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McDonald’s carries out tests in preparation to reopen restaurants

PA News
McDonald’s closed all its UK sites in March (Nick Potts/PA)

The UK boss of McDonald’s has said the restaurant chain is carrying out tests behind closed doors this week in preparation for reopening sites.

The fast-food chain closed all of its restaurants last month in the face of the coronavirus pandemic.

Rivals such as Burger King and KFC have reopened their first sites for delivery and takeaway over the past week.

Paul Pomroy, McDonald’s chief executive officer for UK and Ireland, said it decided to close its restaurants temporarily for “the safety of our people and customers” but has recently begun looking at a “potential and limited reopening”.

The restaurant chain said it is engaging with government and trade bodies, as well as listening to employees and customers, to ensure sites are opened “when the time is right”.

Mr Pomroy said the business is “carrying out some operational tests to explore what our reopening might look like” throughout this week.

He said the tests will include exploring social distancing measures for staff, PPE options and opening in a limited capacity.

McDonald’s provided no details regarding when it intends to re-open its first restaurants for orders from the public.

Mr Pomroy added: “Restarting our business is not an easy task even when reopening in a limited capacity.

“We have set ourselves some key criteria for reopening, all of which take time – first and foremost ensuring the wellbeing of our people and creating the right environment for them to return to work; secondly ensuring we have enough supply of fresh produce; and finally working in step with government guidelines to ensure the safety of our customers.

“For now we remain closed, and will only reopen when we are absolutely confident we can have the right measures in place to ensure everyone’s wellbeing.”

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