Restaurant Brands International (RBI), the company that owns Tim Hortons, Burger King and Popeyes, has released some details on how it plans to reopen dining rooms when it’s safe to do so.
“After eight long weeks, most of us in North America are now shifting our mindset from crisis mode to recovery mode. Governments and health authorities are releasing reopening plans for our communities. And everyone is feeling the responsibility of getting it right as the world reopens for business,” Jose Cil, CEO, Restaurant Brands International, wrote in an open letter.
“We are now moving into the next phase of reopening dining rooms according to guidance from local authorities and will be welcoming back millions of guests to dine-in at our convenient locations.”
Cil said the company’s 30 most senior restaurant leaders from around the world have participated in daily morning calls for the last two months and learned about best practices from all over the globe.
“Our early decision to take the temperatures of all our team members at the start of each shift in North America is just one good example of something we learned from our colleagues in Asia where they are a couple months ahead of us and have learned how to safely reopen dining rooms while giving comfort to our guests,” Cil wrote.
Cil wrote that the company knows that parts of its restaurants need to change – possibly forever. According to the letter, the company is evaluating more comfortable and reusable masks that may become part of its standard uniforms. The company has also added hundreds of new restaurants onto delivery apps and improved the drive-thru experience. It has also expanded its mobile order and pay and curbside pick-up options, the letter says.
To prepare for in-house dining, the company is maintaining a ‘safe distance’ rule in its dining rooms.
“We have designed beautiful tabletop signage to indicate which tables are open and which ones are reserved to help maintain safe distances. We will be sanitizing tables and chairs after each use and will have hand sanitizer available in the dining room for our guests,” Cil wrote.
“We have turned off our self-serve soda fountains and are offering beverages, extra condiments and trays from the behind the front counter. And we benefit from a business model inside our restaurants that has minimal contact with anyone other than your friends and family who you are sitting with.”
The letter says employees are participating in “thorough, rigorous” training to ensure that all health and safety protocols are well-known and implemented.
“So, the next time you walk into a Burger King, Tim Hortons or Popeyes dining room, we will proudly welcome you back – and our restaurant owners and their incredible teams are looking forward to serving you responsibly and safely, as we have throughout and especially during the crisis,” the letter reads.