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McDonald’s Buys All 225 Israeli Franchises After Boycott

Mc Donald's
Mc Donald's

US fast food chain McDonald’s has announced that it would buy back all its Israeli restaurants following a boycott of the brand in response to the Israel-Hamas war.

Alonyal, which was the franchisee for the company for over 30 years, was criticised heavily for giving away thousands of free meals to Israeli soldiers.

McDonald’s has said that it had reached an agreement with Alonyal for the return of 225 outlets across the country employing 5,000 people. The sales have fallen dramatically since the conflict began in October.

“For more than 30 years, Alonyal Limited has been proud to bring the Golden Arches to Israel and serve our communities,” Omri Padan, CEO and owner of Alonyal, said.

The Chicago-based company operates most of its restaurants worldwide based on a franchise model. The company clarified that it intends to continue with the operations in Israel and the employees who were working earlier with Alonyal would be retained “on equivalent terms”.

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The boycott was carried out after Muslim-majority countries such as Kuwait, Malaysia and Pakistan who issued statements distancing themselves from the firm, which then spread to rest of the world.

In January, the company said that the boycott had an impact on its business in France, Indonesia and Malaysia, but it was worst affected in West Asia. The boycott led to the company missing its first quarterly sales target in nearly four years.

Starbucks, another major Western fast-food chain, has also seen boycott campaigns over its perceived pro-Israeli stance and alleged financial ties to Israel. This has impacted its sales in the region.

CEO Laxman Narasimhan told journalists in February that Starbucks saw a “significant impact on traffic and sales” in the Middle East but also in the US, where protesters campaigned against the Seattle-based company, calling for it to take a stand against Israel.

Domino’s, a US-based pizza maker also faced boycott after posts on social media claimed without evidence that it had also given free food to Israeli soldiers.