TORONTO — In an open letter released Tuesday, Restaurant Brands International (RBI) CEO Jose Cil discussed what reopening will look like for the company’s various brands and addressed changes Tim Hortons, Burger King and Popeyes locations will incorporate upon reopening — many of which may remain a part of the restaurant experience, even after the Coronavirus pandemic has ended.
“After eight long weeks, most of us in North America are now shifting our mindset from crisis mode to recovery mode. Governments and health authorities are releasing reopening plans for our communities. And everyone is feeling the responsibility of getting it right as the world reopens for business,” he said.
With nearly 15,000 restaurant locations across North America, Cil acknowledged team members and restaurant owners at RBI’s brands “have done an incredible job in operating drive-thru, delivery and mobile channels efficiently and safely throughout this crisis. We’re now moving into the next phase of reopening dining-rooms according to guidance from local authorities and will be welcoming back millions of guests to dine-in at our convenient locations.”
The letter said hundreds of new RBI locations have been added to delivery apps, while mobile order-and-pay, and curbside pick-up offerings have been expanded. Acrylic shields have been installed alongside the implementation of contactless service at most locations, and “safe-distance” rules are set in place, regardless of community requirements. Customers will also find tabletop signage indicating which seats are available and which are reserved to preserve distancing; tables and chairs are being sanitized after each use, with sanitizer available for guests as well; self-serve offerings have been moved behind the counter; and the company was early to implement temperature checks for team members.
“In times of crisis, you rely heavily on what you believe in,” said Cil, adding. “We have fully embraced the notion that parts of our restaurants need to change — certainly, for the foreseeable future and possibly forever. For instance, while we have mandated masks and gloves in the short-term, our brand and operations teams are now evaluating more comfortable and reusable masks that may become part of our standard uniforms.”
“So, the next time you walk into a Burger King, Tim Hortons or Popeyes dining-room, we will proudly welcome you back – and our restaurant owners and their incredible teams are looking forward to serving you responsibly and safely, as we have throughout and especially during the crisis.”