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You'll Never Do This One Thing at McDonald's Again

The fast food giant will be shutting off this mainstay device at many of its locations after reopening.
fountain machine

Like many restaurants, both sit-down and fast-casual alike, dining will not look the same post-pandemic for quite some time. As cities begin to reopen, expect to see the soda fountains shut off at your favorite fast-food restaurants, McDonald's included.

According to The Wall Street Journal, the fast-food giant asked hundreds of its franchisees to implement social distancing regulations in its restaurants—one of which is to either close off soda dispensers or stations entirely, or have a staff worker in front of them to ensure people are keeping their distance from one another.

This move is in an effort to keep customers safe by avoiding the spread of germs on,and around the self-serve soda fountain machines.

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The Journal had access to McDonald's new 59-page dine-in reopening guide which, "outlines the challenges that McDonald's expects employees to face as states begin to allow for sit-down restaurant service while upholding social-distancing rules."

Other new changes articulated in the guide include introducing contactless payment options as well as protective panels on counters and even at the drive-thru window. Dining rooms will be deep cleaned before reopening and tables and serving trays will be sanitized after each use. Additionally, McDonald's will offer hand sanitizer or hand wipes for each customer to use while dining-in.

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Another big change at McDonald's will be the incorporation of floor decals that will help demonstrate just how far customers need to stand apart from each other to stay safe. As far as self-service kiosks go, while efficient for ordering purposes, use of them will become limited as they are a common touchpoint. When they are available for use, though, the touch screen monitors and keypads will be disinfected regularly.

Play areas will also remain closed for the time being and new purchases are in the works to make the dining-in experience even safer for both staff and consumers. In the guide, there is a list of products suggested to be installed into store bathrooms, such as a $310 automatic towel dispenser and a $718 touchless sink.

"We ask that you remember: We only get one chance to do this the right way," the guide said.

As your city reopens, consider reading the Precautions You Must Take Before Going to a Restaurant so you can remain safe while also supporting the restaurant industry.

Eat This, Not That! is constantly monitoring the latest food news as it relates to COVID-19 in order to keep you healthy, safe, and informed (and answer your most urgent questions). Here are the precautions you should be taking at the grocery store, the foods you should have on hand, the meal delivery services and restaurant chains offering takeout you need to know about, and ways you can help support those in need. We will continue to update these as new information develops. Click here for all of our COVID-19 coverage, and sign up for our newsletter to stay up-to-date.

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Cheyenne Buckingham
Cheyenne Buckingham is the news editor of Eat This, Not That!, specializing in food and drink coverage, and breaking down the science behind the latest health studies and information. Read more
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