McDonald's, the target of "misinformation" regarding Israel and Gaza

McDonald's reported a "significant" decline in revenue due to a boycott by consumers in the Middle East and other regions, which the company attributes to its perceived support for Israel.

In a social media post, chief executive Chris Kempczinski acknowledged the repercussions and attributed the backlash to "misinformation."

He is the second CEO of a prominent American company to address the economic impact caused by the tensions in the Gaza Strip during the Israel-Gaza war.

Starbucks has been impacted as well.

Mr. Kempczinski wrote in the message, "Numerous markets in the Middle East and some beyond the region are experiencing a significant business impact as a result of the conflict and the misinformation associated with it, which is affecting brands such as McDonald's." He further stated, "This is disheartening and unfounded."

McDonald's actively maintains a presence in all countries, including Muslim countries, through the representation of local owner-operators.

There are thousands of independent companies that own and administer the majority of McDonald's over 40,000 locations worldwide. A quarter of them are situated in the Middle East.

Ever since the October 7th attack by Hamas on Israel, the corporate headquarters of McDonald's has endeavoured to maintain a low profile concerning the conflict. Its brand, however, remains embroiled in the conflict.

McDonald's Israel disclosed in the weeks following the attack that it had provided thousands of complimentary meals to Israeli military personnel.

Those infuriated by Israel's military response in Gaza called for boycotts of the brand at the grassroots level; consequently, proprietors in Muslim-majority nations including Pakistan, Kuwait, and Malaysia issued statements of distancing.

The post that was made by Mr. Kempczinski comes at a time when tensions around the boycotts have been rising over the past several days.

A boycott of McDonald's was officially called for this week by the pro-Palestinian Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement, which had not previously targeted the fast food chain in any official capacity.

McDonald's Malaysia, which is supported by a Saudi company, filed a lawsuit against the Malaysia BDS organisation for $1.3 million (£1 million), alleging "false and defamatory remarks" that it claimed had harmed its business. This move occurred after McDonald's Malaysia filed the lawsuit.

If McDonald's does not drop the lawsuit, BDS has suggested that the fast food chain should sever its links with its franchisee in Israel as well as in Malaysia.

McDonald's Malaysia and its Saudi owner are urgently seeking to stifle voices of peaceful solidarity with the Palestinian liberation movement in Malaysia, according to the statement made by the group.

The statement read that instead of forcing its parent business, McDonald's Corporation will cancel its reprehensible franchise arrangement in Israel. They mentioned that they are unable to allow this to end. McDonald's denied to comment on the complaint that was filed against them.

The following is an excerpt from the statement that Mr. Kempczinski sent out: "We despise violence of any type and firmly stand against hate speech, and we will always proudly open our doors to everyone."