News

McDonald's Is Halting Earlier Plans for Nationwide Reopening

You might need to stick to the drive-thru for a while.

8th.creator/shutterstock

In May, McDonald's announced plans for a slow but steady reopening, with nearly 50 process changes in action to ensure both customer and staff safety. But now, with coronavirus cases surging nationwide, the golden arched fast food joint is halting the return of dine-in service.

In a letter obtained by The Wall Street Journal, McDonald's said that restaurant dining rooms would remain closed for at least the next 21 days. 

"This surge shows nobody is exempt from this virus -- even places that previously had very few cases,” the letter reads. "Moving forward, we will continue to monitor the situation and adjust as needed to protect the safety of our employees and customers."

As many as 2,200 McDonald's locations -- about 15% of the chain's US total -- have already welcomed back diners. And while the company is asking franchisees to review local guidelines and consider takeout- and delivery-only service once again, the choice is theirs. "To be clear: owner/operators will make the final decision in these situations," head of McDonald's US division, Joe Erlinger, and chair of the national franchisee leadership alliance, Mark Salebra, wrote in a statement, according to CNBC.

The COVID-19 pandemic is very much raging on across the country. Despite early reopenings, states have continued to see record-breaking new cases. Many local governments have begun pulling back on indoor dining and bar service.

If your local Micky D's is still offering dine-in service, remember to be a decent human being. Wear your mask and social distance, friends.

Sign up here for our daily Thrillist email and subscribe here for our YouTube channel to get your fix of the best in food/drink/fun.

Megan Schaltegger is a staff writer at Thrillist.