The best fast-food chains offer hand sanitizer, contactless payment, and other COVID-19 safety precautions.
Remembering fast food in a pre-COVID-19 world feels like imagining an alternate universe—one where no one stands six feet apart, where face masks are primarily used in hospitals and, of course, you can eat in the restaurant.
But right now, we don’t live in that world, and some chains are better at taking the right precautions. The market research company Ipsos employed mystery shoppers to see what places follow recommended safety measures. Here’s a look at three popular fast-food chains that exceeded expectations. Make sure you don’t do these 13 things at reopened restaurants.
If you can’t get enough of the new almond milk cold foam at Starbucks, rest assured that you can order safely. The coffee shop ranked third in Ipsos’ survey, because employees at 93 percent of locations wore masks and 83 percent offered contactless payment options. Here are six times you have to wear a face mask—and three times you don’t.
Craving a Double Quarter Pounder with Cheese? Same. You’re probably safe to head to McDonald’s; they ranked second in the survey. Ipsos says 95 percent of the restaurants visited had plexiglass barriers at checkout and service counters, as well as various paths marked off to guide customer traffic. It’s safe to use the restroom, too, since 87 percent of McDonald’s locations had motion-activated fixtures like sinks and hand dryers. Here are a few things you won’t find in McDonald’s anymore because of the pandemic.
Chipotle comes in at #1 here, with Ipsos noting that most employees wore masks (at 90 percent of locations) and gloves (at 83 percent of locations). About half of the restaurants had hand sanitizer available for customers when they walked in, too. Honestly, this makes us want to order a burrito with chips and guac on the side. Psst: The same research company did a COVID-19 safety study on grocery stores. Next, here’s what a post-coronavirus life could look like.
For more on this developing situation, including how life might be different post-lockdown, see our comprehensive Coronavirus Guide.