The signs that Britain is continuing to take tentative step to life after lockdown increased today when it was revealed McDonald’s is to re-open 32 of its drive-through takeaways.
Days after announcing it was to open 15 of its 1,270 branches for delivery orders, the fast-food giant has announced more than 30 restaurants, largely in London and the south-east of England, will be open for business between 11am and 10pm.
It is expected staff will be tested for COVID-19 before work and will be separated from customers by a Perspex window at the drive-through. Customers will be asked to pay by contactless methods if possible and spending will be capped at £25 per car.
The restaurants opening are:
Dunstable, Luton (Chaul End Lane), Luton (Leagrave), Luton retail park (Gipsy Lane).
Peterborough (Boongate, Bourges Boulevard, Eye Green, Glinton, Hampton, Morrissons).
Chelmsford (Boreham Interchange, Riverside, Regiment Business Park, Westway).
Ipswich (Cardinal Park, Ranelagh Road, Ravenwood, Whitehouse).
Bushey, Garston, Watford (Hertfordshire Arms).
Medway (Beechings Way, City Estate, Valley Park), Bobbing (Sheppey Way), Gillingham (Bowaters),
Sittingbourne retail park, Strood.
Harrow, North Cheam, West Sutton (Oldfields Road), Hounslow (Travellers Friend).
McDonald’s say they hope to have all their drive-throughs open by early June and are responding to their main rivals who have started to slowly return to business after the easing of the lockdown sparked by the Coronavirus pandemic.
Chief rivals Burger King began a phased reopening for delivery at sites in Bristol, Swindon and Coventry last month, but more than 120 of their restaurants nationwide have opened for delivery and drive-through orders with the company expecting to open 20 a week until their entire operation is fully functional again. The Five Guys chain has also opened 47 of its 104 restaurants across the UK.
KFC has 100 outlets open on a delivery-only basis while Nando’s has opened the doors at six stores in London and Manchester and offers a click (or should that be cluck) and collect at other sites including Maidstone, Sevenoaks and Worcester.
Subway is to reopen 600 of its 2,600 sandwich stores while Greggs are back in business at a handful of restaurants in the north-east which could lead to the opening of more outlets to walk-in customers. Plans to re-open 20 of its 2,050 outlets were initiall shelved because they feared crowds might gather.
Pret A Manger is offering a takeaway and delivery service from 100 branches including Birmingham, Brighton, Bristol, Cambridge, Oxford, Reading, St Albans and Tunbridge Wells, while coffee giants Starbucks has re-opened 150 branches for takeaway or delivery and their rivals Costa says 79 of its 2,700 branches are available for takeaway or drive-through.
Pizza Express and Wagamama are expected to announce their reopening schedule in the coming days.
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