CHICAGO — To go is the only way to get a meal at company-owned McDonald’s Corp. stores in the United States starting March 17. The nation’s largest quick-service restaurant chain has eliminated seating areas, the use of self-serve beverage bars and kiosks. The company will only serve meals through drive-thru, walk-in take-out and delivery.
Only a small percentage of McDonald’s stores, less than 10%, are company owned. The bulk are operated by franchisees, and the company said it is encouraging them to “adopt similar operations procedures while keeping the needs of their people and communities at the center of their decisions.”
“Franchisee leadership completely supports the decision to adhere to social distancing guidelines and ensure that large groups of customers are not gathered together inside our restaurants,” said Mark Salebra, National Franchisee Leadership Alliance chair. “We are committed to our role in supporting the communities in which we do business and protecting the public’s health by shifting our operations to drive-thru, walk-in take-out and McDelivery.”
McDonald’s announcement comes a day after Starbucks Corp., Seattle, said it was shifting to “to-go mode” in all of its company-owned stores in the United States and Canada. The announcements follow state government mandates in Illinois, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Ohio and Washington state that restaurants cease offering dine-in service to minimize the spread of the coronavirus.