Closed: McDonald’s and Starbucks join PepsiCo and Coca-Cola in suspending Russian operations

By Dénes Albert
2 Min Read

U.S. fast food outlets McDonald’s and Starbucks has joined the growing list of corporations that have opted to withdraw from the Russian market since the outbreak of the Russo-Ukrainian war.

In a statement published on Tuesday, McDonald’s’ CEO Chris Kempczinski announced the company would temporarily close all its restaurants across Russia “and pause all operations in the market.”

The move will affect all 847 restaurants in the country employing 62,000 people, although wages will continue to be paid to its employees. Kempczinski did not offer a time frame for when restaurants may reopen.

The McDonald’s fast-food network had previously closed hundreds of facilities in Ukraine due to the ongoing conflict, but continues to pay the wages of its employees. With the $2 billion a year that comes from Russia and Ukraine, approximately 9 percent of McDonald’s’ total revenue, the company is epecting to suffer serious losses due to store closures.

Starbucks CEO Kevin Johnson offered similar remarks upon confirming the coffee chain’s suspension of operations in the country, affecting 130 locations. Its coffee shops are run by franchisees rather than the Seattle-based company itself, but all 2,000 employees will continue to receive their wages.

The two giants have recently been joined by PepsiCo which has halted sales of Pepsi, and by Atlanta-based Coca-Cola, which confirmed on Tuesday it will be shutting down its 10 bottling plants across Russia indefinitely.

Other U.S. corporations to have announced their distance with the Russian market include financial services companies Mastercard and Visa, as well as the use of Apple Pay and Apple Maps being severely restricted.

On Wednesday, brands Mothercare and Heineken, as well as the Kentucky-based fried chicken chain KFC joined the list of companies to suspend its operations in Russia.

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