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May 14, 2020
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Most fast food restaurants closed their dining rooms in mid-March as the COVID-19 pandemic escalated in the United States and have remained to-go only for weeks. But now, many states are easing their social distancing restrictions and some chains like Popeyes, Burger King, and more are reopening some of their dining rooms.
In a post this week, the CEO of Restaurant Brands International, which owns chains Popeyes, Burger King, and Tim Hortons, announced that the brand's restaurants would be reopening its some of its dining rooms in North America in accordance with guidance from local authorities. A report from Business Insider put that the number of dining rooms at nearly 1,000.

The letter outlined steps the larger restaurant corporation is taking like putting social distancing measures in its dining rooms to offering hand sanitizer to eliminating self-serve stations like soda fountains and condiments. You can read the entire letter here.

McDonald's is also beginning to open up some of its dining rooms, according to Business Insider. Similar social distancing standards will be put in place, McDonald's US Vice President of Communications David Tovar told the publication, and there will be a standard of precautions franchisees will have to make before they can make the decision to reopen or not.

Delish reached out to McDonald's to confirm these dining rooms reopening but did not immediately hear back.

These changes are not just limited to fast food. Some restaurant chains like Olive Garden and Red Lobster are reopening some of their dining room locations where it is permitted, but they will have enhanced social distancing and safety measures.

But not everyone is reopening for dine-in service just yet. Georgia-based Chick-fil-A did not immediately reopen its dining rooms despite the state easing restrictions last month, but as of May 1, some of its locations will offer carry-out.

Similarly, Wendy's CEO Todd Penegor said that the chain is "in no rush to reopen our dining rooms," during an earnings call last week, according to Restaurant Business Online.

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