Several consumer giants including McDonald’s, Coca-Cola, Starbucks and PepsiCo have shut their restaurants and paused business in Russia due to its invasion of Ukraine.
Other well-known Western food giants such as KFC and Burger King were also reportedly stopping sales in Russia.
McDonald’s said it was temporarily closing its roughly 850 restaurants in Russia, while Starbucks also said its 100 coffee shops would shut, reports the BBC.
In a letter to McDonald’s employees and franchisees, CEO Chris Kempczinski said working closely in consultation with Chairman, Rick Hernandez and the rest of McDonald’s Board of Directors, “McDonald’s has decided to temporarily close all our restaurants in Russia and pause all operations in the market”.
“We understand the impact this will have on our Russian colleagues and partners, which is why we are prepared to support all three legs of the stool in Ukraine and Russia. This includes salary continuation for all McDonald’s employees in Russia,” the CEO said.
The company is continuing to pay full salaries for its Ukrainian employees and have donated $5 million to its Employee Assistance Fund.
In Russia, McDonald’s employs 62,000 people, and works with hundreds of local, Russian suppliers and partners who produce the food.
“In the 30-plus years that McDonald’s has operated in Russia, we’ve become an essential part of the 850 communities in which we operate,” the company CEO said.
On Wednesday, Heineken stopped beer production and sales in Russia.
Restaurant Brands International, which owns Burger King, said it would redirect its profits from more than 800 franchised operations in Russia to humanitarian efforts.
Dozens of well-known firms including Netflix and Levi’s have already suspended sales or stopped providing services in Russia.
Coca-Cola said it was suspending operations in Russia, which accounted for roughly 2 per cent of the firm’s operating revenue and income.
It also has a nearly 20 per cent ownership stake in a bottling and distribution business in Russia.
“Our hearts are with the people who are enduring unconscionable effects from these tragic events in Ukraine,” the company said in a statement.
Pepsi said it was halting the production and sale of Pepsi and other global brands in Russia and suspending capital investments and advertising.
Starbucks’ plans to stop business in Russia include stopping shipments of its products.
L’Oreal, the world’s biggest cosmetics company, is also shutting its stores and concessions in Russia and suspending online sales, said the BBC report.