When Russia invaded Ukraine in February earlier this year, its actions drew criticism from leaders worldwide. As a result, establishments also decided to cut ties with the country, with McDonald’s and Starbucks ceasing operations throughout Russia. However, a handful of American businesses in the country maintain their daily operations.
Yale University management professor Jeffrey Sonnenfeld and his research team have found twenty-seven U.S-based companies are defying calls to exit or curtail their activities in Russia, including Hard Rock Cafe and Sbarro.
Hard Rock Cafe’s branches in Moscow and St. Petersburg, Russia, continue to serve coffee. Acquired by the Seminole Tribe of Florida in 2007, the company wrote an emailed statement to CBS MoneyWatch, saying it would suspend all future investment and development in Russia. Additionally, Hard Rock Cafe will donate all profits from the two locations in the country to humanitarian causes in Ukraine.
U.S. pizza chain Sbarro has also persisted in staying put. The privately held company has been in operation in Russia since 1997 and signed a new franchise deal in the country in 2017. Sbarro also partnered with Horeca Band Group and revealed plans to open more than 300 Sbarro chains in Russia within five years. The company did not respond to a request for comment.
According to Sonnefeld, food chains are not the only companies to continue operations. For example, online dating services Match.com and its Tinder unit continue to do business in the country, but executives of the dating company said in an earnings call earlier this month that it expects to lose about $10 million in revenue quarterly so long as Russia’s war on Ukraine persists.
“European performance was impacted by the Russian invasion of Ukraine, which reduced revenue in Russia, Ukraine, and several other nearby countries,” said Gary Swidler, the chief operating and financial officer of Match.com.
While the dating services continued operations, the dating app Bumble took a different turn. Last March, the social networking app revealed that it was not only ceasing operations in Russia but also removing its apps from the Apple App Store and Google Play Store in Russia and Belarus.
Other American companies operating in Russia include the following:
- Aimbridge Hospitality
- Align Technology
- Donaldson Co
- Forever Living Products
- Huntsman Corp
- International Paper
- Koch Industries
- Riot Games
- TGI Friday’s
- Titan International
- Tom Ford
- Valve Corp
- Zimmer Biomet