McDonald’s publishes playbook for reopening restaurants
McDonald’s, like many companies across the U.S., is chomping at the bit to get back to its normal business, but the new normal described in the fast-food giant’s guide to reopening restaurants looks a lot different than the one that existed before the novel coronavirus outbreak.
The “The Dine-In Reopening Playbook” published for franchisees and company-owned restaurant managers describes in detail the process for welcoming customers back to eat at the chain’s more than 14,000 U.S. locations.
The process begins with regional officials from McDonald’s visiting restaurants once local or state government announce an easing of COVID-19-related restrictions. The company’s representative consults with franchisees to determine whether or not to reopen for dine-in customers.
The New York Times reports that fewer than 100 U.S. McDonald’s are currently open for dine-in customers. Jesse Lewin, a company spokesperson, told the paper that discussions between McDonald’s and franchisees have been taking place for “the last several weeks.”
The cost of reopening restaurants will not be inexpensive, according to a Wall Street Journal report. In addition to stepped-up cleaning regimens for ordering kiosks, tables, restrooms and other frequently touched surfaces throughout locations, there will be the added expense of masks and gloves for workers.
Some restaurants may also be required by new regulations to make face shields available to sit-down customers to allow them to eat their meals while seeking to contain potentially virus-carrying emissions. McDonald’s has also provided franchisees with other safety options, including sensor-operated towel dispensers ($310) and touchless sinks ($718). Restaurants that are interested in reducing the spread of the novel coronavirus through door handles can purchase foot-pulls.
Joe Erlinger, president of McDonald’s USA, said the company published its 59-page illustrated guide because all locations will need to meet not only the government’s but its own standards before reopening for sit-down customers.
“We only get one chance to do this the right way,” the guide says.
The fast-feeder has also included a three-page Q&A in its guide to help restaurants deal with customers who may be unwilling to adhere to social distancing and other safety rules.
- McDonald’s Sets Conditions for Restaurant Reopenings – The Wall Street Journal
- McDonald’s Details What Dining In Will Look Like – The New York Times
- McDonald’s is going to look drastically different when it opens – CNN
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: Will McDonald’s approach to reopening restaurants make franchisees, workers and customers comfortable about sit-down dining? How likely is it that large numbers of franchisees will stick to drive-through and pickup sales rather than incur the costs and other associated risks tied to reopening for sit-down customers?