The Chicago Journal

Fast Food Titan McDonald’s Cease Operations in Russia Amid War, Other American Companies Refuse to Follow Suit

Amid Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, many establishments have decided to cut ties with the country. Starbucks and McDonald’s are among the most prominent American companies to pull the plug, denying Russians the coffee and fast food they have grown to love. However, they are still getting their fill of American delicacies as other U.S. corporations continue to do business in the country.

Yale University management professor Jeffrey Sonnenfeld and his research team have found twenty-seven U.S-based companies maintain their operations in Russia, including Hard Rock Cafe and Sbarro.

While Starbucks and Mcdonald’s announced their withdrawal from Russia in recent days, Hard Rock Cafe continues to operate out of Moscow and St. Petersburg. However, the company, which was acquired in 2007 by the Seminole Tribe of Florida, will suspend all future investment and development in Russia. The statement came from a Hard Rock email to CBS MoneyWatch. The company will also donate all profits from the two franchise locations in Russia to humanitarian causes in Ukraine.

Sbarro is also staying put, having established itself in the country since 1997. The privately held company signed a new franchise deal in Russia over five years ago. Sbarro also partnered with Horeca Band Group and announced plans to open more than 300 Sbarro restaurants throughout the country, with 2027 as its projected date. Sbarro did not respond to a request for comment.

Sonnenfeld revealed that American food chains are not alone in continuing operations in Russia. He pointed out that online dating services have also persisted in the country. and its Tinder unit remain online, and executives of the companies say that they expect to lose about $10 million in revenue quarterly as long as the Russian war on Ukraine continues. The revelation came from an earnings call earlier this month.

“European performance was impacted by the Russian invasion of Ukraine, which reduced revenue in Russia, Ukraine, and several other nearby countries,” said Match’s chief operating and financial officer Gary Swidler.

Bumble, another popular dating app, made a different decision as early as March. The social networking platform announced that it would cease operations in Russia and remove the apps from the Apple App Store and Google Play Store in Russia and Belarus.

Other American companies operating in Russia include the following:

  • Aimbridge Hospitality
  • Align Technology
  • Amdocs
  • Amgen
  • Avaya
  • Cloudflare
  • Donaldson Co
  • Fleetcor
  • Forever Living Products
  • Huntsman Corp
  • International Paper
  • Koch Industries
  • Medtronic
  • Paccar
  • Riot Games
  • Stryker
  • TGI Friday’s
  • Titan International
  • Tom Ford
  • Valve Corp
  • Zimmer Biomet

Opinions expressed by The Chicago Journal contributors are their own.