McDonald’s to close dining areas at corporate-owned restaurants amid coronavirus outbreak

Coronavirus
McDonald's is closing the dining areas at its corporate-owned restaurants amid concern over the coronavirus pandemic. It is also encouraging its franchisees, which operate about 93% of all locations, to do the same. (Scott Olson/Getty Images)

McDonald’s is closing the dining areas at its corporate-owned restaurants amid concern over the coronavirus pandemic. It is also encouraging its franchisees, which operate about 93% of all locations, to do the same. (Scott Olson/Getty Images)

McDonald’s is closing the dining areas at its corporate-owned restaurants amid concern over the coronavirus pandemic. It is also encouraging its franchisees, which operate about 93% of all locations, to do the same.

“Our independent franchisees continue to focus on the needs of their local communities and make safe and caring decisions,” the company said in a statement Monday. “Franchisees are strongly encouraged to adopt similar operations procedures while keeping the needs of their people and communities at the center of their decisions. This guidance is supported by franchisee leadership and is expected to be adopted by the majority of franchisees.”

The company said all corporate-owned restaurants will close seating areas. However, drive-thru, walk-in take-out and delivery will still be available.

McDonald’s will also close its PlayPlaces at US locations, the company said.

“Ensuring the health and safety of our people and our communities is our highest priority as the United States quickly mobilizes to slow the spread of COVID-19,” McDonald’s said. “Our decisions are guided by expert local and national health authority guidance. Additionally, we are complying with all local and state restaurant restrictions, where applicable.”

On Tuesday, Dunkin’ announced similar initiatives at its restaurants in the United States. The donut chain said it was limiting hours and closing its dine-in areas while imploring customers to carry-out or drive-through services.

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