Motorists stood in line for hours for a drink at Costa’s highway crossings this morning, raising fears that people will ignore the lockdowns as more and more high street chains reopen.
The hatchbacks sprawled around the block of takeout chains in Edinburgh, Wakefield and Glasgow today, as drivers waited for their dose of coffee.
Over the weekend, impatient customers lined up for more than a mile for coffee at a branch of Snowhill Retail Park in Yorkshire, which reopened after more than a month on Saturday.
But this has provoked a furious reaction from key workers, who say that people who venture out for take-out food and drink ignore the warnings and calls from government and NHS staff to stay home.
This happens as fast food giants, including KFC, McDonald’s, Five Guys and Burger King, gradually open restaurants, resulting in a deluge of orders and long queues as delivery drivers line up .
Drivers were seen queuing for coffee at Costa Drive Thru, Cameron Toll, Edinburgh this morning
Staff members were masks serving customers of coffee trays at the Edinburgh branch
During the weekend, only 12 deliveries and 17 driving stores reopened in cities like Croydon, Edinburgh (photo), Glasgow, Leeds and Newcastle
Costa drive-ins open in the UK
Watford Arches Retail Park
Four Costa Coffee branches reopened in Manchester, Bristol and Mansfield – only two deliveries, two drive-throughs – on April 24, a month after the foreclosure began.
And on April 2, only 12 more deliveries and 17 drive-through stores reopened in cities like Croydon, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Leeds and Newcastle.
Some Costa Coffee branches have been opened inside hospitals to serve NHS staff during the lockout. But the decision to operate a total of 33 stores across Britain indicates that Costa Coffee is one of many chains looking to start the business.
But the move sparked a quarrel among social media users, who were divided by the desire to open takeout.
James Gallivan shared photos of the Wakefield branch on Facebook, writing, “I just went to Snow Hill to shop in Iceland.
“We had to queue for 10 minutes just to enter the retail park to see that the entire queue was for Costa Coffee !! At the exit, the queues were even worse, back at the roundabout of The Vine Tree (Capri) !!!
“The road was in chaos, a police car could not even pass at one point!
“Seriously, the people of Wakefield shake their heads if coffee is so important to you, WE ARE IN LOCK !!!!!
“By continuing like this, we will never get rid of this virus, sheer madness !!!!!”
Another social media user added, “Costa should be closed again. The lock has NOT been released. ‘
The British government has locked out after scientists produced models warning that half a million people could die from the coronavirus if no action was taken.
It is feared that the decision to shut down much of the British economy has brought the country to the brink of a more serious economic crisis than the Great Depression of the 1930s.
Economists have estimated that the foreclosure costs Britain about £ 2.4 billion a day, while a Bank of England official recently warned that Britain could face the worst contraction economic since 1920-21 – and perhaps for three centuries.
Five Guys, Nando’s, KFC and Burger King are other companies that have opted for limited store reopenings or delivery services only.
KFC launched investigation after photos of delivery men ignoring social distancing measures at their recently opened Filton restaurant in Bristol
A staff member wearing a face mask and gloves is seen directing cars at the Burger King drive-through in Havant, their first branch to reopen
Which companies have started to reopen?
- Nandos – opened six restaurants – four in London and two in Manchester – for delivery only. The restaurants to reopen are: London (Clink St, Camberwell, Canary Jubilee, Gloucester Road) Manchester (Fallowfield, Printworks).
- Burger king – opened eight restaurants for delivery in Dundee, Aberdeen, Reading, Hillington (Norfolk), Southampton, Merto (London) Springfield Quay (London).
- Wagamama – will reopen its kitchens to deliver food to customers from Thursday onwards from its kitchens in Peckham and Hackney.
- Five guys – the hamburger chain has opened 20 of its 104 restaurants. The stores open for delivery are: Cambridge Leisure Center, Norwich, Colchester, Chelmsford, High St. Kensington, Reading, York, Southampton.
- Timpsons – will slowly open stores, starting with those located in supermarkets.
- KFC – the chicken chain opens 100 branches for delivery only.
- Ready to eat – reopened 10 takeaways in London.
- Costa Coffee – opened only 12 deliveries and 17 driving stores in cities like Croydon, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Leeds and Newcastle
- Homebase – opened 20 of its stores over the weekend as part of a trial.
- McDonalds – opening of 15 restaurants from May 13
Costa Coffee CEO Jill McDonald told the Daily Mirror: “Last week, we decided to reopen two drive-thru lanes and two stores for delivery only on the advice of the government.
“The safety of our team members and our customers is our number one priority and before the reopening of these stores, we have implemented new social distancing guidelines, improved hygiene procedures and made available PPE teams.
“We were very pleased with the ability of our store teams to adapt to our new ways of working, allowing us to serve excellent coffee safely.”
McDonald continued, “We have also received excellent feedback from our customers and key employees who have enjoyed a well-deserved coffee break on their essential commute to and from work.
“We will be increasing the number of drive-thru lanes and stores open for delivery via Uber Eats starting May 2.”
McDonald’s has said it will reopen 15 restaurants for delivery on JustEat and UberEats only, with restaurant locations announced this week.
The fast food giant will not serve breakfast and will return with a limited menu and shorter opening hours from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.
McDonald’s will bring plexiglass screens and markings, non-medical face masks for staff, and social distancing measures for delivery drivers.
All employees will have to confirm that they are fit and able to work, and the bosses will use non-contact thermometers with temperatures recorded upon arrival at work for each shift.
McDonald’s put 135,000 workers on leave when it temporarily closed in March.
Under government rules, food businesses are allowed to operate as locked out takeout and delivery points.
Pret A Manger recently announced plans to partially reopen as pressure rises for an exit plan that is wreaking havoc on the economy. Their stores will open near hospitals and GP offices for delivery services and take-out only.
But Greggs postponed the reopening of 20 stores for fear of overcrowding.
The take-out bakery chain temporarily closed all 2,050 branches last month to protect customers and staff after the government ordered the closure of all non-essential stores.