Just as some McDonald’s restaurant franchise owners got to finally re-open their dining rooms to customers for the first time in more than a year, they may be closing again.
Reuters is reporting that it’s seen internal documents and memos indicating that McDonald’s will instruct its franchise owners in areas where COVID cases are steadily climbing to once again close dining rooms to customers.
Many owners are already encouraging customers to once again wear face masks while they’re eating inside their dining rooms.
McDonald’s Franchises May Close Dining Rooms Again Due to COVID
The report from Reuters indicates that in places where COVID cases are topping 250 per 100,000 people – a level the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention considers a “High” risk of community transmission of the virus – McDonald’s restaurants may soon prohibit diners inside.
Right now, McDonald’s is only recommending that franchise owners in those areas “consider closing” dining rooms. The company had hoped to have all its franchise owners open their dining rooms once again by Labor Day.
McDonald’s franchise locations across the country, as well as other fast-food franchises, had to close their doors to customers when business restrictions were put in place to try to limit the spread of COVID.
Restaurants, in particular, were hit hardest by those restrictions. But fast food franchises were able to survive the pandemic due to their ability to serve customers at a drive-thru window.
When restaurants were finally allowed to open to customers in their dining rooms, many were challenged to do that due to an inability to find enough workers.
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I think a lot of fast food businesses are seeing a future where they don’t even have dining rooms. This kind of “test” may help them validate if it could work for them.