McDonald’s To Temporarily Close Restaurants & Pause Operations in Russia

This article was originally sent via email from CEO Chris Kempczinski to McDonald’s employees and franchisees.

WEBWIRE



The conflict in Ukraine and the humanitarian crisis in Europe has caused unspeakable suffering to innocent people. As a System, we join the world in condemning aggression and violence and praying for peace.


Our number one priority from the start of this crisis has been – and will remain – our people.


As Ian Borden shared last week, the Company has provided immediate financial support to our team in Ukraine. We are continuing to pay full salaries for our Ukrainian employees and have donated $5 million to our Employee Assistance Fund, and continue to support relief efforts led by the International Red Cross in the region. We have been overwhelmed by the offers of support across the System and thank you for your generous contributions to date.


As many of our colleagues in Ukraine have sought refuge, they have found the familiar support of the McDonald’s System in new and unfamiliar places. In Poland and many other markets across Europe, our System has literally opened their homes, their hearts, and their restaurants. The Ronald McDonald House Charities (RMHC) Poland Care Mobile is at the Polish-Ukrainian border to provide medical care and humanitarian aid for families and children, and another Care Mobile is on the way from RMHC Latvia. Additionally, RMHC Ukraine is deploying medical supplies and providing humanitarian aid throughout the country, and its programs are being repurposed for use by hospital personnel.


This support, enabled by our global System, is happening across Europe, and will continue to grow.


In recent days, I have spoken with and heard from many in our System about our operations in Russia. The situation is extraordinarily challenging for a global brand like ours, and there are many considerations. For 66 years, we have operated with the belief that communities are made better when there’s a McDonald’s nearby.


In Russia, we employ 62,000 people who have poured their heart and soul into our McDonald’s brand to serve their communities. We work with hundreds of local, Russian suppliers and partners who produce


the food for our menu and support our brand. And we serve millions of Russian customers each day who count on McDonald’s. In the thirty-plus years that McDonald’s has operated in Russia, we’ve become an essential part of the 850 communities in which we operate.


At the same time, our values mean we cannot ignore the needless human suffering unfolding in Ukraine. Years ago, when confronted with his own difficult decision, Fred Turner explained his approach quite simply: “Do the right thing.” That philosophy is enshrined as one of our five guiding values, and there are countless examples over the years of McDonald’s Corporation living up to Fred’s simple ideal. Today, is also one of those days.


Working closely in consultation with our Chairman, Rick Hernandez, and the rest of McDonald’s Board of Directors over the last week, McDonald’s has decided to temporarily close all our restaurants in Russia and pause all operations in the market. We understand the impact this will have on our Russian colleagues and partners, which is why we are prepared to support all three legs of the stool in Ukraine and Russia. This includes salary continuation for all McDonald’s employees in Russia.


Importantly, RMHC Russia will continue its full operations, just as RMHC Ukraine is partnering with local hospitals and providing humanitarian aid throughout the country.


Across the rest of Europe, we will stay focused on how McDonald’s can best help those in need, both now and in the future. We have already seen extraordinary leadership by our Ukrainian and Russian teams, and I know the rest of the McDonald’s System stands ready to support the large number of refugees who have been displaced by this conflict.


As we move forward, McDonald’s will continue to assess the situation and determine if any additional measures are required. At this juncture, it’s impossible to predict when we might be able to reopen our restaurants in Russia. We are experiencing disruptions to our supply chain along with other operational impacts. We will also closely monitor the humanitarian situation.


As always, McDonald’s will be guided by our values and our purpose to feed and foster communities across the globe.

McDonald’s Creates New Customer Experience Team; Appoints Manu Steijaert as First Global Chief Customer Officer

McDonald’s Corporation (“the Company”) (NYSE: MCD) today announced the creation of a new Customer Experience team to transform the way customers engage with the McDonald’s Brand. This team brings together the Company’s Data Analytics, Digital Customer Engagement, Global Marketing, Global Restaurant Development and Restaurant Solutions, enabling McDonald’s to create an unparalleled customer experience at each physical and digital customer touchpoint.

To lead the new team, McDonald’s has promoted Manu Steijaert to the newly created role of Executive Vice President and Global Chief Customer Officer, effective August 1. Steijaert will report to Chris Kempczinski, President and Chief Executive Officer.

“The formation of the Customer Experience team strengthens McDonald’s ability to lead the industry in anticipating and delivering on customer needs at every part of the Brand journey, which increasingly extends beyond the walls of the physical restaurant through digital, delivery and Drive Thru,” said Chris Kempczinski, President and Chief Executive Officer. “As customer needs continue to evolve, we will create a frictionless Brand experience across all our service channels using the insights generated from our increasingly important digital platforms. Manu’s deep understanding of the needs of our customers and his rich perspectives from multiple markets will be invaluable in leading this new team.”

With more than 20 years in the McDonald’s System, Steijaert brings extensive knowledge of McDonald’s global customer base to the role, most recently serving as Vice President, International Operated Markets where he drove a customer-led and growth-focused approach to supporting the country leadership teams in 12 markets.

“Our customers are at the heart of everything we do at McDonald’s, and we have reached a pivotal moment when technology and data have begun to shape nearly every facet of the customer experience,” Steijaert said.  “I am thrilled to lead this new team as we work to create more and better ways to connect with our customers at every touchpoint, transforming the definition of customer interaction.”

Steijaert started his McDonald’s career in 2001 as a field service consultant and held various operations roles before becoming Vice President, Operations for France in 2012, where he led restaurant innovation efforts. In 2015, Steijaert took on leadership of the Netherlands before transitioning to VP, International Operated Markets in 2019. The son of a former Belgian McDonald’s Owner Operator, his first McDonald’s restaurant experience dates back to 1987, when he started working as a crew member at his parents’ restaurants.
 

About McDonald’s

McDonald’s is the world’s leading global foodservice retailer with over 39,000 locations in over 100 countries. Approximately 93% of McDonald’s restaurants worldwide are owned and operated by independent local business owners.
 

FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS

This release contains certain forward-looking statements, which reflect management’s expectations regarding future events and operating performance and speak only as of the date hereof. These forward-looking statements involve a number of risks and uncertainties. Factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from our expectations are detailed in the Company’s filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, such as its annual and quarterly reports and current reports on Form 8-K. The Company undertakes no obligation to update such forward-looking statements, except as may otherwise be required by law.

McDonald’s Black & Positively Golden Scholarship Program is Championing Black Excellence by Awarding $500,000 in Scholarships to HBCU Students in Partnership with the Thurgood Marshall College Fund

With the help of partners like McDonald’s, TMCF is committed to supporting these outstanding students and helping them develop into tomorrow’s industry leaders.”

For the second consecutive year, McDonald’s USA, through its Black & Positively Golden Scholarship Program, is awarding half a million dollars to incoming and current HBCU students. Through this initiative, in partnership with the Thurgood Marshall College Fund (TMCF), McDonald’s is furthering its support of the next generation of leaders.

According to “Moving Upward and Onward: Income Mobility at Historically Black Colleges and Universities,” a study conducted by Samuel DeWitt Proctor Institute/Rutgers Graduate School of Education,  more students experience upward mobility at HBCUs than any other institutions,  and nearly 70% of HBCUs students attain at least middle-class incomes. Understanding the impact of HBCUs on Black youth, McDonald’s is committed to helping elevate the Black community by awarding scholarships to students who are striving to turn their dreams of attending and graduating from an HBCU into reality. 

“We are proud to continue our longstanding partnership with McDonald’s and work with these exceptional students,” said Dr. Harry L. Williams, President and CEO of the Thurgood Marshall College Fund (TMCF). “Amid the uncertainty and confusion of the current state of the world, students remain some of the key drivers of change. They are rising to the challenges they are facing and working hard to provide much-needed support to their families and communities. With the help of partners like McDonald’s, TMCF is committed to supporting these outstanding students and helping them develop into tomorrow’s industry leaders.”

“With the help of partners like McDonald’s, TMCF is committed to supporting these outstanding students and helping them develop into tomorrow’s industry leaders.”

Incoming and current HBCU students are encouraged to apply for the Black & Positively Golden Scholarship now through May 10 at 11:59 PM EST at www.tmcf.org. Thirty-four scholarships, up to $15,000 each will be awarded to students for the 2021-2022 academic year, and winners will be announced this summer.

Launched in 2020, McDonald’s created the Black & Positively Golden Scholarship Program to help HBCU students continue their education in the midst of COVID-19, which caused financial strain on many students and their families. As a result, 34 students received funding that helped them stay in school, despite challenging circumstances.

“The McDonald’s scholarship I received came at a critical time and allowed me to focus on academics and my career aspirations,” said Olivia Harris, a 2020 Black & Positively Golden Scholarship recipient and junior at North Carolina Central University. “The knowledge I’m gaining at my HBCU is preparing me for the real world, and it’s incredible to see others have this scholarship opportunity as they pursue their dreams.”

“The knowledge I’m gaining at my HBCU is preparing me for the real world, and it’s incredible to see others have this scholarship opportunity as they pursue their dreams.”

McDonald’s is dedicated to providing skills, training and education programs that support people who are building a path forward and achieving their goals, no matter where they are in life. The Black & Positively Golden Scholarship Program is one of many company initiatives that is helping serve up bright futures in the communities McDonald’s serves. The company has a longstanding history of supporting HBCUs through scholarships, partnerships and its presence on HBCU campuses and at Classics around the country. During its 20-year partnership with the TMCF, McDonald’s has invested millions of dollars in direct and indirect support to benefit the organization and students, including providing career building resources and supporting the TMCF Leadership Institute.

“As the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic continues to impact the ability of students to attend college, we are honored to provide support and financial resources to help HBCU students nationwide turn their dreams of going to and staying in college into reality,” said Marty Gillis, New Jersey McDonald’s Franchisee and National Diversity Marketing Committee Lead.  “We are committed to feeding and fostering the communities we serve, and seeing young, gifted and Black students succeed, and couldn’t be prouder to partner with the TMCF for more than 20 years to do so.”

“We are committed to feeding and fostering the communities we serve, and seeing young, gifted and Black students succeed, and couldn’t be prouder to partner with the TMCF for more than 20 years to do so.”

Students interested in applying must meet the following eligibility requirements:

  • Be 18 years old or older
  • Be enrolled full-time as a freshman, sophomore, junior or senior attending an HBCU during the 2021-2022 academic school year
  • Have a current cumulative grade point average of 2.7 or higher
  • Demonstrate leadership abilities and financial need
  • Be a U.S. citizen or legal permanent resident with a valid permanent resident card or passport stamped I-551

Will you or your HBCU scholar be next?

To learn more about the Black & Positively Golden movement and scholarship, follow @wearegolden on Instagram and visit blackandpositivelygolden.com.

About McDonald’s USA Education Efforts

McDonald’s Black & Positively Golden Mentors Program is just one of many company initiatives created to serve up bright futures and provide opportunity for education and skills in the communities we serve. These efforts also include the Black & Positively Golden HBCU Scholarship Fund, which is administered through Thurgood Marshall College Fund and helps students continue their undergraduate and graduate school education; the HACER® Education Tour, which provides information to help navigate the college application process; the Classroom Convos webinar program, which focuses on topics impacting Asian and Pacific Islander American students; and the Archways to Opportunity program, which provides educational resources to eligible crew at participating U.S. restaurants. Together, with franchisees, we are committed to offering opportunities to feed and foster our communities.

About McDonald’s USA

McDonald’s serves a variety of menu options made with quality ingredients to more than 25 million customers every day. Ninety-five percent of McDonald’s 14,000 U.S. restaurants are independently owned and operated by businessmen and women. For more information, http://www.mcdonalds.com/, or follow us on Instagram at @WeAreGolden and Facebook http://www.facebook.com/mcdonalds. To learn more about the Black & Positively Golden initiative, visit www.mcdonalds.com.