McDonald's is to begin its reopening plans by starting with 15 of its outlets in the UK on May 13 - on a limited, delivery-only capacity - the fast food giant has announced today, Friday, May 1.

In a statement, McDonald’s UK and Ireland chief executive Paul Pomroy confirmed the news and outlined the new safety measures that will be in place when its outlets reopen.

McDonald’s is planning for the reopening of its restaurants in Ireland - but there is currently no definitive date in place as of yet.

In his statement, Pomroy said: "This week we have been running controlled tests to explore the safest way to reopen our restaurants.

The tests have proven successful and I will outline the ways in which we will slowly, but safely, begin to resume serving McDonald’s customers again.

"On Wednesday, May 13, we will reopen 15 of our restaurants in the UK; this will be in a limited capacity with delivery only.

"The restaurants involved will be announced next week as we work through inviting our employees back to work and supporting our delivery partners to prepare for our gradual return. "

The CEO outlined the new safety measures in place, noting that routine cleaning will be carried out on an increased basis and all employees will be provided with updated training on restaurant cleanliness and sanitisation.

"All restaurants will be deep cleaned before reopening.

The following measures are set to be introduced:

  • Perspex screens and floor markings will be introduced in specific areas;
  • Additional protective equipment including non-medical grade face masks will be provided;
  • All employees will be asked to confirm they are fit and able to work, and contactless thermometers will be used, with temperatures taken on arrival at work for every shift;
  • Social distancing measures will be introduced for all delivery and service partners.

Noting that the company will be offering a reduced menu on its return to support social distancing in kitchens, Pomroy added that, in conjunction with Uber Eats, perspex screens, sanitising stations and new social distancing procedures will be introduced to continue the contact-free collections and drop-offs that closed in March.

Largest Buyer Of Irish Beef

News of the planned reopening will come as extremely welcome news for Irish beef farmers, with McDonald’s claiming the title of the largest buyer of Irish beef by volume every year.

The firm sources beef from 18,000 Irish farms for hamburgers across Europe.

“We purchase 40,000t of beef which is then exported to other European markets, meaning that every year one in five hamburgers sold in McDonald’s in Europe is of Irish origin,” the fast food giant notes on its website.