Putting the Golden Arches Back Together

McDonald’s gave The Wall Street Journal a sneak peak of its comprehensive 59-page dine-in reopening guide— complete with illustrations— as several states lift stay-home orders.

The world’s largest fast-food company, whose golden arches have come to represent American ideals all over the world, is proceeding with extreme caution in welcoming patrons back to their 14,000 locations in the U.S.

According to the guide, “We only get one chance to do this the right way.”

Local restaurants across the country have suffered what may be irreversible blows under stay-at-home orders.

But even fast-food and chain restaurants, along with their franchisees, face costs and complications that could ultimately become prohibitive.

McDonald’s safely reopening its dining rooms is going to require following all state and local guidance— including occupancy restrictions— in addition to its own standards.

A few highlights:

  • Foot-pulls to allow customers to open bathroom doors without using their hands, touchless sinks and towel dispensers and protective equipment for all service workers;
  • Closing or monitoring public soda fountains;
  • Cleaning bathrooms every half-hour; and
  • Disinfecting digital kiosks after each use.

Unlike many of your favorite local spots, McDonald’s USA has a rather large safety net for franchisees struggling in the midst of the pandemic. In addition to receiving contributions to their marketing funds, franchise owners can apply for financial assistance from a “distressed restaurant team.”