McDonald’s decides to sell its business in Russia and leave the market

McDonald’s fast food chain has decided to leave the Russian market and sell its business in the country, the company informed.

Yet, its new owner cannot use McDonald’s name, logo, trademark or traditional menu names. The company has made it clear that it intends to ensure that employees are paid until the deal is closed. The company employs 62,000 people, according to CEO Chris Kempchinsky.

"The future of business in Russia is blur and does not correspond to McDonald's values," the company elaborated.

A Forbes source at the company’s representative office in Russia repprted the facilities under the new brand could open as early as mid-June. Accordingly, the Russian seller will purchase the entire business, except for franchise stores that do not belong to the company. In addition, according to the Forbes interviewee, all contracts with suppliers will be retained.

McDonald's has been operating in Russia for over 30 years and announced in early March that all 850 restaurants in the country had been halted since a "special military operation" started in Ukraine. Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin said Russian businesses could "quietly" replace the closed foreign restaurant chain in the capital with "six months, at most a year." However, according to Mikhail Goncharov, the founder of the Teremok restaurant chain, it is impossible to launch a chain like McDonald's in 2-3 years. As he noted, this would require decades of toil by “hundreds of thousands of managers, marketers and engineers” and government incentives.

“Teremok and other representatives of Russian business were not meant to compete with McDonald’s because we don’t know how to do it like they did. Neither in terms of technology, nor in terms of management and marketing,” Goncharov said.