McDonald’s is to reopen its first 30 drive-through restaurants as early as next week as it pushes forward with its reopening plans.
It comes as fast food rival Subway reopens more than 600 of its UK stores on Tuesday for delivery and takeaway as it serves customers for the first time since the lockdown.
McDonald’s will open its first 15 pilot restaurants from 11am on Wednesday for deliveries only.
The fast food chain said it intends to begin the next phase of its reopening plans next week by opening 30 sites in the UK and Ireland for drive-through customers only on Wednesday May 20.
Tomorrow we will offer delivery via Uber Eats from 15 restaurants in the South East of England, next week we will start to reopen our Drive Thrus as we get ready to reopen restaurants across the UK and Ireland. pic.twitter.com/us3wM2fJYc— McDonald's UK (@McDonaldsUK) May 12, 2020
It said it plans to reopen all of its drive-through sites by early June, in line with Government guidelines.
McDonald’s said it will cap the amount customers can spend to £25 per car and will ask customers to use contactless payment.
This will take place alongside safety measures the chain already announced, such as contactless thermometers for staff, Perspex screens and protective equipment.
The company called for customers to be “patient and supportive” of staff as sites reopen, warning that service “will not be as quick as you might be used to” as workers adjust to the changes.
Paul Pomroy, McDonald’s chief executive officer for UK and Ireland, said: “There has been an incredible response to news of our reopening and we know many of you are eager for us to extend our reopening plans at a faster pace.
“The wellbeing of our employees, suppliers and delivery partners’ couriers is my top priority and we will only extend our plans at a pace that enables us to create a safe working environment for our teams.
“As we get accustomed to the new processes and procedures, we will look to reopen more restaurants, for longer hours and reintroduce more menu items.
“But only when I am confident we can do so whilst maintaining the new procedures we have introduced for the protection of our people.”
Meanwhile, Subway said it has reopened more than 600 stores on Tuesday in the first phase of its reopening programme.
It said the sites have reopened with new operational and social distancing safety measures to protect customers and staff.
The chain said customers will be able to have food from these sites delivered via Just Eat, Uber Eats or Deliveroo.
Colin Hughes, country director for Subway UK & Ireland, said: “Everybody in our Subway family and the wider communities they serve, has shown great resilience in adapting to these challenging times that we currently find ourselves in.
“We are extremely grateful for their ongoing support in anticipation of this next phase of our gradual reopening, which will enable us to continue to serve our communities and frontline workers, who have helped us all so much in recent weeks.
“The weeks and months ahead will continue to be challenging for everyone and Subway will play its part in supporting the new normal whatever that may look and feel like.”