McDonald’s and Other U.S. Brands Under Growing Pressure to Close Business in Russia

McDonald’s and other American food and drink giants face growing pressure to suspend their businesses in Russia over the invasion of Ukraine.

McDonald’s and other brands including KFC, Coca-Cola, Starbucks, Pepsi, and Burger King face   calls for boycott on social media for continuing to operate their businesses in Russia amid a growing humanitarian crisis in Ukraine.

In a letter on March 4, New York State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli has urged the companies to reconsider doing business in Russia.

“We believe that companies that continue to operate in Russia and invest in Russian assets face significant and growing legal, compliance, operational, human rights, and personnel, and reputational risks,” DiNapoli, who oversees the state’s roughly $280 billion pension fund, wrote.

DiNapoli also owns shares of the companies.

McDonald’s has 847 stores in Russia and 16% of them are franchises owned and operated by local Russians, according to recently published information on its website.

The information also revealed that Russia represents 9% of the total revenues of McDonald’s.

Coca-Cola announced last week that it was donating over $1 million to Red Cross to help Ukrainian refugees, but it did not mention its business operations in Russia.

Yum Brands, whose chains include KFC, also announced that its foundation was donating $1 million to the Red Cross.

“We are shocked and saddened by the tragic events unfolding in Ukraine, and we’re focused on the safety of our employees, franchisees, and partners in the region,” the company told CNBC in a statement that they

KFC has over 1,000 restaurants in Russia.

Starbucks, which has 130 stores in Russia, announced that it will donate royalties from their Russian business operations to humanitarian relief efforts for Ukraine.

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