McDonald’s, citing “the useless human struggling unfolding in Ukraine,” introduced Tuesday it is going to briefly shut 850 places in Russia. The choice got here practically two weeks after Russian forces invaded its ex-Soviet neighbor.
CEO Chris Kempczinski wrote in a letter to franchisees and staff that the chain will pause all operations in Russia. Nevertheless, it is going to proceed to pay its 62,000 Russian staff, and its Ronald McDonald Home Charities will proceed to function.
In latest days, the fast-food large has drawn criticism for staying silent on the war, given its comparatively massive Russian footprint. McDonald’s eating places in Russia and Ukraine account for two% of its systemwide gross sales, roughly 9% of its income and three% of its working earnings.
McDonald’s has lengthy performed a symbolic position in Russia as properly. The chain opened its first location within the Soviet Union 32 years in the past in Moscow, months earlier than the state collapsed.
“Within the thirty-plus years that McDonald’s has operated in Russia, we have change into an important a part of the 850 communities wherein we function,” Kempczinski wrote in his letter. “On the similar time, our values imply we can’t ignore the useless human struggling unfolding in Ukraine.”
About 84% of McDonald’s Russian places are owned by the corporate, whereas the remaining are operated by franchisees. Proudly owning extra of its eating places generates higher income for the corporate, however opens it as much as higher danger in instances of turmoil or financial downturn.
Kempczinski mentioned it’s unimaginable to foretell when McDonald’s would have the ability to open its Russian eating places. The corporate is experiencing provide chain disruptions and different operational challenges.
He additionally mentioned McDonald’s is paying full salaries for Ukrainian staff and has donated $5 million to its worker help fund. The corporate is monitoring the humanitarian scenario as properly.
McDonald’s announcement comes after Yum Brands mentioned it might droop restaurant improvement and funding in Russia. The KFC proprietor has greater than 1,000 eating places in Russia that account for roughly 2% of its systemwide gross sales.
Starbucks hasn’t but paused any of its Russian operations, the place all of its cafes are run by franchisees. The espresso chain has about 130 places throughout Ukraine and Russia. Nevertheless, CEO Kevin Johnson condemned the Russian attack on Ukraine and vowed to donate royalties from its Russian enterprise to humanitarian causes in Ukraine.