McDonald’s top executive said that “misinformation” about the company’s position The ongoing war between Israel and Hamas has hurt sales in the Middle East and Muslim countries around the world.
Chris Kempczinski, president and CEO of McDonald’s, acknowledged Thursday that “several markets in the Middle East and some outside the region are experiencing significant business impact due to the war and associated misinformation that is affecting brands like McDonald’s.
As calls grow to boycott the American fast food giant, Kempczinski wrote in a LinkedIn post who found the fact “disheartening and unfounded.”
“In every country where we operate, including Muslim countries, McDonald’s is proud to be represented by local owner-operators who work tirelessly to serve and support their communities while employing thousands of their fellow citizens.”
In the days following the October 7 Hamas attack, the “local owner-operator” distinction was lost to a mob of protesters in Lebanon who looted a local McDonald’s restaurant after McDonald’s franchisees in Israel said they would offer meals free to Israeli soldiers. participate in military operations in Gaza.
McDonald’s Israel said on its social media accounts that it had given thousands of free meals to Israeli Defense Forces soldiers.
The Israel franchisee’s efforts were later renounced by McDonald’s franchisees in some Muslim countries, highlighting the polarized regional politics global corporations navigated during the war.
Kempczinski did not specify the extent to which the company has suffered financial losses as a result of the boycotts.
His LinkedIn post echoes comments made recently. by Starbucks CEO Laxman Narasimhanwho said people protesting the company for its stance on the war between Israel and Hamas had been “influenced by a misrepresentation on social media” of what the Seattle-based coffee chain stands for.
A Turkish television station. He recently fired a news anchor. after she appeared on air with a cup of Starbucks coffee, a sign that critics said amounted to a show of support for Israel.
Boycotts of Starbucks in the weeks after the outbreak of war in the Middle East cost the company up to $12 billion in value.
In the third quarter of last fiscal year, McDonald’s reported an 8.3% increase in sales in international markets, but that was before the Oct. 7 attack by Hamas terrorists that left 1,200 Israelis dead.
McDonald’s is expected to report fourth-quarter results later this month.
McDonald’s shares were trading down 1.3% as of midday Friday.
In fiscal 2022, the company franchised and operated approximately 40,275 McDonald’s restaurants in more than 100 countries.
The fast food chain reported total annual revenue of $23.18 billion for the year.
McDonald’s Malaysia has sued a movement promoting boycotts against Israel over “false and defamatory statements” that it claims harm its business, seeking damages amounting to $1.31 million.
Malaysia, a Muslim-majority country, is a strong supporter of the Palestinians, and some Western fast food brands in the country, as in other Muslim nations, have been the target of boycott campaigns over Israel’s military offensive in Gaza.
Gerbang Alaf Restaurants Sdn Bhd (GAR), which is the licensee of McDonald’s in Malaysia, is suing Malaysia’s Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement over a series of social media posts allegedly linking the fast food franchise, among other undertakings, to “Israel’s genocidal war against the Palestinians in Gaza.”
In response, BDS Malaysia said it “categorically denies” defaming the fast food company and would leave the matter to the courts.
With pole cables