You like going through the drive-thru anyway, right?
In a conference call made last week, McDonald's executives spoke with franchisees about monitoring COVID-19 cases in their areas and to be prepared to close the dining rooms ... again. Reuters recently received internal company materials suggesting the closure of indoor seating in counties where COVID cases are over 250 per 100,000 people on a rolling three-week average.
Early last year when things with the pandemic were getting really real, McDonald's and many other fast-food chains closed the doors to their dining rooms to get a handle on the virus. Just last month, McDonald's restaurants were opened at 70% capacity, and as recently as July 28, the chain announced it was on track to open to 100% by Labor Day.
That is unless there was another COVID resurgence, which, there is, all over the country. However, the materials obtained by Reuters included a statement from McDonald’s USA President Joe Erlinger, saying, “We have a much deeper sense of what actions make a difference for the safety of our restaurant teams and crew.” It was not indicated how many restaurants have already shut down indoor dining or will in the months to come.
In a statement made Friday, McDonald's Corp said: “We’re monitoring the impact of the Delta variant closely and recently convened together with our franchisees to underscore existing safety protocols, reinforce our people-first approach and provide updates on the rise in cases in the country.”
It's not only McDonald's feeling the sting either. PMTD Restaurants, the corporation that owns KFC and Taco Bell, reported cutting hours for almost 40 locations in Alabama and Georgia due to the virus. Bill Byrd, president of PMTD Restaurants, also noted the impact made on Taco Bell in particular. Closing the store at 8 p.m. instead of midnight drastically affects their profit. Late-night customers make up 20% of its business.
Of course, the closures will likely not be as widespread as they were in 2020. Carry out and delivery options have been life-savers for the foodservice industry over the last year, so hopefully, that will continue to be the case.
Will you be going back to the drive-thru? What's your favorite McDonald's snack? Let us know in the comments.