Coronavirus: McDonald’s expands restaurant sites to be reopened

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Fast-food giant McDonald’s has said it hopes to reopen all of its drive-through outlets in the UK and Ireland by early June.

The firm plans to start by offering delivery only from some restaurants from Wednesday, and re-opening some drive-throughs from next week.

For this week, restaurants and their car parks remain closed, so customers have to order using the Uber Eats app.

The chain will have a limited menu with a maximum spend of £25 per order.

On Wednesday, 15 restaurants will reopen for delivery only, and from 20 May, 30 drive-throughs will open, offering service to cars.

For the drive-through restaurants, there will be a maximum spend of £25 per car, but customers are warned that service “will not be as quick as you might be used to”.

The restaurant chain told the BBC it has placed a £25 cap on orders because of social distancing: “During our pilot phases while we test our new safety procedures, we will temporarily limit order sizes to allow us to meet customer demand as we will operate with fewer employees in our kitchens to enable social distancing.”

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A sign hung on the door of a church in Bletchley shows some people have missed being able to buy fast food

To enable its staff to work safely, McDonald’s has introduced several new measures in its restaurants:

  • Having fewer people in the kitchen and service areas, serving a reduced menu over reduced hours
  • Checking worker temperatures on arrival using contactless thermometers
  • Installing perspex screens in key locations in the kitchen and service areas
  • Providing staff with protective equipment such as gloves and face masks
  • Providing additional training on cleanliness practices, including increased frequency of hand washing and extra sanitising of touch points around the restaurant

Food chains are slowly opening more outlets. In early May, KFC said it would reopen 80 more restaurants for deliveries, after already opening 20 sites.

And Burger King has said it hopes to open at least 350 of its restaurants for delivery and drive through by the end of June, as part of a staggered reopening.