When McDonald's restaurants reopen their dining rooms, customers should expect stickers on the floor encouraging social distancing and the closure of self-serve beverage bars. Workers wearing masks might check in with a thumbs up, or kindly ask you to move away from others.
The chain, which is preparing to reopen its locations to dine-in customers as some US states loosen stay-at-home orders, recently sent out a detailed instruction manual to franchise operators in the United States. The 59-page document, which was obtained by CNN Business, outlines the minimum sanitation and social-distancing requirements each must meet before opening its dining rooms. The contents of the manual were first reported by the Wall Street Journal.
Franchisees, which operate over 90% of all McDonald's world-wide, will have to pay for their own supplies, the document said.
The playbook also details how to keep the restaurants clean — and make sure customers see the efforts. It spells out how to keep customers six feet away from each other, and mandate the use of some personal protective equipment.
Workers must clean and sanitize tables after each use and restrooms every 30 minutes. McDonald's recommends using a tracking sheet to document the cleanings. Employees have to wash their hands every hour. Restaurants don't have to turn on their touch-screen kiosks, but if they do, those screens and key pads have to be cleaned after every use.
The instruction manual outlines ways for restaurant operators to keep customers apart: They must close off some tables and seating areas and use floor stickers to mark out "clearly recognizable paths" that will keep customers six feet away from each other while waiting in line. The stickers should also help keep people six feet away from tables. The restaurants must also keep PlayPlaces closed and disable any interactive games.
They'll also have to close self-serve beverage bars.
That's both on recommendation from an epidemiologist, and because of how self-service bars may make customers feel.
"Brand perception is another concern," the guide notes, "and how this would/could play out in the minds of the customers given heightened perceptions around hygiene and safety as they see other customers not take precautions."
Instead, employees must pour drinks out for customers, preferably using fountains usually designated for the drive-thru.
The guidance also mandates the use of personal protective equipment for employees.
Workers have to wear face masks or face coverings, and all employees who handle food or service have to wear gloves.
Customers aren't required to wear masks, but masks should be available to them upon request in municipalities where face coverings are required. Protective panels have to be installed at drive-thru windows and counters where orders are taken.
The playbook also gives employees guidelines on how to talk to people who might be wondering why McDonald's is opening its dining areas at all.
Workers can say, "We are all in this together and this team has come together in so many amazing ways over the last few months." If someone refuses to social distance, they can try "I apologize for any inconvenience, but to help keep everyone safe, we'd like all our guests to maintain a safe distance of 6 feet from each other and our staff." McDonald's highly recommends workers use a "thumbs up" to check back in with customers who are eating at tables.
A woman was arrested last week on suspicion of shooting a fast-food worker and injuring others after they told her to leave a McDonald’s restaurant in Oklahoma City, according to police.