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McDonald’s Hits Pause on Reopening Dining Rooms Nationwide

Plus, Big Boy will no longer have a big boy, and more news to start your day

A cardboard Filet-O-Fish box and a box of McDonald’s fries on a tray Shutterstock
Jaya Saxena is a Correspondent at, and the series editor of Best American Food and Travel Writing. She explores wide ranging topics like labor, identity, and food culture.

I’m lovin’... takeout

As basically every expert agrees that indoor dining is a breeding ground for COVID-19, restaurants are reconsidering opening their dining rooms as state’s struggle to reopen. Among the biggest restaurants to remain closed, McDonald’s has announced that it will not be opening any restaurant dining rooms over the next 21 days. Franchisees who’ve already opened dining rooms are asked to review state guidelines and possibly return to take-out and delivery only. “This surge shows nobody is exempt from this virus — even places that previously had very few cases,” the company said an internal letter obtained by the Wall Street Journal. “Moving forward, we will continue to monitor the situation and adjust as needed to protect the safety of our employees and customers.”

According to CNBC, about 2,200 (or 15%) of McDonald’s dining rooms in the U.S. are currently open. After attempting to reopen, Texas, Florida, Arizona, and parts of California and Pennsylvania have suspended indoor dining and/or bar service in an attempt to curb the spread of COVID-19. Besides, who is ready to go back to restaurants anyway?

And in other news...

  • The Big Boy restaurant chain will no longer be represented by said big boy. Instead, the new mascot will be a girl named Dolly. [WoodTV]
  • Residents in locked-down housing towers in Melbourne say they’re not getting enough food, and when they were, some Muslim residents were being delivered pork. [Guardian]
  • Food banks continue to have long lines. [LATimes]
  • The Nathans Famous Hot Dog Eating Contest was weird this year, with no audience and contestants divided by plexiglass. But Joey Chestnut still ate 75 hot dogs in 10 minutes. [NYTimes]
  • A comic by Billy Chiu, who manages Grant Place Restaurant in San Francisco, about running a restaurant while the President blames the pandemic on Asian people. [The Nib]
  • In honor of the release of Hamilton, Disney+ and Coca Cola are donating $1 million to World Central Kitchen. Last year, Disney’s revenue was over $69 billion. [Twitter]
  • Once again, in-person dining is tied to the spread of COVID-19: