McDonald’s says it will reopen branches in Ukraine to restore an “important sense of normality”.

McDonald’s says it will reopen branches in Ukraine to restore an “important sense of normality”.

McDonald’s says it will reopen branches in Ukraine to restore an “important sense of normality” in the country, six months after restaurants were closed when Russia invaded

  • The company has closed its Ukrainian restaurants but continues to pay employees
  • The decision to reopen some branches is also a sign of support for Ukraine
  • Employees have expressed a desire to return to work in Ukraine
  • It has not been announced how many restaurants will reopen or when

McDonald’s has announced it will reopen branches in Ukraine to restore an “important sense of normality” in the country, six months after restaurants were closed when Russia invaded.

It said Thursday it will reopen some restaurants in Kyiv and western Ukraine, where businesses are staying away from the fighting. Stores opened in Kyiv include Nike, KFC and Mango.

McDonald’s has closed its Ukrainian restaurants because of the war but has continued to pay more than 10,000 workers in the country.

The decision to reopen some of the branches is also a symbol of support for Ukraine after it suspended McDonald’s operations in Russia in March.

The company closed its Ukrainian restaurants but continued to pay more than 10,000 McDonald’s employees in the country. Pictured: A closed McDonald’s restaurant in Kyiv in February

It said Thursday it will reopen some restaurants in Kyiv and western Ukraine, where businesses are staying away from the fighting.  Pictured: The aftermath of a rocket attack in Kharkiv

It said Thursday it will reopen some restaurants in Kyiv and western Ukraine, where businesses are staying away from the fighting. Pictured: The aftermath of a rocket attack in Kharkiv

Paul Pomroy, corporate senior vice president of internationally operated markets, said in a message to employees, “We have spoken extensively with our employees who have expressed a strong desire to return to work and see our restaurants reopening in Ukraine.

“In recent months there has been a growing belief that this would support a small but important sense of normality.”

There are 109 McDonald’s branches in Ukraine, but the company hasn’t said how many would open when, or which ones would welcome customers again first.

Paul Pomroy, the company's senior vice president of internationally operated markets, said in a message to employees that employees had expressed a

Paul Pomroy, the company’s senior vice president of internationally operated markets, said in a message to employees that employees had expressed a “strong desire” to return to the workplace

The company said it will work with vendors over the next few months to get supplies to restaurants, prepare stores and bring back employees, and implement safety procedures as the war rages in the east.

McDonald’s decision to reopen in Ukraine comes after the country was badly hit economically by the war.

Resuming businesses, even in limited capacity, would help. The International Monetary Fund predicts that Ukraine’s economy could shrink by 35 percent this year.

McDonald's sold its 850 restaurants in Russia to a franchisee after the country invaded Ukraine.  Pictured: A closed McDonald's in Podolsk near Moscow in May

McDonald’s sold its 850 restaurants in Russia to a franchisee after the country invaded Ukraine. Pictured: A closed McDonald’s in Podolsk near Moscow in May

McDonald’s has since sold its 850 restaurants in Russia to a franchise owner. It comes three decades after the company opened its first location in Moscow, which became a powerful symbol of easing Cold War tensions.

The company lost about $55 million a month after the fast-food restaurant’s Russian locations closed in March.

The sale of its Russian restaurants marked the first time the company had “uprooted” or exited a large market.

Alexander Govor bought thousands of the former McDonald’s restaurants in Russia and reopened them under the name Vkusno-i Tochka, or Tasty Point.

Thousands of former McDonald's restaurants have reopened in Russia under the name Vkusno-i Tochka - Tasty Full Stop.  Pictured: A branch of the new franchise in Moscow

Thousands of former McDonald’s restaurants have reopened in Russia under the name Vkusno-i Tochka – Tasty Full Stop. Pictured: A branch of the new franchise in Moscow