Multinational fast food giant McDonald’s is to conduct “some operational tests to explore” what reopening might look like this week as part of plans towards “a potential and limited reopening” in its Irish and UK outlets.

In a statement today, Tuesday, April 28, Paul Pomroy, McDonald’s CEO for UK and Ireland, said:

“In March, we took the decision to temporarily close our restaurants in the UK and Ireland for the safety of our people and customers.

Recently, we began working through a potential and limited reopening. We have been listening to our employees and customers as well as engaging with government and trade bodies in the UK and Ireland to help ensure we do this responsibly, when the time is right.

The CEO highlighted that restarting the business is not an easy task, even when reopening in a limited capacity.

“We have set ourselves some key criteria for reopening, all of which take time – first and foremost ensuring the well-being of our people and creating the right environment for them to return to work; secondly ensuring we have enough supply of fresh produce; and finally working in-step with government guidelines to ensure the safety of our customers,” Pomroy explained.

This week we are carrying out some operational tests to explore what our reopening might look like; the UK restaurant where these tests will take place will remain closed to the public.

The CEO explained: “These tests will include exploring social distancing measures for our crew, PPE [personal protection equipment] options and opening in a limited capacity.

“For now we remain closed, and will only reopen when we are absolutely confident we can have the right measures in place to ensure everyone’s well-being,” Pomroy concluded.

Largest buyer of Irish beef

Any potential reopening would be 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.