WASHINGTON — When McDonald's begins re-opening its restaurants to dine-in customers, guests can expect to see a number of new safety standards in place.
The fast food giant announced Wednesday that employees will wear masks and gloves, some seating areas will be closed to accommodate social distancing, high-touch surfaces will be cleaned more frequently and play places will remain closed. McDonald's will also have masks available for customers in cities and states where that's required.
Employees will also deliver food directly to dine-in customers' tables in a double-folded bag, according to the company.
The Wall Street Journal reported Thursday that McDonald's sent U.S. franchisees a 59-page guide that outlined the dozens of changes that need to be in place before they can reopen dining rooms. The newspaper reported some of the additional measures include cleaning bathrooms every half-hour and turning off soda machines if they can't assign an employee to operate them for guests.
The company said Wednesday that it plans to make reopening decisions for its 14,000 U.S. locations that are "right for the local communities and help ensure restaurant crew and customers feel safe and welcome."
"As our daily routines continue to evolve, we remain committed to safely serving you and our local neighborhoods around the country," McDonald's USA President Joe Erlinger said in a statement. "We look forward to welcoming you back into our dining rooms, when the timing is right and with these extra precautions in place."
Some states around the country have begun to lift coronavirus restrictions to allow restaurant dining rooms to open with limited capacities.
On Tuesday, Restaurant Brands International, the parent company of Burger King, Popeyes and Tim Hortons, outlined safety measures it has put in place for its stores. Some of the changes include sanitizing tables and chairs after each customer and turning off self-serve soda fountains.