Get all your news in one place.
100’s of premium titles.
One app.
Start reading
Evening Standard
Evening Standard
Ayan Omar

McDonald’s chief says Israel-Gaza ‘misinformation’ is hurting sales

McDonald’s chief executive warned “misinformation” about the Israel-Gaza war is having “meaningful impact” on sales in the Middle East.

Chris Kempczinski said calls for boycott has affected the fast-food chain both in the Middle Eastern markets and “some outside of the region.” 

Mr Kempczinski said: “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."

"In every country where we operate, including in Muslim countries, McDonald's is proudly represented by local owner operators,” he wrote in a blog post on LinkedIn. 

The chain has been targeted by Pro-Palestine activists after McDonalds Israel said it had given thousands of free meals to the Israeli military following the October 7 Hamas attack. 

The decision sparked outrage among those angered by Israel's military response in Gaza, with many calling for a boycott and protesting.

In October, protestors released mice painted in the colours of the Palestinian flag in a Birmingham branch of McDonald's.

McDonald’s franchises in Saudi Arabia, Oman, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates, Jordan, Egypt, Bahrain and Turkey have distanced themselves from the move at the time and pledged aid to Gaza.  

The Pro-Palestine organisation, Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) included McDonalds in their targeted boycott list in November, which included organisations they believe “openly supported” the Israeli military. 

This week they have officially called for a boycott of the chain after McDonalds in Malaysia, backed by a Saudi firm, sued the Malaysia BDS group for $1.3 million (£1 million) over “false and defamatory statements” they claim damaged their business.

In a statement the BDS group said McDonalds should end its “shameful franchise agreement” with Israel and accused McDonald's Malaysia and its Saudi owner of “desperately trying to silence voices of peaceful solidarity with the Palestinian liberation struggle in Malaysia.” 

"We cannot let this pass. Let's show McDonald's what grassroots boycotts can do,” they added. 

McDonald’s is among several other companies, including Starbucks and retail chain Zara to be hit with boycotts following the Israel-Hamas war. 

Last month, Starbucks boss Laxman Narasimhan blamed “misinformation” of the company’s views for its low sales. 

Sign up to read this article
Read news from 100’s of titles, curated specifically for you.
Already a member? Sign in here
Related Stories
Top stories on inkl right now
One subscription that gives you access to news from hundreds of sites
Already a member? Sign in here
Our Picks
Fourteen days free
Download the app
One app. One membership.
100+ trusted global sources.