McDonald's to temporarily close 850 restaurants in Russia
DETROIT - McDonald’s said Tuesday it is temporarily closing all of its 850 restaurants in Russia in response to the country’s invasion of Ukraine.
The burger giant said it will continue paying its 62,000 employees in Russia "who have poured their heart and soul into our McDonald’s brand." But in an open letter to employees, McDonald’s President and CEO Chris Kempckinski said closing those stores for now is the right thing to do.
"Our values mean we cannot ignore the needless human suffering unfolding in Ukraine," Kempczinski said.
RELATED: Mastercard, Visa suspend operations in Russia amid Ukraine invasion
Kempczinski said it’s impossible to know when the company will be able to reopen its stores.
"The situation is extraordinarily challenging for a global brand like ours, and there are many considerations," Kempczinski wrote in the letter. McDonald’s works with hundreds of Russian suppliers, for example, and serves millions of customers each day.
RELATED: Shell to stop buying Russian oil, natural gas amid Ukraine invasion
McDonald’s has also temporarily closed 108 restaurants in Ukraine and continues to pay those employees.
McDonald’s could take a big financial hit because of the closures. In a recent regulatory filing, the Chicago-based company said its restaurants in Russia and Ukraine contributed 9% of its annual revenue, or around $2 billion.