Costa, Subway and McDonalds announce UK-wide closures
Date published: 23 March 2020
Photo: Google, Digital Globe
McDonald's at Sandbrook Park
All UK branches of Costa Coffee, Subway and McDonalds will be closed by the end of Monday to prevent the spread of coronavirus.
Thousands of the national branches will close until further notice, and Nando’s – which was set to open in the new Riverside Shopping Complex next month – has also closed its 400 restaurants until further notice
The decisions come as one of the latest measures to support social distancing and minimising contact.
However, Costa stores in hospitals will remain open where the chain is providing free takeaway coffee for NHS workers.
Subway said: “We have authorised all of our franchise owners to close their stores in the United Kingdom and Ireland from 5pm today (23 March 2020), until further notice.
“We believe this is the best thing to help support social distancing and keep everyone as healthy as possible for as long as possible.
“However, many of our franchise owners are continuing to support the nation's frontline workers in their amazing efforts, by donating food responsibly, over the next few days.
“We'll be back with you as soon as we can.”
Costa said: “At Costa Coffee, our number one priority is the safety of our store teams and customers. As the need to support social distancing increases, we have taken the decision to temporarily close our stores from this evening, Monday 23 March.
“We will do our best to keep Costa stores open in hospitals where we will continue to provide free takeaway coffee for the next two weeks to the NHS workers who are at the forefront of this crisis.
“Our baristas are the heart of our business. During these unprecedented times, we are extremely grateful for the service they have continued to deliver to our customers. As previously communicated, we will be paying all our store team members, whose store has closed, their full average weekly pay over eight weeks.
“Whilst our stores will be closed, our commitment to our communities does not stop. We have pledged to provide support to those in need over the coming weeks and months, providing food and drink, and allowing our teams to support their own communities locally.”
Paul Pomroy, Chief Executive Officer of McDonald’s UK & Ireland, said: “I am incredibly grateful to our brilliant employees who have been working hard to continue to serve you safely in difficult circumstances.
“Over the last 24 hours, it has become clear that maintaining safe social distancing whilst operating busy takeaway and Drive Thru restaurants is increasingly difficult and therefore we have taken the decision to close every restaurant in the UK and Ireland by 7pm on Monday 23 March.
“We have not taken this decision lightly and know that our restaurants have been playing an important role in the community providing hundreds of thousands of free drinks to frontline health and social workers and emergency services personnel.
“But I have been clear throughout this that we would only continue to operate whilst it was safe for our people and together with our franchisees, we feel now is the time to make this decision to temporarily close.
“We will be working closely with community groups across the UK and Ireland to distribute food from our restaurants to those most in need, and ahead of closing tomorrow evening, will ensure frontline health workers and emergency services personnel do not have to pay for any food or drink in our restaurants on sight of their work pass.
“I want to thank every single one of our 135,000 employees. I am so proud of them all for adapting so quickly to a constantly evolving work environment, taking every step to keep our customers, couriers and teams safe and looking after each other so very well.
“We will continue to update you thorough our website, social media channels and email alerts in the coming weeks but in the meantime we thank you for your continued support and custom.
“Take care of one another in these unprecedented times, we look forward to seeing you again as soon as it is safe for us to reopen.”
In a statement, Nando’s said: “The safety and security of our customers and team is always our top priority and with this in mind we have taken the decision to temporarily close all of our restaurants across the UK and Ireland, to help limit the spread of COVID-19 (Coronavirus).
“Eat in, takeaway and delivery for customers will all stop until further notice and our remaining food will be given away to those who need it most across the community.”
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