McDonald's said it would close all its Russian restaurants – but some appear still open a week later
McDonald'srestaurants in Russiaare still open and serving customers, according to reports.
- One franchisee told a Kremlin-run
newsoutlet that its sites were operating as usual.
A week after McDonald's said that it would close all its Russian restaurants in condemnation of the country's invasion of Ukraine, some sites remain open, according to media reports.
McDonald's CEO Chris Kempczinski said on March 8 that it would temporarily close its 847 restaurants in Russia, but didn't give a date for when they would shut. He said that McDonald's would also pause all other operations in Russia.
But The Daily Mail reported that McDonald's restaurants in Moscow, St Petersburg, Volgograd, and Novosibirsk were still open on Monday.
McDonald's Russia said on Friday that it would temporarily suspend service across its network from Monday "due to operational, technical and logistical difficulties," per a translation.
The Daily Mail reported that that there were very few customers in the stores because Russians had expected them to already be closed. McDonald's Russia's individual restaurants are still listed as open on the location finder on its website, but a banner above the interactive map says that all restaurants are temporarily closed.
Misinformation and propaganda have prevented many Russians from understanding the full extent of the war's impact on their economy and business.
Most of McDonald's 847 restaurants in Russia are company-operated, but by the end of 2021 it had 132 franchise restaurants operated by three franchise groups. McDonald's has limited control over the operation of its franchised restaurants.
GiD LLC, a franchisee which runs 25 restaurants, told Kremlin-run news outlet Tass that its restaurants in Siberia were operating as usual. And some other McDonald's restaurants in Russia plan to only shut when they run out of supplies, The Daily Mail reported, though it didn't say whether these were company-owned or franchised locations.
McDonald's and McDonald's Russia didn't immediately respond to Insider's request for comment.
Sanctions on Russia have sent the ruble to a record low and contributed to soaring inflation, and several Western businesses have begun pausing operations there. Apple, General Motors, and the Big Four accountancy giants were quick to pull out of Russia after the attack started, but McDonald's was the first major fast-food chain to make the move.
People in Russia queued up to get a final McDonald's meal before its restaurants closed, and one man even chained himself to the door of Russia's oldest McDonald's in protest. Some people have been trying to sell the fast-food giant's burgers, fries, and even straws and sugar sachets on a Russian classified-ads website at heavily-inflated prices.
McDonald's Russia said Friday that its more than 62,000 employees would still be paid, based on their average monthly income, and would continue to get staff benefits after the restaurants closed. It added that its offices would stay open. It also said it is considering using the closed restaurants as volunteer support centers, and giving volunteers loyalty points to buy McDonald's food after its Russian restaurants reopen.
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