Russian invasion

McDonald's begins reopening in Ukraine

McDonald's restaurant in Odessa. While Big Macs are being served again in the west of the country, the war in the east does not allow a return to normality.
IMAGO / ZUMA Wire
McDonald's restaurant in Odessa. While Big Macs are being served again in the west of the country, the war in the east does not allow a return to normality.

As we reported in early August, McDonald's is gradually beginning to reopen restaurants in Ukraine. Three branches in Kiev are making a start today. Initially, the units in Kiev and the west of the country will offer delivery only, with the restaurants expected to reopen to in-house diners in early October.

On Sept. 20, McDonald's will begin its return, Alesya Mudzhyri, Head of Communications for McDonald's in Ukraine, reported on Facebook. The first three openings in the capital, Kiev, will be followed by seven more later this week. After that, the remaining restaurants are expected to reopen in the capital and in the west of the country.

"The reopened restaurants will operate to the same high standards of food quality, cleanliness and speed of service as before," Mudzhyri stressed. "At the same time, McDonald's is implementing enhanced procedures and protocols for employee and customer safety."

Break in operations for air alert

"The restaurants are open from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. and close during air alarms so employees and visitors can move to the nearest shelter. In this way, the team promptly dispenses orders that have already been paid for, while production processes are stopped and equipment is put out of service before the closure."

At the beginning of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, McDonald's had closed all 109 units in the country. McDonald's has continued to pay its 10,000 employees in Ukraine since the invasion and has organized disaster relief in the country through the Ronald McDonald House Foundations.

A slice of normalcy

Paul Pomroy, SVP of McDonald's International reports that employees in Ukraine have expressed a desire to reopen the restaurants and return to work. For people, he said, it was a chance to get out of the months-long state of siege and back to some semblance of normalcy.

In response to the war, McDonald's had also sold all 850 of its stores in Russia. These have since been sold to a Siberian entrepreneur who has reopened them under a new name. The closure of restaurants in Ukraine and Russia cost McDonald's around $127 million in the first quarter of 2022 alone (according to CNN).

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