“As we prepare to serve our Ukrainian customers again, we will be guided by our values and our purpose to feed and foster the communities we serve”- McDonald’s
On February 24, McDonald’s shared with the System that they would be pausing their restaurant operations in Ukraine as a result of the ongoing war within the country.
Since that time, all three legs of the stool have mobilized to provide financial and humanitarian aid to the McFamily and those in need. Together, they established an employee assistance fund to support people and helped fund the relief efforts of Ronald McDonald House Charities, which has served children and families by deploying medical supplies to hospitals and areas in need. The Company has continued to pay the salaries of more than 10,000 employees, while countless members of the System opened their hearts, homes and restaurants to those seeking refuge.
While the hardship has been unspeakable, it has also been a testament to what Chris K. shared at Worldwide Convention earlier this year – when times are at their darkest, the Golden Arches shine brightest. The commitment across the entire System to feed and foster the communities – whether they be down the road or around the world – is something for which they can all be proud.
As they look forward, supporting the people in Ukraine continues to be the number one priority. they’ve spoken extensively to their employees who have expressed a strong desire to return to work and see their restaurants in Ukraine reopen, where it is safe and responsible to do so. In recent months, the belief that this would support a small but important sense of normalcy has grown stronger. And Ukrainian officials have advised that businesses resuming operations will support the local economy and the Ukrainian people.
As they think about sustaining their employees and business in the long-term, they’ve reflected on whether they should reopen restaurants in Ukraine using five fundamental questions that Chris laid out to guide the thinking on operations in a market: Are they legally allowed to operate in the country? Do they have the freedom to operate the business and meet the needs of the customers and crew unimpeded? Is their presence in the market brand-enhancing to the global operations? Does it make good business sense? Does it align with the values?
After extensive consultation and discussion with Ukrainian officials, suppliers, and security specialists, and in consideration of the employees’ request to return to work, they have decided to institute a phased plan to reopen some restaurants in Kyiv and western Ukraine, where other businesses have safely reopened. Over the next few months, they will begin working with suppliers to get product to restaurants, making the physical properties ready to serve customers, bringing restaurant teams and employees back on site, and implementing enhanced procedures and protocols to support the safety of the people and customers.
These efforts are being driven by the Ukrainian market team, led by Yuliya Badritdinova, who have exemplified each of the values at every turn.
As they prepare to serve Ukrainian customers again, they will be guided by the values and purpose to feed and foster the communities they serve.