COVID-19: Chick-fil-A temporarily closes dining rooms in US

Quick-service chicken chain Chick-fil-A announced Sunday that dining rooms throughout the U.S. will temporarily close in order to help reduce COVID-19 exposure through social distancing.

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(Chick-fil-A)
(Chick-fil-A)

Quick-service chicken chain Chick-fil-A announced Sunday that dining rooms throughout the U.S. will temporarily close in order to help reduce COVID-19 exposure through social distancing.

The brand is best known for its fried chicken sandwich and nuggets.

“Our highest priority continues to be the health and well-being of everyone who comes into our restaurants. As we navigate the evolving impact of coronavirus on our communities, we are temporarily closing our dining room seating to help limit person-to-person contact,” an announcement on the Chick-fil-A website said.

Drive-thru, takeout, delivery and mobile order options will still be available at most locations. Earlier last week, Chick-fil-A shut down its playgrounds, but still allowed customers to dine in.

Other quick service chains may soon follow

McDonald's was the next chain to close dining rooms, announcing on March 16 that "McDonald’s USA company-owned restaurants will close seating areas, including the use of self-service beverage bars and kiosks, and shift our focus to serving customers through drive-thru, walk-in take-out and McDelivery."

Yum! Brands, the parent company of brands KFC, Pizza Hut and Taco Bell, is “working with delivery partners around the globe to prepare for an increase in demand for online ordering and delivery services,” according to a statement on their website.  Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen plans to "implement a reduced contact experience at our restaurants" through contactless delivery, drive-thru and pickup options.

Restaurants and bars ordered to close

Multiple states throughout the U.S., including Massachusetts, Ohio and California, have ordered restaurants and bars to shut down, restrict capacity or shift to delivery or takeout only.

Further closures could be coming. On Sunday, Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases told CBS News’ “Face the Nation” that it’s possible all restaurants and bars will soon be asked to close for a period of time.

View our continuing coverage of the coronavirus/COVID-19 pandemic.

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