Is the McExit the biggest PR stunt of all time?

McDonald’s has closed up in Russia as part of the global protest and sanctions against Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Now this may be old news by now but what is interesting is the way in which this was executed.

There’s a brief article from CNN and a video here.

According to the CNN article McDonalds can elect to buy back its business within fifteen years which indicates a back door deal is in place. If you know McDonalds, they’re not in the burger business, they’re essentially in the real estate business. Whether or not this is the case in Russia is not clear.

They plan ten or twenty years ahead, purchase real estate and when the time is ready, open a new store. Some are company owned and others are franchised. Interestingly, in this “sale” McDonalds seems to have given the new owner their stores, equipment and systems. Its purely a simple rebrand with new name and logo.

McDonalds has a large amount of proprietary equipment, systems, patents and intellectual property which they guard rigorously. That’s why no other burger company comes close. They cannot buy any similar specialised equipment even if they wanted to. Try and use or copy anything similar and you’ll end up in a lawsuit!

So…just to please Ukraine, they hand over everything for a small fee. Its as if the new owner is just renting McDonalds for a period of time. Is this normal corporate behaviour? What do you think?

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