On Thursday, Restaurant Brands International (RBI) (NYSE: QSR) announced that Burger King is suspending all corporate support for its more than 800 franchised restaurants located in Russia. The company has halted operations, marketing, and supply chain as well as denying approval for investment or expansion.
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The action comes after several other U.S. fast-food chains also suspended corporate support to their Russian locations earlier this week, amid the ongoing invasion of Ukraine. Nevertheless, this does not mean that Burger King restaurants within Russia will be closed down.
The chain’s Russian locations are “fully franchised and managed by a local master franchisee,” the company said. Meaning that RBI cannot control those restaurants, as other companies, such as McDonald’s, have done in the country. Burger King stated that it is committed to “redirecting any profits from franchised operations to humanitarian aid for Ukrainian refugees.”
“BK Russia is a standalone business owned and operated by our franchisees in the country,” RBI said in a statement to CNN. “We have long-standing legal agreements that are not easily changeable.”
It is unknown if the master franchisee in Russia will continue to operate the Burger King restaurants without corporate support.