McDonald’s has revealed its plans to reopen all of its Drive-Thrus by early June, in line with ongoing government guidelines.
News of the phased reopening comes as the fast-food giant has today (13 May) reopened 15 pilot restaurants in the South East of England to offer a delivery-only service to customers.
The newly-launched delivery service will have a £25 order cap as the group adjusts to smaller teams and social distancing amongst its kitchens. Until next week, restaurants, Drive-Thrus and their car parks will remain closed, with food served only via Uber Eats.
On 20 May, however, McDonald’s will reopen a further 30 pilot restaurants, offering service through Drive-Thru lanes in select locations that are yet to be announced. Spending will also be capped at £25 per car in Drive-Thrus, and contactless payments will continue to be encouraged.
Other safety measures include having fewer people in the kitchen and service areas, serving a reduced menu over reduced hours, as well as the use of contactless thermometers, with temperatures checked on arrival at work.
Perspex screens in key locations in the kitchen and service areas will also be introduced, while protective equipment for employees will be provided, including gloves for customer and courier facing positions and face masks.
An additional training on cleanliness practices, including increased frequency of handwashing and extra sanitising of touch points around the restaurant, will also be implemented.
The group warned that Drive-Thru operations “will be different”, however, adding that the service “will not be as quick as you might be used to, as we adjust to smaller teams and social distancing in our kitchens”.
McDonald’s told customers to expect some queues for busier sites, and continue to be “supportive of and patient with our restaurant teams as we slowly and safely return”.
The group said it will “start to return to towns and cities across the UK and Ireland” after learning from its initial reopening phases, but will “only reopen at a pace that enables employees to work safely”.
Paul Pomroy, McDonald’s CEO UK and Ireland, said: “Eight weeks ago, we took the decision to close our entire restaurant estate, an unprecedented decision taken in the best interests of our employees and customers.
“Over the last two months we have worked tirelessly to overhaul our operational procedures to enable our teams to return to work safely and I am pleased to write to you the day before we begin testing our return to the UK and Ireland.”
He added: “The wellbeing of our employees, suppliers and delivery partners’ couriers is my top priority and we will only extend our plans at a pace that enables us to create a safe working environment for our teams.”
The group will keep a restaurant locator on its website updated as Drive-Thrus continue to reopen over the coming weeks.