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How the Gaza boycotts are impacting McDonald's, Starbucks sales

Last month, McDonald’s CEO Chris Kempczinski said “misinformation” about the company’s position on the conflict had hurt the business.
ALI KHALIGH/Middle East Images/AFP via Getty Images

McDonald’s reported its first quarterly sales miss in nearly four years this week due to weak growth in international business amid boycotts over the company’s perceived support of Israel in the war in Gaza.

Global same-store sales — those at restaurants open at least a year — rose 3.4% between October and December 2023, far short of the 4.7% Wall Street anticipated, according to a poll of analysts by FactSet.

On Monday, CEO Chris Kempczinski said that the fast food chain’s business across the Middle East, France, Malaysia and Indonesia has been affected. All are countries with large Muslim populations and strong opposition to Israel’s conduct against the Palestinians since Hamas’ surprise attack on the country on Oct. 7.

Sales growth for the chain’s division covering the Middle East, China and India during October through December reached only 0.7%, far below the market expectation of 5.5%.

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