Monday, March 4, 2024

McDonald’s and Starbucks say Gaza war hurting business

Giant fast food chain McDonald's and multinational chain of coffeehouses Starbucks have seen their profits take a hit as a result of the war in the Gaza Strip, with the companies pointing to boycotts over their perceived pro-Israel stances.

The conflict between Israel and Palestinian militants in Gaza has hurt McDonald’s sales in the Middle East, the US fast-food chain has said.

The company’s fourth-quarter revenues were below market expectations, with the burger giant citing the impact of the conflict in the Middle East. Sales growth in the licensed franchise markets was also weaker than expected. McDonald’s shares fell nearly 4% following the report.

Another American company, coffee franchise Starbucks, also revealed that it missed Wall Street revenue forecasts in the fourth quarter of 2023 amid a decline in domestic and international sales. The coffeehouse chain also cited the impact of the conflict in Gaza, as well as increased discounting by rivals in overseas markets.

The two restaurant giants are among several Western brands that have seen boycott campaigns against them over their perceived pro-Israeli stance.

McDonald’s noted the company saw weaker sales in majority-Muslim countries, like Malaysia and Indonesia, and in France, which has the largest Muslim population in Western Europe. McDonald’s did not note any effect on its domestic sales.

Starbucks admitted last week that boycotts had not only hurt its sales in the Middle East but also in the US.

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