KFC shuts outlets in Muslim areas of Malaysia; anti-Israel boycott impacts.

In Malaysia, the franchise holder for American fast-food giant KFC has temporarily closed numerous outlets due to challenging economic conditions. The closures come as consumers in the country continue a months-long boycott against brands perceived to have links with Israel, following Israel’s war on Gaza.

The franchise holder, QSR Brands, has closed outlets to manage increasing business costs and focus on high-engagement zones. Employees from affected outlets have been given the opportunity to relocate to busier stores as part of the company’s efforts. As a result, more than two dozen KFC outlets in Malaysia, mostly in Muslim-majority states, have been marked as temporarily closed.

The boycott movement in Malaysia, driven by social media and growing Islamist sentiment, has affected various American chains, including McDonald’s and Starbucks. The owner of Malaysia’s Starbucks franchise has urged Malaysians to stop boycotting the brand, emphasizing that it is locally owned and that most of its staff are Muslim. The Malaysian franchisee for McDonald’s has even filed a lawsuit against a pro-Palestinian boycott movement for damaging its business.

The Malaysian government has also taken action against those who mislead consumers, such as selling dates from Israel. Negotiations for a ceasefire in the conflict between Israel and Palestine have faced challenges, with Israeli air strikes killing dozens of Palestinians while Hamas leaders were in Cairo for truce talks.

As the conflict continues, it remains to be seen how businesses and franchises in Malaysia will navigate the challenges presented by the boycott movement and economic conditions. The impact of the ongoing conflict on businesses, employees, and consumers in the country is significant, and efforts are being made to address these issues.

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