CHICAGO—With U.S. cases of COVID-19 still rising, McDonald’s has halted reopening additional dining rooms, the Wall Street Journal reports. The chain will wait three more weeks before allowing any new U.S. restaurants to open their dining rooms.
“Our resiliency will be tested again. COVID-19 cases are on the rise,” said Joe Erlinger, McDonald’s U.S. president, and Mark Salebra, head of the National Franchisee Leadership Alliance owners association, in a company letter.
In May, the fast-food chain started limited, dine-in service at 2,200 of its 14,000 U.S. locations. Restaurant operators in jurisdictions still allowing for dine-in can continue to do so, but the company will stop adding restaurants to the dine-in list.
More localities and states are slowing down reopening plans for restaurants and bars as coronavirus cases have surged. California has told 19 counties to halt indoor dining and recreation for three weeks, and New York City has extended its moratorium on indoor dining past today.
For McDonald’s, the slowdown has come as it has begun to recover sales lost during the pandemic, mostly through its drive-thru traffic. “This surge shows nobody is exempt from this virus—even places that previously had very few cases,” Erlinger and Salebra said. McDonald’s also reiterated that workers should wear masks and gloves, and customers should have face coverings inside where mandated.
NACS has compiled resources to help the convenience retail community navigate the COVID-19 crisis. For news updates and guidance, visit our coronavirus resources page.