Some McDonald's locations could close self-serve soda fountains amid pandemic

Some McDonald's locations could close self-serve soda fountains amid pandemic
Posted at 10:00 AM, May 15, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-15 10:00:09-04

McDonald's has already publicly announced new guidelines for reopening restaurants. But new updates indicate that front-of-the-counter soda fountains could be closed for the foreseeable future.

Among the changes the restaurant is recommending to operators are modifications to the "beverage bar" to ensure proper social distancing. Some franchisees may choose to staff in-front-of-the-counter fountains with an employee to minimize contact between customers, while others may choose to close such fountains entirely and only fill sodas behind the counter.

McDonald's is also recommending that franchisees install foot pulls on bathroom doors so customers can enter restrooms without using their hands.

The Wall Street Journal was the first to report on the changes Thursday. The newspaper says McDonald's sent a 59-page dine-in reopening guide to the operates of the restaurant. Other recommendations include installing touchless paper towel dispensers and sinks — which could cost thousands of dollars to install.

The Journal's reporting comes days after McDonald's published several changes to dine-in service on its website, including restricted seating, an increase in the frequency of cleaning and disinfecting, requiring masks for employees in areas where it is required by law and the closure of play places.