Yum! Brands is shuttering all of its KFC franchises in Pakistan in the wake of anti-American protests there, after one of its KFC restaurants was attacked in Lebanon last week, the company said Friday.
“Our KFC restaurants in Pakistan are closing as a precautionary measure,” said Yum! Brands (YUM, Fortune 500) spokesman Christopher Fuller. “They will continually monitor the situation to decide when to re-open.”
KFC has more than 60 restaurants in 21 Pakistani cities, and has a significant presence throughout the Muslim world. A division of the company called KFC Arabia has franchises in 11 Middle Eastern cities.
On Sept. 14, protesters enraged by a crudely made anti-Islam video produced in the United States attacked a KFC restaurant and two other U.S. franchises – a Hardee’s and a Krispy Kreme (KKD) – in Tripoli, Lebanon.
“A number of U.S. brand restaurants in Tripoli were damaged, including one KFC,” said Fuller. “We have been in touch with our franchisee and fortunately all of our employees and their families are safe.”
The three franchises were wedged together in a strip mall. Footage of the attack showed open flames pouring from the smashed window of the restaurants.