McDonald’s will reopen some of its Ukrainian restaurants in the coming months.
CHICAGO, Ill. (AP) — McDonald’s will begin reopening some of its restaurants in Ukraine in the coming months, as a symbol of the war-torn country’s return to some sense of normalcy and as a show of support following the American fast-food chain’s withdrawal from Russia.
After Russia’s invasion nearly six months ago, the burger giant closed its Ukrainian restaurants but continued to pay more than 10,000 McDonald’s employees in the country.
McDonald’s announced Thursday that it will gradually reopen some restaurants in Kyiv and western Ukraine, where other companies are conducting business away from the fighting. Nike, KFC, and the Spanish clothing retailer Mango have opened in Kyiv.
“We’ve spoken extensively with our employees, who have expressed a strong desire to return to work and see our restaurants in Ukraine reopen,” said a spokesperson for the company “In a message to employees, Paul Pomroy, corporate senior vice president of international operated markets, stated. “In recent months, there has been a growing belief that this will support a small but significant sense of normalcy.”
The war has severely harmed the Ukrainian economy, and restarting businesses, even in a limited capacity, would be beneficial. The International Monetary Fund predicts that Ukraine’s economy will contract by 35% this year.
McDonald’s has 109 restaurants in Ukraine but has not stated how many will reopen when they will reopen, or which locations will be the first to welcome customers back. With the war raging to the east, the company said it will begin working with vendors in the coming months to get supplies into restaurants, prepare those stores, bring back employees, and implement safety procedures.
While it prepares to reopen in Ukraine, McDonald’s has sold its 850 Russian restaurants to a franchise owner. This came three decades after McDonald’s first opened its doors in Moscow, becoming a powerful symbol of Cold War détente.
In March, McDonald’s closed hundreds of Russian locations, costing the company $55 million per month. The sale of its Russian restaurants marked the company’s first “de-arching,” or exit from a major market.
Alexander Govor, who previously held a license for 25 McDonald’s locations in Siberia, has begun reopening former McDonald’s locations under the name Vkusno-i Tochka, which translates as Tasty-period.
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