Coronavirus: Big name chains shut their doors
*Updated* So far, McDonald's, Pret, Starbucks, Costa, Nando's, Zizzi, ASK, Pizza Express and Greggs have all closed...
Amid the escalating Coronavirus situation, food and drink businesses across the UK are announcing they’re closing, including takeaway, drive-thru and delivery options.
McDonald’s announced on social media that it plans to shut all its branches by 7pm on Monday 23 March, and plans to distribute all remaining food and drink in the coming days to community groups.
The decision has come after concerns about a lack of ‘safe social distancing’ during takeaway and drive-thru collections.
Before the closure this evening, McDonald’s is offering free food and drink to all frontline health and emergency service workers.
McDonald’s had already closed the seating areas in its restaurants after the government’s announcement to shut pubs, clubs, cafes and other eateries last Friday.
Pret has also announced it will be closing all 400 stores in the UK. The chain could have stayed open and acted as a takeaway only. However, it has made the decision to close. It made the announcement on social media.
It might be a while before peri-peri chicken fans can get their fix of their cheeky Nando’s, as the chicken chain has also announced it is closing its 400 restaurants across the UK, including takeaway and delivery.
Any remaining food will be given away to ‘those who need it most across the community’.
Another place which could remain open during Coronavirus, but that has taken the decision to close, is Starbucks. The coffee chain announced the closure on Friday after the government announcement.
Costa Coffee has also announced its closure, but has said it will do its best to keep Costa stores open in hospitals where the company will continue to provide free coffee for the next two weeks for NHS workers who are at the forefront of the Coronavirus crisis.
The pizza chain, which has already been in a bit of difficulty recently, has also decided to temporarily close. Pizza Express announced, "We’ve now taken the decision to temporarily close ALL our UK Pizzerias including our Deliveroo, Click & Collect & Takeaway service, effective immediately.
"As events unfolded over the weekend and with the increased social distancing being mandated, we no longer believe it remains in the best interests of our customers and teams to continue to operate in this way.
"We’ll open our pizzerias again as soon as it is safe to do so. We'll get through this. Together."
Zizzi and Ask Italian
Italian chain Zizzi and Ask Italian (both owned by The Azzurri Group) have also closed their 300 or so sites across the UK, ensuring all leftover food goes to food banks and those that will benefit from it the most.
UK favourite Greggs has also taken the tough decision to close all its stores, despite most of its business already being takeaway/convenience. The company said on Twitter, "We've been doing everything we can to keep our shops open and everyone safe, but it has become clear that to help us all maintain social distance we need to go further and close all of our shops completely."
It's likely there will be more announcements soon... we'll keep you updated.