Already, 82 percent of the fast food giant's U.S. outlets are in jurisdictions where local law requires the use of face masks in public. In making the requirement nationwide, the company said in a statement that it is bringing consistency to all of its locations and protecting the health and safety of all of its guests and employees.
The statement also notes that it puts employees in the potentially difficult position of effectively having to enforce mask requirements, despite the fact that they may run into reluctance from customers who don't want to wear one. To that end, workers will be instructed to offer a face mask, free of charge, to any customer not wearing one. If they still decline, they'll be asked to wait for their order away from other customers, and their order will be expedited.
Further, the company statement recognizes that there may be some hostility about the new policy, and the company hopes to get ahead of it.
"We will provide training for our restaurant staff to ensure they are prepared to address this new policy in a friendly and positive way. We also will re-share resources for our and our franchisees' employees who want to revisit de-escalation training," the statement reads.
The matter of enforcing masks requirements has led to violent incidents across the country, sometimes with employees winding up even being assaulted. As reported by The Inquisitr, an employee at a Ralph's supermarket in California pepper-sprayed a customer who had become combative and was assaulting an employee.
Meanwhile, McDonald's has also paused the reopening of its dining rooms. After limiting its business to only drive-through and carryout customers, the company had slowly started reopening its dining rooms, and by July 1, had reopened 15 percent of them in the U.S. However, as coronavirus cases surged, the company paused the reopening process; that pause is now extended for another 30 days.
In the stores where the dining rooms are already open, they will be allowed to stay open, as long as they are not in violation of local laws.
Inside the restaurants, the company also plans to put up protective panels to put distance between customers and employees, and between each customer. Those panels are not intended to replace face masks or social distancing, however.