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July 1, 2020, 6:08 p.m. EDT

McDonald’s puts reopening plans on hold as coronavirus cases rise

Burger chain to wait at least three weeks before opening more sites

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By Heather Haddon


Bloomberg News
Around 2,200 of McDonald’s 14,000 U.S. restaurants now allow customers to eat their meals inside.

McDonald’s Corp. is pausing the reopening of dine-in service in the U.S. as coronavirus cases continue to spread across states.

The burger giant said Wednesday that it would wait three weeks before any new U.S. restaurants add dine-in service to its drive-through, takeout and delivery operations.

“Our resiliency will be tested again. COVID-19 cases are on the rise,” said a company letter by Joe Erlinger, McDonald’s U.S. president, and Mark Salebra, head of the National Franchisee Leadership Alliance owners association, that was viewed by The Wall Street Journal.

McDonald’s /zigman2/quotes/203508018/composite MCD +0.95%   operators began offering limited, dine-in service in May, and around 2,200 of its 14,000 U.S. restaurants now allow customers to eat their meals inside. Restaurant owners that began offering dine-in service can continue if their jurisdiction still allows it, the letter said, but the company decided to halt additional openings as a number of state and local governments tighten social-distancing regulations ahead of the July 4 holiday weekend.

More states, cities and counties are scaling back on reopening plans for bars and restaurants given a surge in virus cases. On Wednesday, California ordered 19 counties to stop allowing indoor dining and recreation for at least three weeks as cases have rapidly grown in the most populous areas. New York City, meanwhile, delayed indoor dining service that was slated to resume July 6.

An expanded version of this report appears on WSJ.com:

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/zigman2/quotes/203508018/composite
US : U.S.: NYSE
$ 218.18
+2.06 +0.95%
Volume: 2.20M
Sept. 25, 2020 4:00p
P/E Ratio
34.60
Dividend Yield
2.29%
Market Cap
$162.35 billion
Rev. per Employee
$100,120
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