Worldwide icon-chevron-right North America icon-chevron-right United States icon-chevron-right Here is what fast food restaurants are going to look like once they re-open
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Here is what fast food restaurants are going to look like once they re-open

You likely won't be able to use self-serve soda fountains for quite some time.

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As businesses across the country start to open up—or, at least, start to think about how to open up—one thing makes itself apparent: it's time to wave a (temporary?) goodbye to the world as we know it. 

Case in point: fast food restaurants. The massive chains have begun speaking up about their updated dine-in and dine-out practices, which take into account our new modes of behavior—mask wearing, sanitizing, social distancing and more.

"We are now moving into the next phase of reopening dining rooms according to guidance from local authorities," Jose Cil, the CEO of Restaurant Brands International (RBI)—the company behind Burger King, Popeyes and Tim Hortons—said in an official statement earlier this week. "We have fully embraced the notion that parts of our restaurants need to change—certainly, for the foreseeable future and possibly forever."

The mentioned changes include taking the temperatures of employees at the start of each shift, installing acrylic shields and contactless service across most locations and mandating the use of masks and gloves by the staff. Employees will sanitize tables and chairs after each sitting and hand sanitizer will be available for use by guests.

Taking a creative stance when dealing with social distancing practices in specific, Cil mentioned "beautiful tabletop signage to indicate which tables are open and which ones are reserved to help maintain safe distances."

Last but not least, self-service soda fountains will be off-limits for the time being, but "beverages, extra condiments and trays" will be handed out from behind the front counter. 

Folks are also paying attention to another player in the fast food business: McDonald's. On the company's website, President Joe Erlinger mentions "nearly 50 process changes" taking places across the various eateries. These encompass a stricter schedule of cleaning when it comes to tables and high-touch surfaces, in addition to the closing of certain tables "to accommodate social distancing," the use of masks and gloves by staff and a modification of "dine-in beverage procedures to minimize contact."

In terms of specific locations' reopening plans, both McDonald's and RBI properties mention cooperation with state laws and adherence to guidelines set forth by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. As we wait for word on all that, you'll find us grabbing some free French fries at McDonald's locations currently open for takeout.

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