More Closures Hitting Restaurant Industry

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Image Credit: istock.com/southtownboy

TORONTO — Some of the biggest names in the restaurant industry have announced closures due to the outbreak of the novel coronavirus, COVID-19.

Both McDonald’s and Starbucks have announced sweeping closures of their dine-in options in their restaurants moving forward.

Starbucks announced all of its Canadian cafes are moving exclusively to takeout and delivery — with some exceptions being made for locations serving frontline healthcare workers.

In a statement, president of Starbucks Canada Lori Digulla said, “For the time being, customers will not be able to sit in our stores and enjoy the Third Place we work so hard to offer them every day. This decision was not made lightly, as we know the important role our stores play in service of our communities and how our customers enjoy our seating as an important part of their daily lives.”

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The measures Starbucks is introducing will last for at least the next two weeks, and include removing all seating from restaurants; changing cash-handling procedures; modifying different elements of the store, such as the condiments bar and MOP handoff plane; and the temporary closure of company-operated stores in high-risk areas such as those in malls and universities.
Every Starbucks in the country will have shifted to a “to-go” model by March 25.

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McDonald’s Canada released a statement yesterday announcing the closure of its dine-in services for the foreseeable future.

“With our people, our guests and our communities in mind, we’ve made the decision to stop offering take-out and curbside service. Our restaurant dining rooms will be fully closed as of midnight tonight. Drive-thru and McDelivery service continue to be available,” the statement read.

The move went into effect at midnight on March 21, and there is no timeline on when McDonald’s will return to full service.

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