McDonald’s said it is planning to re-open its restaurants in Kyiv and western Ukraine in the coming months.
The news of the food chain re-opening came from Ukraine’s foreign minister Dmytro Kuleba who admitted the government had ‘extended talks’ with the US company trying to ‘convince’ it to resume the operations.
‘I welcome the decision of McDonald’s to resume the work of its restaurants in Ukraine,’ said the Ukrainian foreign minister, adding the move will be a ‘signal’ to international businesses they could work in Ukraine again despite the ongoing war.
It also means ‘jobs and revenues’ for Ukraine’s budget’ as the country is scrabling to shore up its economy crippled by Russia’s aggression.
Following the invasion, McDonald’s said it had to ‘pause’ its restaurant operations in Ukraine, but the company has continued to pay the salaries of more than 10,000 employees working in 109 restaurants across Ukraine. Over the last few weeks, rumors emerged the company has plans to light up its golden arches again.
‘After extensive consultation and discussion with Ukrainian officials, suppliers, and security specialists, and in consideration of our employees’ request to return to work, we have decided to institute a phased plan to reopen some restaurants in Kyiv and western Ukraine’ Paul Pomroy, McDonald’s head of international operated markets, said in a message to employees.
McDonald’s said it hoped the re-opening of its restaurants can support a ‘small but important sense of normalcy’, adding it would start working with vendors to get supplies into restaurants, prepare stores, bring back employees and launch safety procedures, with the war still raging to the east.
The safety issue has been a biggest hurdle for operations’ renewal. The company said it will implement ‘enhanced procedures and protocols; to support the safety of our people and customers.