McDonald’s Returns to Ukraine

Often, McDonald’s locations are found in the rough parts of American cities. This does not compare at all to its return to Ukraine, where some cities barely exist any longer because of attacks by the Russian military.

McDonald’s said several locations in Kyiv will open for onsite ordering and drive-through by October. Wisely, they will be closed during air raids.

The McDonald’s statement pointed to the desire of its workers. Paul Pomroy, among the vice presidents for international operations at McDonald’s, said “We’ve spoken extensively to our employees, who have expressed a strong desire to return to work and see our restaurants in Ukraine reopen, where it is safe and responsible to do so.” What he could not say is whether they will stay open if the war intensifies again, which is something Vladimir Putin recently indicated will happen.

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McDonald’s is among the first of many American companies that would like to restart their businesses in Ukraine. While these companies have moved out of Russia and shunned the idea they might return, reopening in Ukraine is an example of resistance. The war is not over, but even if it does not end soon, the commitment of individual corporations is that they are willing to take what is not a trivial risk.

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As American companies do return to Ukraine, it may be only a gesture. Retailers have very limited places they can reopen because the war is so widespread. Companies that offer most other products and services would have trouble rebuilding infrastructure and supply chains. Some may decide that even the most modest of “reopenings” will act as a sign of support.

McDonald’s has returned and, hopefully, it will be the first of many American companies that will do the same.

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