Skip to content

Restaurant chains move away from dine-in services due to coronavirus pandemic

Outbreak leads to contactless delivery, tamper-proof packaging for some

Restaurants across the U.S. are moving to off-premises business voluntarily and by order of state and local regulatory agencies. Consumers are also seeking to follow guidance from the CDC regarding social distancing and avoiding large groups. Those most at risk under CDC guidelines are doing even more to avoid public places. Meanwhile, many chain restaurants are making the most of being open by emphasizing takeout, drive-thru and delivery services.

McDonald’s closed company-owned restaurants to dine-in service, including its seating areas, the use of its self-service beverage area and ordering kiosks. The QSR chain shifted to drive-thru service, walk-in takeout, in addition to McDelivery. It also requested its franchisees adopt a similar strategy, taking into consideration local needs and health regulations.

Furthermore, McDonald’s has closed its PlayPlaces at all locations in the United States. Noodles and Company announced “to-go service” only. Customers can order via the rewards app or online on its website, by calling the restaurant ahead of time, by using its delivery partners, Uber Eats and DoorDash, or by using the pick-up window, available at some locations.

Noodles and Company took an additional step: It will also close dine-in service at restaurants at 8 p.m. daily. “Our guests can trust that we have taken every measure possible to protect them throughout this unprecedented situation,” said Dave Boennighausen, chief executive.

Advertisements

Restaurant chains close, modify dining-room service

Here’s an additional list of restaurants that are emphasizing off-premises and/or closing dining rooms:

  • Bahama Breeze – closed all dining rooms at the end of the day March 20, and moved to takeout and delivery model, where possible, announced parent Darden Restaurants
  • Bonefish Grill and Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar – the chains are focusing on takeout and delivery. Dining rooms remain open with limited service where permissible
  • Carrabba’s Italian Grill – the casual-dining chain is emphasizing carryout and delivery, announced its parent on March 20. Dining rooms remain open where permissible
  • Cava – suspended dining service March 16 and offers takeout, order-ahead pick-up and drive-up options
  • Cheddar’s Scratch Kitchen – closed all dining rooms at the end of the day March 20, and moved to takeout and delivery model, where possible, announced parent Darden Restaurants
  • Church’s Chicken – announced moving to takeout, delivery and drive-thru service only March 17
  • Chipotle – currently offering free delivery in March. The fast casual started offering contactless delivery and tamper-evident seals on delivery packaging. Initially keeping restaurants open, the chain switched to to-go sales the week ending March 21
  • Eddie V’s – closed all dining rooms at the end of the day March 20, and moved to takeout and delivery model, where possible, announced parent Darden Restaurants
  • El Pollo Loco – continues to operate dine-in service, but closed its salsa bar and focuses on takeout, delivery and drive-thru (March 17)
  • Friendly’s – its dine-in service closed, it announced March 20, and participating locations will serve takeout and delivery only
  • Dunkin’ Donuts – restaurants closed to dine-in service. Takeout, delivery and drive-thru service will be available
  • Just Salad (moved to all digital ordering) – Some locations will have order-ahead pick-up at the door only. The chain will waive the fees for delivery orders made through its app or on its website. Using tamper-proof packaging
  • LongHorn Steakhouse – closed all dining rooms at the end of the day March 20, and moved to takeout and delivery model, where possible, announced parent Darden Restaurants
  • Outback Steakhouse – will emphasize takeout and delivery. Outback dining rooms remain open where permissible with limiting dining options
  • Olive Garden – closed all dining rooms at the end of the day March 20, and moved to takeout and delivery model, where possible, announced parent Darden Restaurants
  • Panera Bread – may limit service to Rapid Pick-up or delivery on an as-needed basis. Also, it will be providing options for contactless delivery. The fast-casual chain also said it will follow guidelines from CDC, WHO and local health departments regarding its operations
  • Potbelly Sandwich Shops – closed dining room service and is focusing on takeout, delivery and curbside pick-up
  • Seasons 52 – closed all dining rooms at the end of the day March 20, and moved to takeout and delivery model, where possible, announced parent Darden Restaurants
  • Starbucks – company-owned stores will close dine-in service, but customers can still order delivery and access drive-thru locations (updated March 21)
  • Subway – according to a March 20th announcement, the sandwich chain removed dine-in service and moved to a takeout and delivery model only. Free delivery is available with the SUBWAYNOW code
  • Sweetgreen – open for pickup and delivery service only, according to a March 16th announcement
  • Taco Bell – starting March 15, Taco Bell restaurants that are not in-line urban or drive-thru locations went to a delivery-only model. The Mexican-style QSR chain is following mandated dining-room closures
  • The Capital Grille – closed all dining rooms at the end of the day March 20, and moved to takeout and delivery model, where possible, announced parent Darden Restaurants
  • Village Inn, Baker’s Square, O’Charleys – moved to curbside, to-go service only
  • Wendy’s – company-owned stores will close dine-in service, but takeout, delivery and drive-thru still available, reported NRN
  • Yard House – it closed all dining rooms at the end of the day March 20, and moved to takeout and delivery model, where possible, announced parent Darden Restaurants

This list isn’t all-inclusive and it’s expanding by the day. Check with Eatery Pulse News regularly for additional updates.

This article was updated March 21, 2020 with new information.

Photo credit: McDonald’s

About the publisher of this restaurant news site.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.