McDonald's permanently exits Russian market

By James McAllister

- Last updated on GMT

McDonald's permanently exits Russian market Ukraine war

Related tags: Mcdonald's, QSR, Fast food, Russia, Multi-site

McDonald's is to permanently exit the Russian market after more than 30 years of operations in the country.

In a statement, the fast food giant said it has initiated a process to sell its estate of 847 sites in Russia, citing the country's invasion of Ukraine as being behind the decision. 

"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," the company said. 

McDonald's decision to leave Russia is particularly symbolic, and comes after the group halted operations​ in the country back in March. The chain first opened in Russia on 31 January 1990, a move that was hailed at the time as a sign of thawing Cold War relations.

Russia now accounts for roughly 9% of McDonald's global revenue and 3% of its operating income.

Interestingly, unlike many other chains the majority of McDonald's Russia estate is owned and operated by the company rather than franchisees.

McDonald's said it is looking to sell its entire portfolio of McDonald’s restaurants in Russia to a local buyer, adding that after the sale the restaurants will no longer be able to use the McDonald’s name, logo, branding or menu.

It went on to say that its priorities included seeking to ensure its 62,000 employees in Russia continued to be paid until any sale was completed, and that they had 'future employment with any potential buyer'.

Chris Kempczinski, McDonald's chief executive, said: "We’re exceptionally proud of the 62,000 employees who work in our restaurants, along with the hundreds of Russian suppliers who support our business, and our local franchisees. Their dedication and loyalty to McDonald’s make today’s announcement extremely difficult.

"However, 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."

Related topics: Business & Legislation, Casual Dining

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