Food chains including Burger King, KFC, and Pret a Manger have announced they will be reopening some stores for takeaway and delivery.
The bigger chains are expected to be offering a limited menu and no dining-in option as the Government is poised to extend the national coronavirus lockdown for another three weeks.
Four Burger King branches have opened again on Thursday, with the company announcing it will give 1,000 free meals a week to NHS staff. It said all of its workers will be provided with personal protective equipment.
Burger King marketing director Katie Evans said: “We are committed to providing 1,000 meals a week to NHS staff based in the vicinity of these restaurants as we want to demonstrate how appreciative everyone at Burger King UK is of their efforts in these unprecedented times.”
KFC is reopening 11 of its restaurants with staff volunteering to work. It said on social media: “Our teams are amazing and we’d never ask them to come back to work if they weren’t comfortable, so they’re returning on an opt-in basis.”
Pret A Manger has resumed food production in 10 shop kitchens located near hospitals for takeaway and delivery with a 50% discount for NHS staff until the end of April.
Pret’s chief executive Pano Christou said in a statement: “We are incredibly grateful that 160 team members have volunteered to help reopen 10 shops in London, located close to hospitals.
Tomorrow weâre reopening 10 shops close to hospitals to support healthcare workers. Our 50% NHS discount is back, and weâll be making 7,000 extra meals a week to help the homeless. A huge thank you to our teams who have volunteered to run these shops: https://t.co/2t5rZr97m1 pic.twitter.com/lIJV4DD0mK— Pret (@Pret) April 15, 2020
“In doing so, this will help give frontline healthcare workers better access to freshly prepared food while also getting our supply chain up and running again to deliver food to the homeless.”
The Government is expected to announce that the coronavirus lockdown will be extended for another three weeks, amid renewed warnings that it is still too soon to begin easing the restrictions as the numbers of hospital patients may not yet be at a peak.