McDonald's Is Officially Reopening In Ukraine. Here's What We Know So Far

When McDonald's first opened on Russian soil in 1990, thousands lined up outside, waiting for a taste of the American food they'd heard so much about. According to Insider, the opening of a restaurant chain from a capitalist nation suggested that the Soviet Union was coming to an end. By the following year, this would come to fruition (via History). 

Over the following 30 years, McDonald's continued to grow its outlets to 850 stores in Russia and 108 in neighboring Ukraine. When these nearly 1,000 locations closed this year due to the Ukraine-Russia crisis that started on February 24, some financial loss was expected. While the two countries represent just 2% of takings for the fast food giant, the loss is estimated at $127 million in inventory, leases, and continued employee salaries, per an article from Insider.

In August, reports outlined McDonalds' return to Ukraine, though it was unclear when the locations would reopen and how many would be affected. Thanks to recent news, Ukrainians now have some clarity about the future of McDonald's in their country.

Ukrainians are happy to see the fast food chain return

After months of uncertainty, Ukrainians have now been given a date for when McDonald's will resume operations in the country: September 20. However, only three restaurants — all in the capital of Kyiv — will reopen, and they will prepare orders for delivery through the Glovo app only. According to a Facebook post from the McDonald's head of corporate communications in Ukraine, Alesya Mudzhyri, another seven Kyiv outlets will reopen later this month, and locations throughout the western side of Ukraine will follow. Dine-in and drive-thru options are expected to be available in October.

Mudzhyri also stated that the affected McDonald's locations are "implementing expanded procedures and protocols for the safety of employees and customers," such as closing "during the air alert to allow employees and visitors to move to the nearest shelter." Fans of the chain expressed their joy at the news in the comments section, saying, "Great news! The kids will be super excited," and "Everyone has missed you so much!"

While McDonalds' arrival in Russia foreshadowed the fall of the Soviet Union, it's unclear if its reopening in Ukraine has any connection to a resolution of the war. Per an update by The Washington Post, officials say it's still "too soon to say" whether Ukraine's recent progress signifies an end to the conflict anytime soon.