Coronavirus: McDonald's to temporarily stop takeaway service but deliveries will continue

The fast-food restaurant said only drive-thru, online orders and deliveries will be allowed. ST PHOTO: DESMOND WEE

SINGAPORE - Fast-food chain McDonald's will no longer be offering takeaway orders at its restaurants' counters from Saturday (April 18) until May 4, in a precautionary move to "flatten the curve" of the coronavirus.

Customers will still be able to order from the fast-food restaurant via delivery services such as McDelivery and GrabFood, and place orders at drive-thru restaurants from their vehicles.

In a press release on Friday, managing director of McDonald's Singapore Kenneth Chan said: "By temporarily stopping takeaway service, we can reduce interaction between our customers and employees during this circuit breaker period - and also enable more of our senior employees to stay at home over the next two weeks."

Restaurant employees will be deployed to ensure delivery riders wait for food pick-ups in a safe environment within the restaurant premises and comply strictly with safe distancing measures.

For employees and seniors whose roles will be disrupted due to the change, McDonald's will continue to pay their salaries.

Mr Chan said: "We are extremely grateful to all our McDonald's front-liners for their hard work and continued support of our customers during these challenging times.

"As we've said before, our priority since the start of the pandemic has always been about keeping our employees, our customers and our restaurants safe, and we are determined to stay united with the rest of Singapore to flatten the curve."

"Flattening the curve" generally refers to attempts to keep the number of new infection cases reported each day as low as possible.

The Straits Times understands it will be business as usual at Burger King. Other fast-food chains such as KFC and A&W did not reply by press time.

On Sunday, five McDonald's employees at the Lido, Forum Galleria, Parklane and Geylang East Central outlets were diagnosed with Covid-19.

They are quarantined in medical facilities, and all other workers at the affected branches have been told to isolate themselves with a 14-day leave of absence. The four restaurants have been cleaned and are closed until further notice.

The company said the affected employees comprise crew and managers: three women and two men between the ages of 25 and 45.

Join ST's Telegram channel and get the latest breaking news delivered to you.