Burger King halts corporate support for its 800-plus franchised locations in Russia

A man holds meals from the Burger King restaurant on May, 15, 2020 in Dedovsk, Russia.

Mikhail Svetlov | Getty Images

Burger King announced Thursday it has halted corporate support for its 800-plus franchised restaurants in Russia.

The Restaurant Brands International chain said it will refuse approvals for any investment or expansion. The suspension also includes pausing operations, marketing and its supply chain.

Burger King’s announcement comes after a flurry of other US fast-food chains – including its rival McDonald’s – suspended their corporate support to their Russian locations earlier this week as Putin’s forces continued attacks on Ukraine.

McDonald’s has the largest exposure to Russia since the majority of its restaurants there are owned by the company. CFO Kevin Ozan said Wednesday that the company is currently estimating that temporarily shuttering its Russian locations and pausing operations will cost it $ 50 million per month.

Other US restaurant companies will not be as hurt by their symbolic step backs. Restaurant Brands, for example, receives less than 1% of its total revenue from Russia, according to Factset. Starbucks, Yum Brands and Papa John’s have all announced plans to pause Russian operations, but most of those chains’ locations in the country are run by local franchisees.

Restaurant Brands had previously committed to redirect any profits from Russian franchised locations to humanitarian aid for Ukrainian refugees.

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