McDonald’s Pauses Reopening Plans as US Coronavirus Cases Increase


Burger chain suspends additional dine-in service for three more weeks.

McDonald’s Corp. paused reopening plans for dine-in services in the U.S. as COVID-19 continues to spread. The chain will wait three weeks before adding dine-in service to its operations. 

“Our resiliency will be tested again. Covid-19 cases are on the rise,” said a company letter by Joe Erlinger, McDonald’s U.S. president, and Mark Salebra, head of the National Franchisee Leadership Alliance owners association.

McDonald’s operators offered limited, dine-in service in May, with around 2,200 of its 14,000 U.S. restaurants allowing indoor eating. According to the letter, restaurants that offered indoor dining services can continue if their jurisdiction permits, but McDonald’s will halt additional openings. 

State and local governments tighten social distancing regulations and scale back reopening plans in light of the recent surge in cases. Officials say the stricter rules are needed to address the outbreaks from crowded bars and interior spaces. California ordered 19 counties to stop indoor dining and recreation for at least three weeks. New York City delayed indoor dining services, which was supposed to start up on July 6.

Restaurants had hoped to serve more customers this summer, so the reversals pose a challenge to establishments. Other types of companies reassess future plans: Apple, Inc. temporarily closed 16 locations, ten of which were in Texas. 

McDonald’s recovered lost sales due to drive-through revenues, though the chain had to respond to COVID cases in its restaurants. Health and safety guidelines require workers to wear gloves and masks and customers to wear facial coverings inside.

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Economics, Finance and Investing