McDonald’s reopens some restaurants in Ukraine, helping to kick off recovery talks as war rages on

Tuesday, September 20, 2022 by Robinhood Snacks |
Golden arches. Blue-and-yellow flags. (Yurii Stefanyak/Getty Images)

Golden arches. Blue-and-yellow flags. (Yurii Stefanyak/Getty Images)

A tiny taste of normal… Starting today, McDonald’s will begin reopening some of its restaurants in Ukraine. McD’s closed all of its 109 locations there after Russia invaded over six months ago. (Refresher: McD’s sold its Russian stores in May and they reopened in June under new ownership.) Today, war’s still raging in Ukraine, but McDonald’s says it hopes to restore “a small but important sense of normalcy.”

  • Taking it slow: McD’s plans to open restaurants gradually over the next two months in Kyiv, where Nike and KFC stores are open. For now, Big Macs are delivery only, with in-store dining and drive-thru set to resume next month.
  • Safety first: McD’s will close during air-raid alerts to allow customers and workers to move to shelters.

The violence is ongoing… but Ukraine's already planning for recovery. Russia’s war on Ukraine has left tens of thousands of people dead, in addition to at least 7M refugees and $100B+ in damage — and it’s not over. But last week, Ukrainian President Zelensky met with BlackRock CEO Larry Fink to discuss a reconstruction fund to attract public and private investment.

  • Donations won’t do it: So far, countries have pledged $83B+ in aid to Ukraine, but some analysts say rebuilding could cost as much as $750B. To encourage private investment, Ukraine’s offering entrepreneurs grants and no-interest loans.

Recovering from war takes a global effort… and McD’s and BlackRock aim to play a part. Ukraine’s economy is set to fall about 30% this year, but it didn’t collapse as Russia wanted: industry’s rebounding and unemployment’s falling. Plus, the same countries and companies pushing Russia out of the global economy are pulling Ukraine in: creditors including the US government and BlackRock have agreed to freeze billions in debt to kick-start recovery.