Opening branches

McDonald’s kicks off north-south row by not opening branches above Luton

Northerners complained after McDonald’s revealed that the 15 branches set to reopen are all in the south of England (Photo: PA)

Northerners are outraged after McDonald’s revealed that the 15 branches set to reopen next week are all in the south of England.

The fast food giant gave customers rare good news on Friday when it said some stores would be back in operation for a delivery from May 13. But the long-awaited revelation has reignited the north-south divide, with towns in the former missing completely, while some postcodes in the latter have as many as three reopens.

One of those expected to open is in Ipswich while the rest are mainly in London and Kent. Three of the McDonald’s are in Luton and three more in Chelmsford.

This did not go unnoticed by fans of the betrayed North who, understandably, took to Twitter to complain. One asked if McDonald’s was “socially remote” from the north, while another said the list of locations was “insane”. Several threatened to boycott the channel when it reopened, using the popular Game of Thrones reference “the north remembers”.

Not everyone was bored, however, with the proud residents of Luton and Chelmsford welcoming the news.

Responding to the backlash on Twitter, a spokesperson for McDonald’s said they are working hard to reopen more stores in the near future.

The 15 agencies that reopen first for delivery are:

  • Riverside Chelmsford
  • Chelmsford Westway
  • Ipswich Cardinal Park
  • Boreham Interchange
  • Luton leagrave
  • Watford Weapons Hertfordshire
  • Chaul End Lane, Luton
  • Beechings Road, Gillingham
  • Sittingbourne Shopping Park
  • Gillingham Bowaters
  • Tooting
  • Dalston
  • Well
  • Harrow
  • George Luton Street

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Stores will have a limited menu and items will only be available to order through UberEats. To ensure the safety of staff and customers, McDonald’s will install Plexiglas screens at checkouts and ask customers to obey social distancing rules.

Customers will also be asked to pay for their food with card and contactless payments where possible.

Workers will also be provided with gloves and masks, and their temperature will be checked before each shift to ensure they are fit for the job.

McDonald's ignites North / South divide by not opening any restaurant north of Luton

People weren’t happy with McDonald’s list of restaurants chosen to reopen

The 15 branches that first reopen are in the south of England

All McDonald’s branches in the UK and Ireland were temporarily closed in March when the lockdown was announced. The company said it carried out controlled tests in order to plan for a new opening to the public.

Company boss in the UK and Ireland, Paul Pomroy, said: “We have sought the advice of our employees as we worked on our reopening planning, to give us confidence in the measures we are introducing to. ensure their safety.

“We understand that everyone has been affected differently by this global crisis and therefore, when it comes to returning to work, our employees will be encouraged to make the right decision, based on their personal circumstances. “The testing has proven to be successful and I will describe the ways in which we will slowly, but safely, resume serving McDonald’s customers.

“On May 13, we will reopen 15 of our restaurants in the UK; it will be in a limited capacity with delivery only.

“The restaurants involved will be announced next week as we work on inviting our employees to return to work and helping our delivery partners prepare for our gradual return.”

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