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McDonald’s CEO says 'misinformation' over Israel/Hamas war hurting company's Middle East business

McDonald’s CEO Chris Kempczinski says Middle East operations are experiencing a "meaningful business impact" as a result of "misinformation" amid the Israel-Hamas war.

McDonald’s Chief Executive Officer Chris Kempczinski has said that the company’s business in the Middle East is being affected due to the war between Israel and Hamas and associated "misinformation" about the fast-food chain’s position on the conflict.

The world’s largest burger chain, as well as other top chains such as Starbucks, have become the target of boycotts over their perceived pro-Israeli stance and alleged financial ties to Israel.

In a LinkedIn post on Thursday, Kempczinski wrote that "several markets in the Middle East and some outside the region are experiencing a meaningful business impact due to the war and associated misinformation that is affecting brands like McDonald’s."


"This is disheartening and ill-founded," Kempczinski wrote in the post which was part of an update on McDonald’s operations. 

"In every country where we operate, including in Muslim countries, McDonald’s is proudly represented by local owner operators who work tirelessly to serve and support their communities while employing thousands of their fellow citizens. That local community connection is the genius of the McDonald’s system."

Kempczinski did not give examples of the misinformation he was alluding to. FOX Business reached out to McDonald’s for comment but did not immediately receive a response. 

In October, McDonald's Israel said on its social media accounts that it had given thousands of free meals to Israel Defense Forces personnel. This was later renounced by McDonald's franchises in some Muslim countries, highlighting the polarized regional politics that global corporations navigate during war.


The majority of McDonald’s restaurants around the world are run by franchisees. Middle East locations are part of the company’s international developmental licensed markets division, which generates about 10% of the company’s revenue, according to Bloomberg.

Kempczinski wrote that the company stands in "solidarity with communities around the world, living our purpose and values to the fullest through difficult times."

"Our hearts remain with the communities and families impacted by the war in the Middle East. We abhor violence of any kind and firmly stand against hate speech, and we will always proudly open our doors to everyone. And whether the earthquake in Japan, or the tragedies that struck Morocco and Hawaii last year, our system is always there to support."


Some Western brands are feeling the impact of boycotts in Egypt and Jordan that have now caught on in some countries outside the Arab region, including Muslim-majority Malaysia.

Last month, McDonald's Malaysia sued a pro-Palestinian group for defamation and loss of earnings, accusing it of leading boycotts that led to a loss of profits and job cuts due to closures and shortened operating hours of its outlets.

It comes as McDonald’s aims to boost its global presence, setting its sights on increasing its number of restaurants around the world by about 8,800 before 2028, bringing its total number of locations to around 50,000.

Reuters contributed to this report. 

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