McDonald’s Cyprus director Renos Andreou said on Wednesday that a report in the Turkish Cypriot press that the fast-food giant was suing the ‘Bigmac Cafe’ in occupied Famagusta was factually inaccurate, and that it was the owner of the chain in the north who was suing McDonald’s for loss of income.
“There is no longer a Bigmac Café, we shut them down years ago,” Andreou told the Cyprus Mail. “They had three restaurants – one in occupied Nicosia, one in Famagusta, and one in the Karpas peninsula which worked only in the summer.”
According to Andreou, the owner of the establishments had visited the legal franchisee to Cyprus, at their Larnaca headquarters, and asked for permission to operate a McDonald’s in the occupied area.
“This Osman person came to us, he was a Turkish Cypriot expat living in America,” Andreou said.
“He asked us to authorise him to open a McDonald’s franchise, and when we declined, he said he would open it anyway.”
So he did, in 2010, but Andreou immediately informed McDonald’s International.
“The Americans were here three days later,” Andreou laughed.
“They asked us to take them to the restaurants, and one of them nearly had a fight with the owner. They took him to court and he was forced to shut down within a month.”
Osman took down the golden arches and changed the name to American Burger, but it was only months before he had to shut down for good.
“The case that Yeni Duzen is reporting on is a lawsuit by Osman against McDonald’s International,” Andreou said.
“He is claiming damages for loss of income after being shut down.”
Yeni Duzen reported on Wednesday that the fast-food giant had asked the ‘Bigmac Café’ to change the name, menu, signboard and all similar products that it uses and prohibits their use while seeking damages with interest.
According to the paper, McDonald’s Corporation filed a petition on July 8 with their Managing Director McDonald’s Middle East Development Company Yousif Abdulghani against the ‘Big Mac Café’. The first hearing was held on September 21 and the next one will be on October 9 at the Turkish Cypriot ‘Supreme Court’, the paper said.