May 14, 2020 / 3:45 PM / 18 days ago

McDonald's issues new guidelines to U.S. franchisees on restaurant reopenings: WSJ

(Reuters) - McDonald’s Corp (MCD.N) has asked its U.S. franchisees to make a series of changes in restaurants before reopening to diners in an effort avoid the spread of the new coronavirus, the Wall Street Journal reported on Thursday.

The world’s largest fast-food chain’s new reopening guidelines push restaurant owners to encourage social distancing among diners and more frequently clean restrooms, digital kiosks

and door handles, the Journal reported. (on.wsj.com/3609XoX)

The guide also recommends franchisees to buy expensive new fitments such as automatic towel dispensers and touchless sinks, the report said, adding that franchisees can still choose when to reopen dine-in service and how to staff restaurants.

The company did not immediately respond to Reuters’ request for comment.

McDonald’s nearly 14,000 restaurants in the United States have been serving diners through drive-thru, take-out and delivery, as strict lockdown measures due to the COVID-19 pandemic effectively shut down dine-in services.

However, more U.S. states are easing some of those restrictions to get their economies going again. Health experts have warned that reopening too quickly could lead to a new wave of infections.

Reporting by Uday Sampath in Bengaluru; Editing by Shinjini Ganguli

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