Russians will have to get their burgers and fries elsewhere.
McDonald’s said Monday it was selling its business interests in Russia, a growing trend among large corporations, like Starbucks, that began shortly after Russia invaded Ukraine in March.
The company had earlier closed all its restaurants in the country in response to the invasion.
“The humanitarian crisis caused by the war in Ukraine, and the precipitating unpredictable operating environment, have led McDonald’s to conclude that continued ownership of the business in Russia is no longer tenable, nor is it consistent with McDonald’s values,” the company said in a statement.
The plan calls for a sale to a local buyer followed by a “de-Arching” process in which the “McDonald’s name, logo, branding, and menu” are removed from each location.
The company also said all employees who have been getting paid since the restaurants closed, will continue to be paid and will get a chance to work at the new restaurants. Restaurants in Ukraine were also closed and all employees are still getting paid.
“We have a long history of establishing deep, local roots wherever the Arches shine,” president and CEO Chris Kempczinski said. “We’re exceptionally proud of the 62,000 employees who work in our restaurants, along with the hundreds of Russian suppliers who support our business, and our local franchisees. Their dedication and loyalty to McDonald’s make today’s announcement extremely difficult. However, we have a commitment to our global community and must remain steadfast in our values. And our commitment to our values means that we can no longer keep the Arches shining there.”
Russia is currently developing a new fast-food chain called Uncle Vanya, which has some very familiar branding and design ideas.
McDonald’s first came to Russia in January of 1990, in the waning days of the Soviet Union.