McDonald’s asks for rent cut ahead of reopen in coronavirus lockdown
The fast food giant closed its doors on March 22 ahead of the lockdown the next day. McDonald’s is planning to relaunch with just 15 branches later in May.
As other businesses have raised concerns about their financial future following closures of more than a month, McDonald’s said it has opened discussions with its landlords over its rent.
A spokesman told Sky News in a statement: “Despite restaurants being closed, we have continued to pay rent in full and have been very clear that we will continue to meet our obligations to landlords across the McDonald’s estate.
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“Given the unprecedented situation and impact it has had on the business, we have opened dialogue with some of our landlords to discuss how they might offer support on rent and service charges for a short period due to our restaurants not trading.”
A limited menu will be in place and breakfast options will not be available for the time being, allowing smaller teams to follow social distancing guidelines in the kitchens.
Perspex screens and floor markings have also been introduced in specific areas of the restaurants.
Protective equipment, including non-medical grade face masks, will be given to employees in the small scale reopen.
Each worker will also be asked if they are fit to work and will have their temperatures taken before starting each shift.
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In April, the British Retail Consortium and the British Property Federation both wrote to Chancellor Rishi Sunak seeking more support for shops and landlords.
They want the government to support a “furloughed space grant scheme” where businesses would pay some rent, landlords would agree to a reduction and the state would make-up the shortfall.
A spokesman for the Treasury said: “We recognise the current challenges facing commercial landlords and the significant impact recent changes are having on their business models.
“We also recognise that many landlords are working closely with tenants to find solutions that work for both parties.
“Our package of support for businesses currently includes our new bounce back loans, which provide quick and easy support for eligible companies that is interest-free for the first 12 months, our job retention scheme and other measures such as protecting commercial tenants from eviction.”
Last week, McDonald’s revealed that the coronavirus outbreak had sent like-for-like sales down 3.4 percent in the first quarter.
Around three quarters of its outlets across the world remained opened and were serving people via drive-throughs, delivery or takeaway services.
The UK is among a few of its markets where it has temporarily closed all of its sites, including France, Italy and Spain.
The 15 reopened stores in the UK will be delivery only for the foreseeable future.
Published at Mon, 04 May 2020 02:08:00 +0000