Apr 5, 2024 - Business

McDonald's buying back Israel restaurants after protests

Protesters outside a McDonald's in Turkey

Protesters last November outside a McDonald's in Turkey. Photo: Onur Dogman/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Image.

McDonald's has agreed to buy all of its Israel franchises from local operator Alonyal Ltd., which includes 225 stores with more than 5,000 employees.

Why it matters: Alonyal last October sparked global boycotts against McDonald's, particularly in some Muslim-majority countries, after saying it would donate free meals to the Israeli military.

  • It also gave out meals to Israeli police, hospital workers, and residents near Gaza.

Details: McDonald's said it would retain all of Alonyal's workers "on equivalent terms," but didn't disclose financial terms for a deal that's slated to close within the next few months.

The bottom line: The fast food giant reported only 0.7% growth during Q4 2023 in the unit that includes Middle East and Southeast Asia franchises, versus 5.5% estimates.

  • Group CEO Chris Kempczinski had previously said that the Israel-Hamas war, and "associated misinformation" about the Chicago-based company's position, had resulted in a "meaningful business impact."
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