When McDonald's reopens dine-in areas at its restaurants, customers will find workers in masks and gloves, some seating blocked off to accommodate social distancing, and children's play spaces closed, the fast-food chain said Wednesday. Employees will also spend more time disinfecting tabletops and other surfaces as the world's largest restaurant change seeks to adapt to the coronavirus.
All McDonald's restaurants, whether those owned by the company or operated as franchises, must implement the measures as well as follow state and local laws, McDonald's USA President Joe Erlinger said in news release. Restaurants will make masks available to customers in cities where face coverings are required.
McDonald's closed to dine-in customers in March, while continuing to offer drive-thru and carry-out service. Since then, locations nationwide have placed protective barriers at the cash register and guidance stickers on lobby floors showing customers where to wait for their carry out order. McDonald's has also installed hand sanitizers, closed drink stations and required workers to wash their hands hourly.
Despite those measures, McDonald's officials have not said when dining areas will reopen, saying only that it "will make reopening decisions that are right for the local communities and help ensure restaurant crew and customers feel safe and welcome."
McDonald's released its dine-in guidelines a day after California outlined recommendations for eating at restaurants. The state's guidance includes mandatory masks for employees, limiting the number of customers in lobby areas, wider use of disposable menus and more emphasis on outdoor dining. Other states, including Texas, have allowed dining areas to reopen but with fewer customers, more frequent cleaning and social distancing of six feet or greater.