The fast food giant is pulling out of Russia entirely.
As Russia’s invasion of Ukraine continues, many global businesses have pulled their dealings out of Russian territories due to a mix of sanctions and the country’s plummeting reputation. There was one global business, however, that has remained in Russia: McDonald’s. When the invasion began in March, McDonald’s briefly suspended operations of their restaurants in Russia, but stopped short of pulling out entirely. However, it seems even the Golden Arches can no longer abide Russia’s actions.
McDonald’s announced today that they have begun the process of selling off all of their business interests in Russia. The over-800 McDonald’s locations operating on Russian soil will be sold to local business owners and “de-arched,” with all McDonald’s iconography and products removed from the stores.
The company explained that the “humanitarian crisis caused by the war in Ukraine, and the precipitating unpredictable operating environment, have led McDonald’s to conclude that continued ownership of the business in Russia is no longer tenable, nor is it consistent with McDonald’s values.”
BREAKING: McDonald’s says it's started the process of selling its Russian business, which includes 850 restaurants that employ 62,000 people. The fast food giant said it plans to start removing golden arches and other symbols and signs with its name. https://t.co/ABpd9CsovG
— The Associated Press (@AP) May 16, 2022
Over 60,000 Russian citizens are emplyoed at McDonald’s locations. CEO Chris Kempczinski assured that these employees will still be paid during the transitory period, and will be given a fast track to employment with the restaurants’ new owners. Kempczinski said that while the decision was a difficult one to make, “we have a commitment to our global community and must remain steadfast in our values. And our commitment to our values means that we can no longer keep the Arches shining there.”
Analysts believe that while the restaurant locations would be a tempting buy in normal circumstances, the current difficulties occurring in the Russian economy coupled with the lack of any support from McDonald’s would make buying and owning the locations extremely difficult. At time of writing, no names of new owners have been divulged in regards to the restaurant sales.