McDonald’s announced, on Thursday, that it will start reopening some of its restaurants in Ukraine during the coming months after pulling out of Russia.
The company closed its Ukrainian restaurants after Russian military operations nearly six months ago but has continued to pay more than 10,000 employees in the country. McDonald’s indicated that it would begin gradually reopening some restaurants in western Ukraine and the capital, Kyiv.
“We’ve spoken extensively to our employees who have expressed a strong desire to return to work and see our restaurants in Ukraine reopen,” Paul Pomroy, corporate senior vice-president of international markets, said in a message to staff. “In recent months, the belief that this would support a small but important sense of normalcy has grown stronger.”
Last May, the fast-food giant decided to leave Russia altogether after temporarily shutting down more than 800 restaurants, saying 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.”
It added that once the sale is finalized, the Russian restaurants will be “de-Arched,” meaning the locations will no longer be allowed to use the McDonald’s name, logo, or menu.
n the same vein, the company pointed out that its employees will still be paid until the transaction closes and that “employees have future employment with any potential buyer.”
CEO Chris Kempczinski affirmed that decision was “extremely difficult”, stressing that he is proud of the more than 60,000 workers employed in Russia.
“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,” Kempczinski noted.