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McDonald’s, Other Fast Food Stores To Close Indoor Dining

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inside of McDonald's restaurant | McDonald’s, Other Fast Food Stores To Close Indoor Dining | featured

McDonald’s and other US fast-food restaurants are starting to close indoor dining seats due to fears of COVID-19. The spread of the virus brought by the Delta variant is causing concerns among management and franchise operators. In some cases, stores are asked to limit operating hours to minimize staff’s risk of infection.  

RELATED: Restaurants Are Booming, But Face Hiring Shortages

Closing Indoor Dining For Now

Last year, McDonald’s suspended indoor dining in order to help halt the spread of COVID-19. By July this year, the company managed to reopen around 70% of their restaurants and welcomed customers for indoor dining.

By the end of July, the company is approaching its target of 100% store reopenings by Labor Day. However, the spread of Delta might change plans and timetables after all.

Now, the company is considering removing indoor dining until the threat of the virus eases up. As of last week, the fast-food chain giant told its franchisees to close indoor dining.

It gave instructions on steps they should take to re-close their dining areas. This is according to internal company materials viewed by Reuters.

Safety For Restaurant Teams and Crew

During a Wednesday meeting last week, McDonald’s US President Joe Eringer said worker safety is a priority. “We have a much deeper sense of what actions make a difference for the safety of our restaurant teams and crew,” Erlinger said.

In a statement, McDonald’s said they’ll closely monitor the situation. “We’re monitoring the impact of the Delta variant closely and recently convened together with our franchisees to underscore existing safety protocols, reinforce our people-first approach and provide updates on the rise in cases in the country,” the company said. 

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The move is in step with McDonald’s leadership. Executives recommended franchisees should close indoor dining in counties where Covid cases exceed 250 per 100,000 people.

The reading should be based on a rolling three-week average. Franchise owners will determine their course of action, so the material did not specify how many locations have shut indoor seating or could soon do so.

However, owners are paying attention. One franchisee who operates multiple locations told Reuters it had to bar indoor seating at several restaurants.

Lower Than 2020 Closures

Still, the expected closures of indoor won’t mean total closures of restaurants. In addition, the number of outlets affected is less compared to the total outlets that totally shut down last year. When the pandemic first hit the US in the spring of 2020, many fast food outlets shut down completely. 

In the months that followed the shutdown, outlets slowly reopened but kept indoor dining services closed. Only drive-thru, carry-out, and delivery operations continued.

However, these proved popular with customers that remained indoors at their home. As a result, delivery, takeout, and drive-thru sales helped keep fast-food restaurants busy. Still, franchisees said that sales were much better when indoor dining resumed. 

Other Fast Food Brands Also Cutting Hours, Closing Indoor Dining

McDonald’s isn’t alone in reducing hours and cutting off indoor dining. PMTD Restaurants inc, owners of the KFC and Taco Bell brands, also took measures. The chain cut hours in a few of its nearly 40 KFC and Taco Bell restaurants in Alabama and Georgia.

The reason? Bill Byrd, PMTD president, said that many outlets lacked enough workers as several employees caught COVID-19. Taco Bell is hard hit with the early closures.

Many Taco Bell customers go to the outlets late at night. Closing at 8 pm instead means they lose out on 20% of their daily business, according to Byrd? 

Watch the Reuters video reporting that McDonald’s, others reconsider US indoor dining:

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Do you agree with McDonald’s in closing indoor dining and limiting store hours to help prevent COVID-19 among staff? Do you think that will help? Let us know what you think. Share your comments below.

25 Comments

25 Comments

  • Rhonda Jane Pickerill says:

    No that don’t help ok. Hand washing what people need to do has nothing to do with dining room omg that’s our right

  • Anonymous says:

    Best news I heard.

  • BBA says:

    So here we go again. It doesn’t matter about actual facts or science, it only matters about how many cowardly Americans the corrupt government/corporations can get to follow this total bullshit. I do not see us EVER recovering from this stupidity with the dumbing down of America to where its citizens act like totally clueless morons!!

  • Carolann Bilger says:

    I don’t think this has much to do with coved. They just found out it’s a lot less expensive to operate without 4 people to take orders, someone to clean tables and keep floors clean, take care of all the trash.

  • Fayetta Alexander says:

    The government wants to control everything and make the people rely on them and I think that it is really a bad idea.It will put so many people out of a job and that won’t stop the spread of COVID-19. We the people needs to wake up and save this country!

  • Mike says:

    This whole thing is a fraud.

  • Donald Schad Jr. says:

    Let’s wake up folks!, Covid, if it is, can strike anywhere at anytime!! This is what happens when you base your life and fears around what you see and hear on the tv & social media. This is also a great way to not have to pay all the “minimum wage” employee’s, since the states all thought we needed to raise it to $15 – 17/hour!! Be careful what you wish for…you might just get it!!! And now you have no jobs! In the 30’s, the German union’s insisted on getting the May Day Holiday off, so Hitler agreed and gave it to them…next day..he abolished the union’s!!!

  • Mike Albl says:

    I believe it to be very responsible for the fast food restaurants to close thier dining rooms to protect the public from Covid. I also believe that it is a flagrant disregard for human safety to stay open.

  • Ali says:

    The left is using control until the next election cycle. They will use this “DELTA Variant” to make the next FRAUD election cycle favor them!

  • Disgusted American citizen says:

    I’m sick of the left Communist’s destroying our country and using Coved as an excuse. The masks do nothing to stop the spread of covid or any other flu. This administration needs to be replaced immediately before these commies fully destroy our country,we the people are not stupid we see threw this crap.
    Biden, Pelosi, Schumer need to resign also all Democrats need to be replaced as they are also destroying America, they’re not the Democrats of yesterday Soros’needs to be put in prison.
    It’s bad enough that Biden and his puppet masters have the blood on there hands with the complete failure of Afghanistan, now our allies aren’t gonna help support us either because of the debacle with Afghanistan.The administration is also making the people turn against each other criminals are given a pass as the law abiding citizen is punished, I never thought I would live to see our country destroyed, I only hope we can turn this around like it was with TRUMP in charge he had us strong working and was draining the swamp and making other countries start paying there share there was no hatred citizens were enjoying life our military was strong etc.
    God help us take our country back!
    We pray we can get our US citizens back from the grip of ISIS and the talibans before they are tortured and our executed because our Administration left them behind.

  • Anonymous says:

    No it won’t help

  • Mike says:

    It’s not about the science at all, it’s all about the money. I won’t visit
    Them any longer and with my 7 grandkids I was a frequent visitor. I’ll support local businesses that remain open. In my state Gov. Pritzker will most likely shut us down. Total disgrace. I’m very unhappy with government mandates. What ever happened to “My body mu choice”.

  • Angela says:

    Stupid is as stupid does. Another example of ignorance and the dumbing down of America. Yep, closing indoor seating at a MCDONALD’S is going to prevent terrorism, people dying of ANY cause, it’s going to cure cancer and reduce injustice in the world… btw… this is sarcasm.

  • ANNON says:

    Not a problem. I stopped eating at McDonalds for ANYTHING (drive thru or not) several years ago. Had more to do with poor service and cleanliness then anyway. Just close ’em all down. Some other chain will decide they have the INTESTINAL FORTITUDE to fill the vacuum left by the demise of MickeyD

  • Parkinman says:

    The real problem is the current administration. We bring back Trump, we get back to normalcy and no disease. Follow the real science and not the Scare Tactics Science that the Left is pushing with help from the media. It’s not the virus. It’s the “Vaccine”. How many people have to die from the “Vaccine” before the real truth is uncovered? There are no real statistics that show you get the virus from eating inside a restaurant. If you can show me valid proof to the opposite, which you can’t, then you should close ALL restaurants. By then, you will have lost ALL of your freedoms…

  • Sam says:

    Typical incompetent government and establishments. Let’s keep repeating the same measures thst don’t do anything. This is a FLU with a 99.85% survival rate, from the CDC! Masks don’t do anything, there’s at least 40 difderent studies out there. Plus, if the government REALLY cared about the people McDonalds would have been closed a long time ago.

  • Jo Ann Carden says:

    It needs to be the cleanliness of workers, I’ve see workers use the dish rag to wipe sweat off their face, hair in the food. If we all took better care of staying clean, washing our hands (workers and customers), their would be less spread of disease. It used to be, you weren’t seen in the kitchen without a net on your head. We the people must not give up the freedom to choose or we will be headed for government control.

  • Pamela Maples says:

    Covid is never going to go away. The corrupt government is using this as a way to control the American people. Our country is in serious trouble! We will soon be like Communist China! Closing
    indoor dining is just another example.

  • Darren says:

    The New World order did everything they could do to get Trump out of office, short of the way they took Kennedy out. Donald was a thorn in their side of power. China hated Trumps policies and him!! The last ditch effort to try and remove him before the election, how about a little pandemic outbreak. Fauci and the rest of them are pure Evil. Do some Studying!!!

  • Steve says:

    ALL drive thru lanes should be closed due to the tremendous WASTE of fuel burned while waiting in line for up to 30 minutes…not to mention the air pollution involved!

  • Richard J Philabaum says:

    Are you saying that 100% of McDonald’s employees have been vacinated and if so why limit the service that McDonald’s offers the public

  • Dorothy Thompson says:

    I truly think this is not called for…. Just big business telling how to live our life.. I would not purchase food and then have to eat in my car. I did last time McDonalds did this..and I have NOT been back since they have had indoor dining.

  • James says:

    The #1 answer is not written properly and makes no sense.

  • Richard Balogh says:

    We can never go back to closing everything down again. It almost ruined our economy last time.

  • Carl Facciponte says:

    The survival rate for the entire run of the pandemic in the US, including the huge nursing home spike last year, is 99.92%. I have a difficult time watching all of the political panic over a disease that has an overall mortality rate of 0.08%. Let’s focus all of this energy on the obesity pandemic, which has far more serious health risks to the general population.

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