Well, you know things are getting dire when fast food chains start closing. McDonald's is closing down its UK stores just days after pledging to stay open.
The company posted the update on its Twitter account over the weekend, doing a 180 on its Friday update in which it confirmed that it would remain open for takeaway and drive thru, but would be shutting down its seating areas. The fast food giant had also promised to help out NHS staff and emergency workers by offering them free hot and cold drinks for the duration of the outbreak, which was well-received, but it won't be able to make good on the offer.
We will be working closely with community groups across the UK and Ireland to distribute food from our restaurants to those most in need. Ahead of closing, all frontline health workers and emergency services personnel will get food and drink for free on sight of an ID.
— McDonald's UK (@McDonaldsUK) March 22, 2020
All 1,350 stores in the UK and Ireland will be closed as of 7pm today, and McDonald's has said that it will be "working closely with community groups across the UK and Ireland to distribute food from our restaurants to those most in need." This has elicited a number of responses, some of which I'd say are unbelievable but this is 2020 and people have been allowed to run rampant on the internet for far too long. Complaints about mixed up orders, and some woman throwing a tantrum because one of the franchises won't sell her frozen nuggets for her son to eat aside, there have been concerns for staff being voiced on Twitter. Addressing the concerns, McDonald's has said:
"All company owned restaurant employees will receive full pay for their scheduled hours until 5th April, we will further support our employees to ensure that those who are eligible can fully benefit from the support packages announced by both governments.
When it comes to franchises, McDonald's has explained that franchisees "set their own pay and conditions for their employees, guided by the UK and Irish governments and by our company policy. All eligible employees will be supported by the packages recently announced by UK & Irish governments." So get your fries, burgers, and nugs in while you can. The golden arches are closed for business.
Feature image credit: McDonald's