McDonald’s stops serving takeaway meals at ALL UK and Ireland branches due to Covid – but will offer drive-thru and deliveries
McDonald’s has announced all its 1,300 restaurants across Britain have been closed for walk-in takeaway after England was plunged into a third national lockdown.
The chain will remain open for drive-through and delivery but customers will no longer be allowed inside stores to place orders, even if they are taking them out.
The surprise announcement was made at 8pm last night, with walk-in takeaway service ending for the foreseeable future when restaurants closed three hours later.
Lockdown restrictions brought in by Boris Johnson on Monday night mean the chain would be allowed to remain open for walk-in takeaways if it wished to do so.
But bosses at McDonald’s said last night that they wanted to ‘take time to review and reassess our safety procedures with an independent health and safety body’.
Food is served at a McDonald’s on the outskirts of Oakham, which opened in November 2020
McDonald’s UK and Ireland chief executive Paul Pomroy said: ‘Following the latest government announcements, our restaurants will remain open for Drive-Thru and McDelivery services and Click & Serve for Drive-Thru which is available via the My McDonald’s App.
‘Our dine-in and walk-in takeaway services will be temporarily unavailable while we take time to review and reassess our safety procedures with an independent health and safety body.
‘This is a temporary change in our operations to allow us to test and validate any additional measures that may further enhance the safety of our takeaway service.
‘We will continue to keep customers updated via the My McDonald’s App and our website.’
It comes after McDonald’s blamed ‘supply challenges following Brexit’ after warning customers last month that lettuce and tomato could be missing from its burgers.
A series of posters were put up at its fast food outlets across the UK explaining that ‘some of our menu may be unavailable or have ingredients missing’.
The chain, which employs 120,000 people in Britain across its 1,300 UK restaurants, had urged customers to ask staff for further details about the problem.
They are thought to have been distributed to restaurants as a contingency measure two weeks ago, before the post-Brexit trade deal was agreed on Christmas Eve.
McDonald’s later clarified with staff that the signs were not needed and sources said the chain was not anticipating any supply issues related to Brexit or otherwise.
The business carried out a gradual reopening of its chains from June last year after all of them were shut on March 23 when the first lockdown began.
McDonald’s started reopening to the public on June 2 when 168 restaurants were opened offering drive-thru services and an extra 22 stores were offering deliveries.
The next day, 497 more drive-throughs opened with 42 of those also offering delivery. On June 4 another 261 outlets were opened, taking the total to about 1,000.
But there was chaos in parts of the country when the firm initially reopened restaurants for orders via McDelivery or via one of 923 drive-thrus.
Customers were seen queuing for hours to get their hands on a Big Mac, with cars blocking off emergency vehicles in some locations.
Stores initially reopened with a restricted menu, with lower staff numbers and social distancing in kitchens.
Only a certain number of customers have been allowed in each restaurant at any time – depending on its size and layout – and they must follow a one-way system.
There were hand-sanitising stations and its seating areas, staff wore face masks and gloves and Perspex screens and other social-distancing measures were introduced.
There were fewer self-order screens switched on and those in use were sanitised at least every 30 minutes, with customers also ordering via the My McDonald’s app.