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McDonald's tests restaurant designed to combat COVID-19 spread

Heidi Chung
Reporter

The COVID-19 pandemic has altered the way consumers behave, and as a result, McDonald’s (MCD) is attempting to change the way it operates by reportedly testing a new kind of restaurant focusing on social distancing and safety in the Netherlands.

At the trial location in Arnhem, Netherlands, there will be hand sanitizers at the entrance, hand washing stations, customers will have to wait in designated waiting spots and have their food delivered by meal trolleys, according to Reuters.

A man takes a number at a prototype location of fast food giant McDonald's for restaurants which respect the 1.5m social distancing measure, amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, in Arnhem, Netherlands, May 1, 2020. REUTERS/Piroschka van de Wouw

“We have tried to figure out how to keep our customers and employees safe, while maintaining a restaurant atmosphere,” McDonald’s Netherlands spokeswoman Eunice Koekkoek told Reuters. “These are drastic changes, but we hope to make them in a way that customers don’t notice them too much.”

In addition to encouraging 1.5 meters of social distance, a host will stand behind a plastic barrier as they help patrons line up.

A customer receives her order inside a prototype location of fast food giant McDonald's for restaurants which respect the 1.5m social distancing measure, amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, in Arnhem, Netherlands, May 1, 2020. REUTERS/Piroschka van de Wouw

Much like other countries around the world, non-essential businesses like restaurants have been closed to the public since March 15 in the Netherlands. According to Johns Hopkins University data, there were more than 3.2 million confirmed coronavirus cases worldwide, as of Friday morning.

McDonald’s reported first-quarter results Thursday, and the company said that about 75% of its stores globally were in operation.

Customers wait outside on social distancing markings at a prototype location of fast food giant McDonald's for restaurants which respect the 1.5m social distancing measure, amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, in Arnhem, Netherlands, May 1, 2020. REUTERS/Piroschka van de Wouw

Heidi Chung is a reporter at Yahoo Finance. Follow her on Twitter: @heidi_chung.

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