How dining in at McDonald's could look as fast food giant trials new safety measures
McDonald’s has reopened its first four restaurants for dine-in customers as it looks to emerge from coronavirus lockdown.
The fast food giant said the move will see restaurants reopen with table service only, reducing capacity by as much as 70% to enable social distancing.
Hand-sanitising stations, floor markings and Perspex screens will be in restaurants with increased cleaning at touchpoints and seating areas.
Paul Pomroy, McDonald’s UK & Ireland chief executive, said: “We are working to reopen our dine-in restaurants when we are confident we can adhere to the government guidance, which enables our teams to work and customers to visit safely.”
McDonald’s was forced to shut its restaurants across the UK amid the Covid-19 lockdown.
The reopenings were staggered over three days but the move still saw long queues form outside branches across the North East.
Some restaurants without drive-thrus - including the outlet in Sunderland’s High Street West – have also reopened for takeaways only, with strict rules in place to ensure social distancing.
Floor-markings are in place to create a one-way system around restaurants and a limited number of people are being allowed inside at a time.
Customers are being asked to sanitise their hands and fewer self-order screens are switched on - which will be sanitised "at least every 30 minutes”. Orders can also be made via the My McDonald’s app
Seating areas, customer toilets, lifts and recycling points remain closed.
The chain is said to be testing how to reopen outside seating areas this week, with more details expected to be revealed soon.
McDonald’s will also be reducing its meal prices, following the announcement last week by Chancellor Rishi Sunak which will VAT on food cut from 20% to 5% from Wednesday, July 15 until January 12.
On the Government’s Eat Out to Help Out scheme, which offers 50% off dine-in bills up to £10 from Monday to Wednesday during August, Mr Pomroy added: “This is a fantastic boost for the sector and an initiative we are understandably keen to participate in.
“However, we are not yet open for dine-in.”