Asia, India, China, Russia, Middle East, Fast Food/Quick Service Restaurants, North America

U.S. fast-food chains and food producers stay open in Russia, and mostly quiet about Ukraine

While technology giants like Apple and luxury retailers like Hermès have quickly moved to pause sales or shutter stores in Russia over the invasion of Ukraine, most U.S. food companies and fast-food chains have remained open — and largely silent, as Julie Creswell reports in this news story for the New York Times.

Cresswell writes that many large food manufacturers, including PepsiCo and Coca-Cola, and fast-food chains like McDonald’s and Yum Brands are facing growing pressure on social media platforms and from large investors to halt operations in Russia. Companies “need to consider whether doing business in Russia is worth the risk during this extraordinarily volatile time,” the chief of one big investor, New York state’s pension fund, said.

In Russia, Starbucks, Papa John’s and Yum Brands chains including KFC and Pizza Hut are mostly run by franchisees, who often have close ties to Russian banks or investors. Franchise experts say that, depending on the agreements, it is probably up to the franchise owner to decide whether to close a restaurant because of political turmoil, rather than the brands themselves.

Source: New York Times. Read the full story here
Photo: McDonald’s and other fast-food chains have continued to operate in Russia even as other companies reduced their presence there. Credit and courtesy The New York Times

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