As the company with the golden arches plans to pull out of Latin America and the Caribbean, announcing it will instead franchise its nearly 1,600 restaurants in those regions, one El Salvadoran McDonald's franchisee has hired D.C. lobbyists at Alston & Bird to help settle a $24 million dispute with the company.
According to Senate lobbying registrations, Robert Bukele has hired an Alston team that includes former senator Robert Dole , Jonathan Fee, Jeffrey Schwartz and Marion Watkins. They will lobby the State Department regarding the dispute between Bukele and McDonald's Corp. that began in 1996 when McDonald's yanked Bukele's food chain from him after a judge ruled it didn't' meet McDonald's food standards. Nine years later, an El Salvadoran court ordered McDonalds to pay Bukele $24 million in damages for unfairly violating Bukele's contract and rescinding his franchise. It also reinstated Bukele's license until 2016. McDonalds is appealing the decision.