In this file:


·         McDonald's halts dining room reopenings ahead of July 4 holiday

·         NYC, other jurisdictions postpone or pull back indoor dining rules

·         States Scrap Indoor Dining as COVID-19 Cases Rise



McDonald's halts dining room reopenings ahead of July 4 holiday

Citing a rise in coronavirus cases across the United States, leaders pause dine-in reopenings for the next three weeks. The brand has opened about 2,200 dining rooms.


Nancy Luna, Nation's Restaurant News 

Jul 01, 2020


Citing a rise in coronavirus cases across the United States, McDonald’s Corp. is halting the reopening of more dining rooms in the U.S.


“Keeping with our thoughtful approach to reopening, effective today, we are pausing all dine-in reopening plans for 21 days,” company leaders wrote in a letter viewed by Nation’s Restaurant News.


To date, the Chicago-based burger giant has reopened dining rooms in 2,200 restaurants, which is about 15% of the company’s nearly 14,000 units in the U.S.


Restaurants remain open for off-premise orders.


In the July 1 letter, signed by McDonald’s USA President Joe Erlinger and franchise leader Mark Salebra, the company said locations that have re-opened their dining rooms “should carefully review any new guidance” from state and local government officials that may require the rolling back of dine in due to COVID-19 escalations.


On Wednesday, California Gov. Gavin Newsom ordered indoor operations to close at restaurants in 19 counties where coronavirus cases have spiked.


“Our resiliency will be tested again. COVID-19 cases are on the rise – with a 65 percent increase in infections over the last two weeks,” the letter states.


The leaders told operators that the company has benefited from a “long term mindset” when it comes to protecting customers and employees during the coronavirus pandemic.


With cases spiking, the company is playing the long game, again.


“Given the rise in COVID-19 cases, we must act with the same mindset and discipline we employed throughout the crisis,” according to the letter.


The setback comes as McDonald’s leaders began positioning restaurants for the next phase of the pandemic...





NYC, other jurisdictions postpone or pull back indoor dining rules

As coronavirus infections spike, restrictions tighten on restaurant reopenings


Ron Ruggless, Nation's Restaurant News 

Jul 01, 2020


New York City is postponing indoor restaurant dining indefinitely and other states, including California, and cities were pulling back from reopening plans as coronavirus cases continued to spike in many areas.


California Gov. Gavin Newsom Wednesday afternoon said increasing spread of COVID-19 required it to order closure of indoor operations for three weeks at restaurants in 19 of the state’s 58 counties as well as all bars in those jurisdictions. California will enforce the public health orders with a multi-agency strike team, Newsom said.


The indoor dining postponement in New York City and ban in counties in California followed postponements in New Jersey, Philadelphia and roll-backs of dine-in restrictions in Texas and Florida.


Nancy Luna sat down with the founder of Lazy Dog, Chris Simms, for an upcoming NRN Extra Serving podcast when news broke about the new California restrictions. Watch the moment here:





States Scrap Indoor Dining as COVID-19 Cases Rise


By Victoria Campisi, The Food Institute

Jul 2, 2020


Several states and companies are halting indoor dining reopening plans as regions report record coronavirus cases.


New Jersey's governor Phil Murphy stopped plans to restart his state's indoor dining on July 2, postponing the move indefinitely after finding some restaurants were overcrowded and many patrons were not wearing masks, reported (June 29).


The New Jersey Restaurant and Hospitality Association argued the state is punishing the entire industry for the actions of a few instead of using enforcement.


After debating whether to do the same, New York City ultimately decided to also not allow indoor dining to resume as originally scheduled due to growing outbreaks in other parts of the U.S., Mayor Bill de Blasio and Gov. Andrew Cuomo said July 1, reported The Globe and Mail (July 1).


The U.S. reported a new daily record for coronavirus infections, with John Hopkins University reporting 50,700 cases July 1, reported Yakima Herald-Republic (July 2). Confirmed cases in California increased nearly 50% in the past two weeks, while Florida, Arizona, and Texas reported surging caseloads.


De Blasio mentioned he was concerned if the city welcomed diners back into the enclosed spaces of its restaurants, it might experience the same surge in illness being seen in these states. “Honestly, even a week ago, honestly, I was hopeful we could. But the news we have gotten from around the country gets worse and worse all the time," he said.


Cuomo said the ban on indoor dining would be confined to New York City, where he complained that compliance with social-distancing guidelines is dropping. “This is a New York City-only modification because frankly it is a problem that is most pronounced in New York City," he said.


De Blasio said that outdoor dining at restaurants, which started about two weeks ago, can continue. He said 6,600 restaurants in the city have applied for permits to serve patrons outdoors and he expects more to follow suit.


In California, bars, wineries, and indoor restaurant dining were shut down for three weeks in Los Angeles and 18 counties to address the concerning spike in coronavirus cases and hospitalizations, reported The Wichita Eagle (July 1).


“The bottom line is the spread of this virus continues at a rate that is particularly concerning,” Gov. Gavin Newsom said. To encourage more adherence to health rules, Newsom said the state is also creating “strike teams” of state regulators to more aggressively go after non-compliant businesses.


Additionally, Virginia did not allow restaurants to fully reopen their bars as it moved into Phase 3 of the state's reopening on July 1, reported Richmond Times-Dispatch (June 30). Phase 2 rules will continue to apply to bar areas, permitting limited table service and prohibiting customers from sitting at bar counters.


“I am watching what is happening in other states, we are taking a cautious approach as we enter Phase 3 and maintaining the current restrictions on bar areas,” Northam said in a statement...


more, including links