Kempczinski and McDonald’s condemned Russia’s attacks on Ukraine in the statement.
“The conflict in Ukraine and the humanitarian crisis in Europe have caused untold suffering to innocent people. As a system, we join the world in condemning aggression and violence and praying for peace.”
Ukrainian employees will also continue to receive full salaries and other “immediate financial supports” from the Employee Assistance Fund, he said.
McDonald’s charity arm, The Ronald McDonald House Charities Poland Care Mobile, provides medical care and assistance to refugees on the Ukraine-Poland border, and another Care Mobile comes from Latvia for additional assistance, said McDonald’s.
Kempczinski says he doesn’t know when it will be possible to reopen Russian restaurants, but the chain will continue to monitor to “determine if additional measures are needed.” As a result, the chain is experiencing supply chain disruptions, he said.
Fast food chains have been relatively slow to react to Russian attacks on Ukraine compared to other industries. Tech giants like Netflix, Apple and Paypal have all suspended operations in Russia.
Yum Brands, the parent company of KFC and Taco Bell, said it would suspend new restaurant development in Russia, although it did not say whether it would suspend current restaurant operations, Reuters reported. Things could be complicated by local franchise agreements, which could leave the decision to close to each site’s operator, a franchise expert told The New York Times. McDonald’s owns the majority of its 850 Russian locations, giving it more power to suspend operations.