McDonald's set to reopen in Ukraine and bring 'important sense' of normality

An unspecified number of restaurants will reopen in Kyiv and western Ukraine

A closed McDonald's restaurant in Kyiv. The fast-food company had 109 restaurants in Ukraine before the war with Russia began. Reuters
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McDonald's has announced that it plans to reopen restaurants in Ukraine, having closed them in March amid the conflict with Russia.

The US fast-food company said that after extensive consultation with Ukrainian officials, suppliers and security specialists, and in consideration of employees’ request to return to work, it had decided to institute a phased plan to reopen some restaurants in Kyiv and western Ukraine, where other businesses have safely reopened.

The company has continued to pay the salaries of more than 10,000 employees, and said that the reopening would "support a small but important sense" of normality.

"And Ukrainian officials have advised that businesses resuming operations will support the local economy and the Ukrainian people," it said.

McDonald's had 109 restaurants in Ukraine, but has not confirmed how many will reopen. It pulled out of Russia in May, after closing all 850 outlets in protest against the war in Ukraine.

However, some reopened in June under the ownership of Vkusno i tochka, which translates into "Tasty and that's it".

The company said it was planning to reopen 200 restaurants in Russia by the end of June — and all 850 by the end of the summer.

After initial big queues, the restaurant chain ran into problems with sourcing potatoes due to supply chain disruption, leading to French fries running out — potentially until autumn.

The outlets, which sport a new logo, offer burgers and fries, which some said tasted and appeared much the same as they did under the McDonald's branding.

KFC and Pizza Hut owner Yum Brands said earlier this month that nearly all of its stores in the country had reopened.

Other US brands to exit Russia include Starbucks, PepsiCo and Coca-Cola, as they sought to comply with sanctions and deal with threats from the Kremlin that foreign-owned assets could be seized.

Updated: August 12, 2022, 7:31 AM