McDonald’s Kazakhstan says closed because of supply-side problems

ALMATY/NOV. 29 2022 (The Bulletin) —  — Supply problems and not political problems linked to the arrest of the franchise owner forced McDonald’s to close its restaurants in Kazakhstan.

Reuters reported that supplies of packaging and some food products for McDonald’s in Kazakhstan sourced through Russia had run out because of the impact of sanctions imposed on Russia after the Kremlin invaded Ukraine.

This is important because speculation had suggested that the arrest of Kairat Boranbayev in March may have undermined McDonald’s position in Kazakhstan. He is the owner of Food Solutions KZ, which owns the franchise in Kazakhstan. 

Mr Boranbayev, who has been charged with corruption but not yet put on trial, is closely linked to former president Nursultan Nazarbayev, who lost a power struggle to his successor as Kazakh leader, Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, in January during major civil unrest.

One of the sources told Reuters that Food Solutions KZ was waiting for supplies to restart and that it planned to reopen its 24 restaurants before the end of the year.

Food Solutions KZ closed its restaurants on Nov. 17, six years after the first McDonald’s restaurant in Kazakhstan opened.


— This story was published in issue 530 of the Central Asia & South Caucasus Bulletin, on Dec. 4 2022

— Copyright the Central Asia & South Caucasus Bulletin 2022

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