NEW YORK (Agencies): McDonald’s CEO Chris Kempczinski has acknowledged that the company’s franchises in the Middle East have experienced a “meaningful business impact” due to boycotts associated with the Gaza conflict.
The CEO also stated that the boycotts were due to “associated misinformation”.
McDonald’s is represented by local owner-operators in every country where it operates, including Muslim countries, who work tirelessly to serve and support their communities while employing thousands of their fellow citizens.
The CEO expressed his concern for the communities and families impacted by the war in the Middle East and stated that McDonald’s abhors violence of any kind and firmly stands against hate speech.
The extent of the losses from the boycott has not been disclosed by the CEO, but it may be revealed later this month when McDonald’s is scheduled to issue an earnings report. In mid-October, McDonald’s found itself in the middle of the Gaza conflict after the company’s franchisee in Israel boasted on social media about giving free meals to Israeli soldiers and police.
This triggered franchises in Oman, Türkiye, Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, Kuwait, and the United Arab Emirates to respond by donating to Palestinian causes, and activists across the Muslim world to call for boycotts of the brand.
Other Western corporations such as Starbucks, Coca-Cola, IBM, Nestle, and KFC have faced similar backlash.