various countries for two years, followed by an 18 month initial period of trading supervised by McD’s headquarters before they were allowed to operate independently.
Today, the appetite for burgers and fries in Georgia is huge, with McDonald’s adding or refurbishing restaurants just about every year and facing fierce competition from rival Wendy’s.
Quarter Pounder goes by the name “Royal Cheeseburger”
Chili [sic] seemed to be a popular variation in both beef and chicken products, though it was not clear whether this was a limited or permanent offering.
The McFresh – similar to the McFeast but with cucumber. Two beef patties, cheese, tomato, cucumber, lettuce, mayonnaise in a sesame seed bun
On all our McDonald’s in Georgia we encountered modern buildings, spotlessly clean always with friendly staff. The wait times were quite significant depending on the time of day – Saturday night? Packed. Sunday lunchtime? We waited less than three minutes to receive our food.
Double Chili Cheeseburger
Ingredients: Two beef patties, cheese slice, spicy cheese sauce, sliced jalapeño, white bread bun
Price: ₾ 5,75 GEL ($1.95 USD)
Compared to the regular double cheeseburger, this sadly lacks flavour. A little too much umami without any acidic or sweet balance from the absent pickles, onions and ketchup. The spicy cheese is there, but only just. 6.2/10
Ingredients: Battered chicken patty, mayonnaise, pickled gherkin, white bread bun
Price: ₾ 2,35 GEL ($0.80 USD)
For minimal ingredients, this little burger tasted surprisingly good. Less is more. 9/10
Ingredients: Cherries, cherry sauce, pastry
Price: ₾ 2,75 GEL ($0.90 USD)
A much sweeter alternative to the classic Apple Pie, very similar in terms of texture with lumps of cherry fruit and some kind of sweet sauce. 8.5/10
Ingredients: Cherry sauce, soft serve ice cream
Making great use of the cherry sauce, is the cherry McFlurry. To be honest this wasn’t really significantly different than a cherry sundae. 7/10