It has been an unprecedented four months. After 45 years serving the UK, at no point did we expect to close every restaurant for any period of time. You may not know that in the UK, the vast majority of our 1,350 restaurants are owned and operated by individual business men and women. Our franchisees own and operate an average of six restaurants each and serve as active members in your local communities. Together with those franchisees and the 80,000 employees who have returned to work already, we have worked hard to return to serving your favourites in towns and cities across the country over the last four weeks.
As ever, I am incredibly proud of the way everyone in the McDonald’s system has worked together to return quickly and safely to the communities in which we operate, from farmers and suppliers right through to our restaurant teams. I am writing to you today with our response to recent announcements from the UK Government.
Last week’s package of business support from the Chancellor was a vital boost for our sector. Daily headlines on the challenges faced by retail and hospitality cause such uncertainty for so many. I am very grateful for the support from our franchisees, who balance the needs of their local businesses with that principle of returning their employees back to work and customer support; many of them have faced challenges while we were closed, and are working hard to recover their businesses.
As such, I am pleased to announce the following:
Reducing the price of your favourites:
Following the Chancellor’s VAT reduction, we have recommended to our franchisees* a price reduction on meal bundles and McDonald’s classics, like the Big Mac®, Quarter Pounder™ with Cheese and six Chicken McNuggets®. While prices may vary slightly in certain locations, the recommendation includes a 40p reduction on Extra Value Meals menu and 30p for every Happy Meal®.
Additionally, with breakfast now available across the UK, we have recommended a 50p reduction on breakfast meals and up to 30p off the price of single McMuffins®. These new lower prices will be available from 5am Wednesday, 15 July for meals purchased through the Drive-thru or in our restaurants for takeaway or dine-in (when we reopen).
Great tasting coffee, even better price:
When reviewing the package of support from the Government, we worked to balance providing additional value to our customers whilst still ensuring our franchisees can support their employees and return more people back to work sooner.
In addition to the reduction on meal prices, our McCafe® coffee range will also provide even greater value to customers with prices reduced to offer black and white coffee for 99p* and premium coffees like our Latte and Cappuccino for £1.49*. All of our coffees continue to be made with British Organic Milk and freshly ground Rainforest Alliance certified Arabica beans and this discount applies from Wednesday morning.
Reopening for Dine-In:
The headline-grabbing part of the Chancellor’s announcement was the ‘Eat Out to Help Out’ scheme, offering 50% off dine-in bills up to £10 on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays in August. This is a fantastic boost for the sector and an initiative we are understandably keen to participate in. However, we are not yet open for dine-in. We are working to reopen our dine-in restaurants when we are confident we can adhere to the government guidance, which enables our teams to work and customers to visit safely.
Following the announcement, we have reopened four restaurants across the UK and Ireland to test dine-in and will extend this pilot further in the Republic of Ireland this week so that we can quickly test the procedures and safety measures we will introduce to enable dine-in.
I have been clear throughout this crisis that we will only move forwards with the next stage of our reopening plans when we can do so safely – enabling our people to work safely and you to visit us safely.
Our dine-in pilot will see us reopen with Table Service only, reducing capacity by as much as 70% in some restaurants to enable social distancing. You will be able to order at the kiosk, at the till or at your table using the My McDonald’s app and we will bring the food to you at your table to prevent congestion with takeaway customers and delivery couriers. Hand-sanitising stations, floor markings and Perspex screens will be in restaurants to enable you to visit safely, we will be cleaning touchpoints and seating areas more frequently and we are testing this week how to reopen the outside seating areas in our restaurants to enable more customers to dine with us. We will update on this in more detail later this week.
Together with our franchisees, we are delighted to be back.
I’ve written to you several times about the overwhelming reaction we’ve seen from customers across the UK and Ireland, and I am so pleased that we have had so many people return to work to serve in over 1,300 restaurants. It does look different, it will continue to take a little longer and we are still working through how to return more of your favourites to the menu in the coming weeks and months, including our popular Big Flavour Wraps.
We welcome the timely package of measures from the UK government to protect the hospitality sector. They enable us, along with our franchisees, to protect our people, absorb the increased costs of operating safely in the post-COVID world and to provide even greater value to our customers with reduced pricing on certain menu items. We are committed to remaining open in the towns and cities we’ve proudly served since 1974 and thank you for the continued support.
Chief Executive Officer, McDonald’s UK and Ireland