I saw this recently on Inc. – After 32 Years, McDonald’s Just Made Another Heartbreaking Announcement: https://www.inc.com/bill-murphy-jr/after-32-years-mcdonalds-made-yet-another-heartbreaking-announcement.html/. Longer article. I support their decision to end it.
BY BILL MURPHY JR. May 22, 2022
Deep down, I think we all hoped this wouldn’t actually happen.
Among all the minor side-effects of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the decision of McDonald’s to suspend its operations in Russia (sensible and inevitable as it was) truly stood out for its symbolism.
Opening a single McDonald’s in Moscow during the Cold War took 14 years of back channel negotiations, dating to the Montreal Olympics in 1976. Then, for 32 years, as the chain grew to 800 McDonald’s outlets across Russia, the memory of the first impression endured.
Perhaps it’s hard to understand if you don’t remember those days. But, I think even just watching briefly the news coverage at the time (video embedded below), you’ll see part of what it was like — and how Soviet citizens, who had been largely cut off from half of the world for decades, reacted to the idea of being able to buy an American hamburger from an iconic American restaurant.
It was epic. And that’s why when McDonald’s announced earlier this year that it was suspending operations in Russia, I think a lot of us hoped that it would merely be that: a temporary suspension.