McDonald’s, one of the largest franchisors in the world, is considering rent deferrals for its operators amid the coronavirus outbreak.
In an SEC filing, the company said that it’s “working with franchisees around the world in order to evaluate operational feasibility and support financial liquidity.” McDonald’s is also working with suppliers to ensure continuous supply.
“At this time, neither the duration nor scope of the disruption can be predicted, therefore, the negative financial impact to our results cannot be reasonably estimated,” the filing read.
The company said some restaurants within France and Canada may be closed or have limited hours. Units in Italy and Spain—both of which are under a national lockdown—have closed. Most restaurants are operating in Japan, and approximately 95 percent of locations are open in China.
The chain announced Monday that company-owned restaurants will close their seating areas in favor of drive-thru, takeout and delivery. This includes the use of self-service beverage bars and kiosks. All PlayPlace at U.S. locations have been closed, as well. McDonald’s is encouraging franchisees—over 13,000 in the U.S.—to adopt similar policies.
“It is remarkable how franchisees, suppliers, agencies, and company employees have come together in recent days. During these uncertain times that impact all of us in personal ways, our ability to support each other, our people and our communities will ensure we emerge from this crisis stronger than before,” said Joe Erlinger, president of McDonald’s USA.
Last week, the brand, said it will pay hourly employees at U.S. company-owned units who have to quarantine for 14 days. The brand said most of its stores have polices to offer paid leave and that company-owned employees can earn up to five paid days off per year.
According to data from Placer.ai, traffic at McDonald’s grew 5.6 percent in February year over year. Although the data comes prior to McDonald’s closing its dining area, In an 11-day period from February 26 to March 7, the brand’s traffic grew 2.9 percent compared to the previous year.