Closing system

McDonald’s, Coke and Starbucks join others leaving Russia

McDonald’s has 850 restaurants and 62,000 employees in Russia.

Andrei Rudakov/Bloomberg

Text size

Add


McDonald’s
,

Coca Cola,


Starbucks

and Burger King to the list of American companies exiting operations in Russia after the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

On Tuesday, after days of criticism for not acting quickly since the late February attack on Ukraine, fast food chain McDonald’s (ticker: MCD) announced it was temporarily closing all of its 850 restaurants in Russia and suspend all operations in the market.

Besides,


Coca Cola

(KO) announced that it was suspending its activities in Russia, and


Starbucks

(SBUX), which operates 130 cafes in Russia, all owned and operated by franchisees, is suspending all operations there, including deliveries of Starbucks products.

McDonald’s CEO Chris Kempczinski said in an email to employees and franchisees that it was “impossible to predict” when these restaurants in Russia might reopen.

McDonald’s entered the Russian market in 1990, just before the collapse of the Soviet Union the following year.


The New York Times

reported that about 30,000 people lined up to try its burgers for the first time.

But a growing number of Western companies, including oil majors


Shell

(SHEL) and


BP

(BP), as well as financial services companies such as


Visa

(V),


MasterCard

(MA) and


American Express

(AXP) and large technology companies such as


Apple

(AAPL),


netflix

(NFLX) and


Microsoft

(MSFT) have all stopped their operations there.

In a brief statement Tuesday, Coke said, “Our hearts are with those who are experiencing the unconscionable effects of these tragic events in Ukraine.”

Yum! Brands (YUM) is redirecting profits from its 1,000 KFC restaurants and 50 Pizza Hut restaurants in Russia, almost all of which are franchise-owned, to humanitarian relief, suspended restaurant development and investment in Russia and donated $1 million to the Red Cross.

Burger King is donating profits from its 800 Russian restaurants to relief efforts and giving $2 million in food stamps to Ukrainian refugees, AP reported.

In the email, Kempczinski said McDonald’s has seen supply chain disruptions and other operational issues and is closely monitoring the humanitarian situation.

“Our values ​​mean that we cannot ignore the unnecessary human suffering taking place in Ukraine,” Kempczinski said in the email. “The conflict in Ukraine and the humanitarian crisis in Europe have caused untold suffering to innocent people. As a system, we join the world in condemning aggression and violence and praying for peace.

The CEO said McDonald’s would continue to pay its 62,000 workers in Russia.

McDonald’s has also temporarily closed 108 restaurants in Ukraine and continues to pay the salaries of its Ukrainian employees. It has donated $5 million to its employee relief fund and supports local relief efforts led by the International Red Cross.

Chicago-based McDonald’s said in recent regulatory filings that its restaurants in Russia and Ukraine account for about 2% of sales and about 9% of its annual revenue, or about $2 billion.

McDonald’s owns 84% ​​of its restaurants in Russia.

Write to Janet H. Cho at [email protected]