McDonald’s reopen selected drive thru lanes. Woohoo!
By Paul Pomroy
Chief Executive Officer, McDonald’s UK and Ireland
This week we reopened 39 Drive Thru lanes across the UK and Ireland as we continued to test our operations, implement social distancing and slowly restart our supply chain ready for reopening across the UK and Ireland. I am incredibly proud of the employees, franchisees and suppliers who have worked so hard to get our pilot restaurants up and running and very grateful for their continued hard work.
Continuing to test and learn
To help us test the new procedures and to slowly restart our supply chain, the pilot restaurants in the UK are all located close to our head office and to one of our distribution centres in the South East. We wanted to keep this group controlled and to test the impact of reopening multiple restaurants in one area first, instead of spreading ourselves too thinly and to make it easier for our employees and suppliers.
I promise I have not forgotten about any part of the UK or Ireland. We are taking our time to test the new ways of working in our restaurants, ensuring that we can continue to help our teams to work safely, and to get back to the communities we have proudly served for so many years.
Thank you for your continued patience. I know it has been a bit slower than you are used to and the demand has been high across all restaurants, so those of you who have been to see us already have queued for longer than we had hoped. Our restaurant teams are adjusting to a lot of changes in the way we operate, social distancing measures in the kitchen and services areas and getting used to gloves, face coverings and our reduced menu.
Familiar favourites missing from the menu
When deciding the reopening menu, we took the decision to remove any items that might be challenging for our our teams to make while maintaining social distancing in the kitchen – for example, wraps and Shakes. These are two menu items that often create additional traffic in certain parts of the kitchen and we need more time to ensure that we can bring them back to you, without impacting the safety measures we have put in place. I know it is disappointing if these are your usual favourites, but in light of the challenges we are all facing, I really appreciate your understanding of the restrictions and changes that we have implemented to help keep you and our people safe.
Next steps in our reopening plans
Next week we will confirm the reopening timetable for all of our Drive Thrus, alongside when and where we will increase the availability of McDelivery®. Over the coming months, we will explore how to extend the menu, increase our opening hours and reintroduce those much-missed McMuffins® at breakfast.
We are doing this deliberately cautiously, guided by the information from governments and health authorities. Working with our employees, franchisees and suppliers I want to ensure we only move forward to the next stage of reopening at the right time, when we are confident it is safe for us to do so. I am very grateful for your continued patience on this.
Adjusting to the ‘new normal’
Everyone is experiencing this international pandemic differently. For McDonald’s this means every employee, franchisee, customer and supplier will have been impacted in a different way to one another.
From social distancing screens reducing the speed and agility in the kitchen our people are used to, to the challenges in communicating with you and one another whilst wearing face coverings – we know these new methods take some adjustment, not just by us but by you too. We must all be mindful of how this ‘new normal’ impacts everyone differently and I know from the friendly chats at the Drive Thru windows we’ve seen this week – you’re helping our teams to adjust just as much as we hope we’re helping you to navigate the changes to our business.
Thank you to those who have taken the time to contact us asking when your town can expect a return of the Big Mac®, we are working on it, keep an eye on our website and social media channels next week for more news on this.
This controlled pilot has shown us that the changes we have made are the right ones and given us the confidence to start returning to communities everywhere.
My thanks again for your continued support, understanding and patience.
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