As previously reported by The Inquisitr, the company recently announced that customers in all of its stores nationwide would be required to wear face coverings.
"We've for quite some time required our crew to wear masks, but we thought that in light of what we're seeing, it's prudent now that we also ask our customers to wear masks in the restaurant as well," Chris Kempczinski told CBS This Morning on Thursday.
According to the policy announced last week, for customers who didn't wear masks, they would be offered one free of charge; if they refused, they would be directed to an area of the store away from employees and other customers and their order expedited. Further, in order to get ahead of any potential hostility from angry customers, employees were to be offered de-escalation training.
However, in his interview this week, Kempczinkski didn't rule out calling the police on customers who don't wear masks.
"If someone is unwilling to wear a mask and comply with our rules, that might be where we might bring in law enforcement," he said, noting that he doesn't want to be in the position of having his employees put in harm's way.
Lately the issue of employees trying to police customers for wearing masks has resulted in violence in some cases. For example, as CBS News reported at the time, an employee at a California grocery store pepper-sprayed a customer who became combative when asked to wear a mask.
Last week multiple other major companies, such as Walmart, announced nationwide mask policies and policies for how the rules will be enforced, owing to the fact that those companies expected noncompliance and even hostility from some customers.
Fortunately for McDonald's, says the CEO, most customers have complied and there have been few incidents.
"I think the vast majority of people, vast majority of Americans understand why it's important to be wearing a mask," he said.
Besides mandating that all employees and patrons wear masks, the fast-food giant also implemented some other policies to do its part to slow the spread of the coronavirus pandemic. Specifically, the company paused the reopening of its dining rooms, while allowing dining rooms that had already reopened to remain open, where local laws allow. The restaurant also started putting up plastic barriers in its locations.
"In the case of the pandemic right now, is all about safety," Kempczinski said.