Burger King ends corporate support for over 800 franchised locations in Russia

A man holds food at a Burger King restaurant on May 15, 2020 in Dedovsk, Russia.

Mikhail Svetlov | Getty Images

On Thursday, Burger King announced it was ending corporate support for its more than 800 franchised restaurants in Russia.

Restaurant Brands International said it would withhold approval for any investment or expansion. The suspension also includes the suspension of operations, marketing and the supply chain.

Burger King’s announcement comes after a number of other US fast food chains, including its rival McDonald’s, suspended their corporate support for their Russian establishments earlier this week as Kremlin forces continue to attack Ukraine.

McDonald’s has the most influence in Russia as most of its restaurants are owned by the company. CFO Kevin Ozan said on Wednesday that the company currently estimates that temporarily closing its Russian offices and suspending operations will cost it $50 million a month.

Other American restaurant companies will not be hurt by their symbolic step back. According to FactSet, for example, restaurant brands receive less than 1% of their total revenue from Russia. Starbucks, Yum Brands and Papa John’s have announced plans to suspend operations in Russia, but most of these chains in the country are operated by local franchisees.

Restaurant brands have previously pledged to redirect any profits from Russian-owned businesses to humanitarian aid to Ukrainian refugees.

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