McDonald’s is a leading chain of fast food joints, and it is not a surprise that the company has announced to close all its restaurants in the UK as well as Ireland from Monday onwards after 7 pm. This decision has come because the company wishes to protect the health and ensure the safety of its employees, workers, and customers.
The announcement by McDonald’s was soon followed by other famous fast food joints such as Waterstones, Patisserie Valerie, Primark, and a lot more. Even on Sunday, the Nando food joint announced that it would close all its restaurants latest by Monday night.
The companies said that they had to make this tough decision and will surely close all of their stores by Monday.
This decision by McDonald’s came after Boris Johnson in a press conference asked all pubs, clubs, bars, and restaurants to be shut as soon as possible. Before this, McDonald’s had removed it’s seating area and closed it. They were allowing customers to come only for takeaway.
The CEO of McDonald’s of UK and Ireland, Paul Pomroy, said, “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. This is not a decision we are taking lightly, but one made with the wellbeing and safety of our employees in mind as well as in the best interests of our customers.”
He further added that their company would be working very closely with several NGOs, social activist groups, and community groups to distribute food and drinks to people as and when required. He also thanked his employees for having worked so hard in this challenging time of the epidemic. On being asked, the date till the restaurants will remain closed, the CEO said that he looks forward to welcoming customers back to the restaurants until it feels safe enough to do it.
Similar to McDonald’s, Nando’s, which has more than 400 restaurants all over the country, has closed its chain and branches until further notice is provided. According to them, with the current pandemic, this is the best decision that the company could make.
Waterstones, which is a bookstore chain, claimed that it is as important as any pharmacy and supermarket. Hence they have decided to keep it open. But just hours after it released this statement, James Daunt, the Chief Executive of Waterstones, announced again that they have decided to close all of its 280 branches in the UK until further notice. James Daunt said that the decision was taken when various employees started complaining that they felt a risk working at the store as they were not provided with proper hand gloves and sanitizers.
Other stores like Fashion Retailers Primark, John Lewis, Kurt Geiger, TopShop, and NewLook also have decided to close all their stores. A spokesperson from Primark said that the priority of their store is to safeguard the health of their employees and customers. The company has more than 37,000 employees, and the company has also said that they will be provided with full pay for 14 days until the store is provided with further guidelines related to the ongoing pandemic.
Many other retail stores have been forced to remain closed due to the guidelines provided by the government. HMV, which is a media retailer, said that they are closing the store with a heavy heart. They tried to keep it open for as long as possible to provide people with the entertainment they require in such a moment of crisis.
The government has issued a lock down on almost every store other than pharmacy and food marts because medicine and grocery are the primary needs of every citizen. Whether this lock down will continue indefinitely or it is only a matter of days, is still not clear.