McDonald's is closing its seated dining areas and will shift to take-out, delivery and drive-thru orders as it seeks to slow the spread of the coronavirus.
The dining rooms closed as of the end of business on Monday, McDonald's said in a statement. It also closed all of its playgrounds, and its self-service drink kiosks are now off-limits, it added. McDonald's said its franchisees, who operate most of the chain's roughly 14,000 U.S. locations, support the closures.
McDonald's said its decision was guided by local and national health authorities and that it is also complying with local and state restaurant restrictions.
"Franchisee leadership completely supports the decision to adhere to social distancing guidelines and ensure that large groups of customers are not gathered together inside our restaurants," said Mark Salebra, National Franchisee Leadership Alliance Chair of McDonald's, in a statement.
The pandemic has halted sporting events, shuttered schools and battered the travel industry. The restaurant industry, with some states and cities ordering restaurants and bars to close as they seek to halt the disease's reach. An estimated could be laid off in coming weeks, experts predict.