What Burger King Is Doing Instead Of Closing Its Russian Locations

In the wake of Russia's invasion of Ukraine, a number of large businesses have decided to pull out of the Russian market. According to The New York Times, fast food brands like Starbucks, Pizza Hut, and KFC have shuttered their locations in the country. After receiving backlash for continuing Russian operations several days into the conflict, PepsiCo and Coca-Cola have temporarily stopped selling goods in the country, per Reuters, as has another fast food giant: McDonald's made the move to close its Russian restaurants after some customers had called for a boycott of the chain.

Despite pressure from consumers, coupled with the fact that more and more companies are cutting ties with Russia by the day, one notable fast food chain has not followed suit. According to Yahoo! Finance, Burger King made the executive decision to continue operating its Russian restaurants. Though the choice could raise eyebrows among critics, the company figured out a way to support Ukraine while avoiding a shutdown of its brand in Russia.

A different way to support Ukraine

Yahoo! Finance reports that Burger King's parent company, Restaurant Brands International (RBI), decided to divert all of the income gained from Burger King stores in Russia "towards humanitarian efforts supporting Ukrainian refugees." The company currently operates about 800 locations in Russia. RBI will also give $4 million to refugee organizations, and Burger King stores throughout Europe are donating "$2 million worth of Whopper meal vouchers for Ukrainian refugees."

These aren't the only changes affecting Burger King locations in Russia. CNBC reports that RBI plans to slash all advertising and corporate support of its Russian restaurants. As a result, franchise owners will need to source their own ingredients and do their own marketing without aid from Burger King. In addition, Burger King also decided to withdraw from any investment opportunities in Russia, further distancing itself from the country. The chain's strategy differs from that of McDonald's, which opted to shut down its Russian locations while continuing to pay its now-out-of-work staff members.