Eight weeks ago, we took the decision to close our entire restaurant estate, an unprecedented decision taken in the best interests of our employees and customers. Over the last two months we have worked tirelessly to overhaul our operational procedures to enable our teams to return to work safely and I am pleased to write to you the day before we begin testing our return to the UK and Ireland.
Reopening in the UK this week for delivery only
From 11am tomorrow, 15 pilot restaurants in the South East of England will offer delivery only as we seek to slowly and safely reopen our restaurants. We will have a £25 order cap as we adjust to smaller teams and social distancing in our kitchens. I want to reiterate the restaurants, Drive Thrus and their car parks remain closed, we will only be serving food via Uber Eats this week.
I want to thank the franchisees, managers and employees who are busy preparing for this reopening and wish them all the best for what will undoubtedly be a busy return to the communities in which they operate.
The next stage in our pilot reopening: 6 Drive Thrus to open in Dublin
There has been an incredible response to news of our reopening and we know many of you are eager for us to extend our reopening plans at a faster pace. The wellbeing of our employees, suppliers and delivery partners’ couriers is my top priority and we will only extend our plans at a pace that enables us to create a safe working environment for our teams.
In the last few days, updated government guidance has been shared in both the UK and Ireland, which makes it clear that takeaways and deliveries can operate. I can today announce we will pilot reopening 6 Drive Thru restaurants in the Dublin area on Wednesday, 20th May and we will confirm the locations next week. In early June, we will then begin our next phases of reopening our Drive Thrus in towns and cities across the UK and Ireland. We will keep you updated as restaurants open in your area.
Enabling our teams to work safely
From 20th May, we will also cap spend in our Drive Thrus at €30 per car and I would encourage you to pay by contactless payment methods wherever possible. These join the other safety and wellbeing measures we have introduced in all restaurants:
Fewer people in the kitchen and service areas, serving a reduced menu over reduced hours;
The use of contactless thermometers, with temperatures checked on arrival at work
Perspex screens in key locations in the kitchen and service areas;
Protective equipment for our people including gloves for customer and courier facing positions and face masks, but not the type needed by healthcare professionals;
And additional training on cleanliness practices, including increased frequency of handwashing and extra sanitising of touch points around the restaurant
Bear with us
When your local Drive Thru does reopen, it will be different. Our service will not be as quick as you might be used to, as we adjust to smaller teams and social distancing in our kitchens. We expect there will be some queues for some of our busier sites and our restaurants will look different, with Perspex screens at our Drive Thru windows and employees wearing protective equipment.
I ask that you continue to be supportive of and patient with our restaurant teams as we slowly and safely return. We are asking all of our employees to adapt to how our restaurants now work, and will only reopen at a pace that enables them to work safely.
As we get accustomed to the new processes and procedures, we will look to reopen more restaurants, for longer hours and reintroduce more menu items. But only when I am confident we can do so whilst maintaining the new procedures we have introduced for the protection of our people.
Learning from our initial phases, these tests, we will start to return to towns and cities across the UK and Ireland and thank you for your continued support as we work through this crisis. We will continue to keep you updated via email, our website and our social media channels.
In the meantime, stay safe and we will see you soon.
Chief Executive Officer, McDonald’s UK and Ireland