McDonald's is buying back all of its Israeli restaurants

Image source, Getty Images

Comment on the photo,

Canada is among the countries that have witnessed protests against the chain

Fast food giant McDonald's intends to buy back all of its Israeli restaurants after a boycott of the brand in response to the war between Israel and Hamas.

The company said it has reached an agreement with franchisee Alonial to bring back 225 outlets across the country employing 5,000 people.

McDonald's was criticized after Alonial began distributing thousands of free meals to Israeli soldiers.

Sales in the region have declined since the conflict began in October.

McDonald's said on Thursday that an agreement had been signed with Alonial, which has operated the Golden Arches chain in Israel for more than 30 years.

The American company said it would retain the restaurants, operations and employees “on equal terms” and that it would remain “committed to the Israeli market.” Terms of the sale were not disclosed.

The boycott erupted after Muslim-majority countries such as Kuwait, Malaysia and Pakistan issued statements distancing themselves from the company over its apparent support for Israel.

Vocal protests have been held around the world as popular boycotts spread beyond the Middle East.

In January, the global food chain admitted that the conflict had “significantly impacted” its performance, with business in France, Indonesia and Malaysia suffering, although its Middle East trade was hardest hit.

CEO Chris Kempczinski blamed the backlash on “misinformation” but hit the bottom line nonetheless, and the company missed its first quarterly sales target in nearly four years.

McDonald's called the boycott “disheartening and baseless.” The company relies on thousands of independent companies to own and operate most of its more than 40,000 stores around the world. About 5% of them are located in the Middle East.

“In every country we operate in, including Muslim countries, McDonald's is proudly represented by local owners,” Kempczinski said at the time.

“As long as this war continues… we do not expect to see any significant improvement,” he added [in these markets]McDonald's president added.

The company hopes that by bringing Israeli business “onshore” it can restore its reputation in the Middle East and achieve its key sales targets again.

Much of the Gaza Strip was devastated during Israeli military operations that began after Hamas-led militants attacked southern Israel on October 7, killing about 1,200 people and taking 253 hostage.

About 130 hostages remain in captivity, and at least 34 of them are presumed dead.

The Hamas-run Health Ministry in the Strip says more than 33,000 people have been killed in Gaza since then.

See also  Charter shares fell after its CFO said the company may lose broadband subscriptions

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *