While many restaurants in Douglas County have reopened to inside dining, McDonald’s has not been one of them. And that partial closure is likely to continue for at least a few more weeks, said the owner of five McDonald’s in the county.
“I don’t think we’ll open any time before mid to the end of June, but we’ll be looking at it daily,” said Patti Sanders, who owns five McDonald’s in Douglas County and seven in Eugene. “I believe any restaurant has only one shot to get it right. However, our customers have been very appreciative of our being open for drive-thru, delivery and take out.”
The decision on when to reopen and in what manner is being partly made by corporate and partly by local franchise owners like Sanders.
McDonald’s recently sent out a 59-page memo to franchise owners across the country outlining some basic instructions the owners are expected to follow. Those include such items as cleaning the digital kiosks each time a customer orders, placing “closed” signs on certain tables to promote social-distancing and scrubbing the bathrooms every half-hour.
The guide, titled “The Dine-In Reopening Playbook,” reportedly does not outline a definitive timeline for when to reopen, giving the individual franchisees some discretion on that decision.
“Concerning reopening to dining inside our lobbies, we don’t have a timetable yet at this time,” Sanders said. “It will be very important that we take all the necessary steps to do it right. McDonald’s Corporation has provided us with a tremendous amount of support and recommendations.
“The decision will be mine, however, and I’m going to continue to evaluate as others open and how state and local numbers of COVID-19 stabilize. We plan to post communication to our customers in our stores sometime next week letting them know what we plan on doing.”
In the meantime, Sanders said, employees will be going through training specific to COVID-19 procedures to make sure the restaurants are as sanitized and safe as possible.
Sanders owns two McDonald’s in Roseburg — one on Northeast Garden Valley Boulevard and one on Northwest Stewart Parkway — and others in Sutherlin, Green and Myrtle Creek. She purchased them in 2017.
The restaurant at 511 NE Garden Valley Blvd., was remodeled in the fall. The restaurant was built in 1975 and had its most recent prior remodel was in 2001, Sanders said.
The remodel work included new floor tiles, ceiling, counters, restrooms and parking lot. A kiosk and table service were also added.
Despite having to close the restaurant shortly after doing all that work, Sanders said she has “no regrets” about doing the remodel.
“I’m confident our economy will be back and we pay on our major remodels over many years,” Sanders said. “Let’s just hope this is the last pandemic any of us have to go through, right?”