To encourage diners to feel safer and more comfortable in having their families sit down in its eateries for a meal, Restaurant Brands International (RBI) said it is taking steps to build consumers’ confidence. CEO Jose Cil wrote in an open letter that health authorities and governments are unveiling reopening plans and that “everyone is feeling the responsibility of getting it right as the world reopens for business.”
Cil wrote that the company is offering contactless service and has acrylic barriers at most of its restaurant locations. It is also adhering to a “safe distance” policy in its dining rooms, regardless of whether it is mandated by communities. Additionally, tabletop signage will indicate which tables are open and which are not, and chairs and tables will be sanitized after each use.
RBI has also disabled self-serve soda fountains. Instead, it is providing drinks, trays and additional condiments from behind the counter. And Cil noted that the chain “benefit[s] 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 company has quickly ramped up its digital capabilities, including mobile ordering and payment as well as curbside pick-up options. Hundreds of new eateries have started using delivery apps and have enhanced the drive-thru experience. “There has never been a better time to embrace a business model that serves tens of millions of people a day with speed and limited contact,” Cil said.
In March, news surfaced that RBI would defer rent and provide extra cash to North American franchisees as part of its pandemic response. The company, which oversees 3,700 locations in Canada and the U.S., was to send $70 million in rebates and cash advances to franchisees, per a past report.