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07/24/2020

McDonald’s adding protective panels to front, back of house; to require masks

Marianne Wilson
Editor-in-Chief
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McDonald’s Corp. is taking additional steps to ensure customer and employee safety amid the continuing pandemic. 

The fast-food giant will require customers to wear face coverings, starting Aug. 1. It is putting in place additional procedures to take of those customers who do not wear a face covering in a “friendly, expedited way.”

“Additionally, we will provide training for our restaurant staff to ensure they are prepared to address this new policy in a friendly and positive way,” Joe Erlinger, president, McDonald's USA and Mark Salebra, national franchise leadership alliance chair, wrote in an open letter  to McDonald’s U.S. system. 

McDonald’s also has developed a series of divider panels and retrofit barrier solutions for both the front- and back-of-house. The solutions are designed to safely allow owner/operators to increase order taking and seating capacity and staffing levels, while continuing to meet social distancing guidelines, the company said. They are not intended to replace personal protective equipment or adhering to social distancing. 

In addition, McDonald’s is extending its pause on re-opening dining rooms for another 30 days. On July 1, the company paused the reopenings of its indoor searing areas amid rising COVID-19 cases. Franchisees who had already reopened dining rooms and are in areas where local officials have tightened restrictions can decide if they want to keep them open.