Coronavirus: large British takeout chains begin to reopen

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Burger King sign

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Three major take-out chains in the UK have announced limited reopening programs after closure during the coronavirus lockout.

Burger King, KFC and Pret A Manger have or will open certain restaurants across the country for delivery only.

Government guidelines state that even if restaurants and pubs have to close, they can prepare food for collection or delivery.

The chains had decided to close temporarily when the lock took effect.

“Lifting spirits”

Burger King will reopen four restaurants: two in Bristol, one in Coventry and one in Swindon, with a clean menu.

Staff will wear masks and gloves and be trained in hygienic management of delivery kitchens only, said the fast food chain.

There will be strict cleaning measures and staff will receive training on social distancing.

The restaurants will also donate 1,000 meals per week to staff working in NHS hospitals near the reopened restaurants.

Katie Evans, the chain’s marketing director, said Burger King hoped the reopenings would “do a little to lift the spirits of our customers in these difficult times.”

She added: “We want to show how much everyone at Burger King UK is [NHS staff] efforts in these unprecedented times. ”

NHS Fried Chicken

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KFC said it had reopened 11 UK restaurants in the past week for delivery only, with a limited menu. Restaurants can be found in Aldershot, Birmingham, Glasgow, Ipswich, London, Manchester, Portsmouth, Stockport and Tamworth.

The fast food chain says it has donated “thousands of meals from all of our open restaurants to those on the frontline, including the NHS and key workers, in partnership with Deliveroo, and will continue to do so every week for let the situation continue. “

KFC said it decided to temporarily close on March 23 “with the well-being of our teams and guests in mind.”

A spokesperson said, “We have spent time since the closure developing new processes to ensure we can reopen with care and responsibility, which we have now started to do.

“We have also seen the impact of the situation on those who cannot get to supermarkets easily, such as key workers. There is a need for affordable and accessible food and we wanted to do our part. ”

The spokesman added that the employees on leave would find their jobs “waiting for them when we could reopen completely”.

Sandwich volunteers

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Pret a Manger will reopen 10 workshop kitchens near London hospitals starting Thursday.

“It also allows us to set up our supply chain to donate food to homeless charities, so we will be donating an additional 7,000 meals a week to our charitable homeless partners,” the chain said in a statement.

NHS workers will receive half-price food until the end of April.

Pret CEO Pano Christou wrote in a blog post that NHS workers and hospitals want to be able to get “freshly prepared food nearby”.

“We are extremely grateful to the 160 team members for volunteering to help reopen 10 stores in London, close to the hospitals. “

More restaurants deliver

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Food delivery company Deliveroo has raised more than £ 1.5 million from customer donations and corporate funding for free meals for NHS workers.

Although the company declined to reveal the overall order volume, it said 3,000 new restaurants had signed up in March.

A report published in the Financial Times in March suggested that delivery apps might feel the pinch from restaurant closings and lingering anxiety from coronaviruses.

However, Deliveroo said it sees more orders from families, especially on Friday and Saturday nights. The majority of the dishes he offers are pizza, fish and chips, and burgers, he said.

She added that she had also started delivering food to stores such as Morrisons, McColls, M&S and BP.

Rival delivery company Just Eat also said that about 3,000 takeout meals have registered since the lockdown was announced.

The company has seen a 36% increase in dessert orders, and customers are ordering food earlier in the day and earlier in the week.

Health Warning

Although fast food is very popular in the UK, warnings have been issued regarding its effects on people’s health for several years.

In February, BBC One documentary “The Truth About Takeaways” revealed that more than two weeks after eating two fast food meals a day, participants gained body fat, which is a marker of increased risk of cardiovascular disease.

Eating two takeouts a week “is associated with increased body weight and various markers of cardiovascular risk,” said Dr. Ian G Davies, reader of nutritional sciences at John Moores University in Liverpool.

In general, pizza has the highest density of salt, fat and energy compared to other fast foods.

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