Beyond the tragedy of human deaths and physical carnage, Putin’s invasion of Ukraine has shaken the world, including franchise brands operating in Russia. Setting up shop in Russia always came with risks for franchisors, but few expected this, and many are doing their best to walk a fine line between protesting and protecting their assets as the war rages on.
As of Wednesday, March 16, here is a list of articles, resources, and related items on the actions franchise brands have taken in response to what many are calling Putin’s War.
1) Polish Convenience Store Giant Zabka Sends Massive Amounts of Supplies to Ukraine
On March 13, a special cargo train arrived in Kyiv with humanitarian aid for the civilian population of Kyiv: 60 tons of long shelf-life food, water, and necessary hygiene products were provided by the Zabka Group and its investors (CVC Capital Partners and Partners Group). This is the most recent aid transport organized by Zabka, which has transferred nearly 300 tons of food and hygiene products to border crossings, reception points, and Ukraine, including Kyiv, Sumy, Lutsk, and Dnieper. The humanitarian aid train was organized in cooperation with the Warsaw City Council, which coordinates cooperation with the Kyiv City Council.
2) Atlanta-Based NRD Foundation Organizes “Tokens for Relief” To Aid Ukraine
In a novel approach to helping beleaguered Ukrainian refugees, the NRD Foundation (NRDF) has created Tokens for Relief to collect donated NFTs and sell them online to raise funds. Here’s how it works: 1) Organizations and artists donate one or more digital assets. 2) The assets are added to the Tokens for Relief website and NFT platform. 3) Assets are sold through auction or “buy now,” and proceeds are collected by NRDF. 4) NRDF distributes net proceeds equally to accredited NGOs working to provide relief to Ukrainian refugees and people still in the country. Recipients so far include World Central Kitchen, with more to be announced soon. To learn more about this effort, which has just started up, contact the organizers at firstname.lastname@example.org.
3) Paul Davis Restoration Franchisee, a Ukrainian Native, Helps Provide Kits for Ukrainian Soldiers
Krystyna Golkin, co-owner of Paul Davis Restoration & Remodeling of Suburban Virginia, along with her husband Andrew, is part of a group gathering items to ship to soldiers in Ukraine.
“I am Ukrainian American and my entire family, except my brother, is still in Ukraine,” she said. “This is an exceedingly difficult time for us and we, Ukrainian Americans, are doing what we can to support Ukraine’s fight for freedom and democracy.”
Golkin is working with a group of volunteers through Saint Andrew Ukrainian Orthodox Cathedral in Silver Spring, Maryland, collecting necessities at their homes and bringing them to the church on a weekly basis. They also are working on campaigns to purchase items online and ship them directly to warehouses, where volunteers sort and ship the items to Ukraine.
Her parents, both doctors in Western Ukraine, are helping supply soldiers with items that will sustain them as they go off to war.
“Our group of volunteers created an Amazon wish list so our donors can purchase and ship directly to the church or our warehouse location,” she says. Here is the Amazon link.
Donations can be sent directly to:
Saint Andrew Ukrainian Orthodox Cathedral
15100 New Hampshire Ave
Silver Spring, MD 20905
Attn. Iryna Rybytva
78 McCullough Drive
New Castle, DE 19726
4) FRANCHISE-SPECIFIC NEWS
- McDonald’s, Starbucks, KFC, & Pizza Hut Temporarily Shutting Down Businesses in Russia (Polish News, March 8)
- McDonald’s Temporarily Pauses Operations, Shuts Restaurants in Russia (Global Franchise, March 9)
- Burger King Halts Corporate Support for Its 800-Plus Franchised Locations in Russia (The Hill, March 10)
- Yum Brands Pausing Investment & Development in Russia; Redirecting Profit to Humanitarian Efforts (Yum! Brands, March 7)
- Dunkin’ Joins the Race Out of Russia (Boston Globe, March 10)
- Papa John’s Suspends Operations in Russia (Wall Street Journal, March 9)
- Papa John’s Russian Master Franchisee Is Keeping His 190 Restaurants Open for Business (NY Times, March 14)
- Little Caesars Closes Its 3 Russian Locations Amid Ukraine Invasion (WXYZ-TV, March 10)
- Western Hotel Firms Accor, Hilton, Hyatt, & Marriott Condemn Invasion of Ukraine While Maintaining Relationships with Franchisees in Russia (Costar, March 9)
5) INTERNATIONAL NEWS