- Food chains McDonald’s and Nando’s said they will close all UK restaurants due to the coronavirus outbreak
- McDonald’s said its employees will receive full pay until April 5
- Costa Coffee, Itsu and Subway also closed their UK branches
McDonald’s (NYSE:MCD) and Nando’s said they will shut down all of 1,270 restaurants in the United Kingdom and Ireland starting today due to the coronavirus outbreak. The closures include takeout services as well.
“Over the last 24 hours, it has become clear that maintaining safe social distancing whilst operating busy takeaway and Drive-Thru restaurants is increasingly difficult and therefore we have taken the decision to close every restaurant in the UK and Ireland by 7 pm on Monday 23 March,” said Chief Executive of Mcdonald’s UK, Paul Pomroy.
“I have been clear throughout this that we would only continue to operate whilst it was safe for our people and together with our franchisees, we feel now is the time to make this decision,” added Pomroy.
South-African food chain Nando’s also closed around 400 restaurants in the UK “until further notice”.
The UK government ordered the closure of cafes and restaurants on Friday, excluding takeaway food services. McDonald’s and Nando’s said food from restaurants will be given to those in need.
McDonald’s has more than 125,000 employees in the United Kingdom and 86% of its restaurants are run by franchisees. It shut down dining areas at its stores in the US last week and asked franchisees to follow suit. The company still runs takeaway services in some states.
McDonald’s said staff that’s employed directly by the company would be paid in full until 5 April. On Friday, the UK government announced a financial assistance package, promising to pay 80% of staff wages.
Nando’s posted a tweet on Sunday, saying the company thinks “the best course of action right now is to temporarily close our restaurants”.
The food chain, which employs around 20,000 people in the UK, said safety of its customers and employees is the top priority.
Apart from McDonald’s and Nando’s, Costa Coffee, sushi chain Itsu and Subway said they will close their UK restaurants on Monday.
Costa Coffee has nearly 2,000 branches in the country and its 19,000 employees, most of whom receive minimum wages, will get full pay over the next eight weeks.