Millions of Americans are staying home as part of global social distancing efforts during the coronavirus crisis, and many are relying on drive-thru chains and delivery to feed themselves and their families.
In order to streamline its services, though, McDonald’s has announced they are temporarily removing all-day breakfast, along with less popular menu items, to prioritize the most popular ones.
McDonald’s U.S. President Joe Erlinger broke the news about the chain’s elimination of all-day breakfast in a simple tweet: “All day breakfast’s response to this news: ‘I’ll be back,'” he joked, invoking Arnold Schwarzenegger in the original Terminator film. Erlinger didn’t elaborate, so we don’t know how long this major change will be in place, but we assume it will last through the worst of the pandemic.
In a statement to PEOPLE, Bill Garrett, Senior Vice President of McDonald’s USA Operations, explained why the chain is making these changes in restaurants nationwide. “To simplify operations in our kitchens and for our crew, and ensure the best possible experience for our customers, we are working with our franchisees and local restaurants to focus on serving our most popular choices and will begin temporarily removing some items from the menu over the next few weeks,” he said.
“We will regularly evaluate the situation and look to move back to our regular menu as soon as possible. We look forward to continuing to serve our customers through take-out, Mobile Order & Pay, Drive-Thru or McDelivery at the majority of our restaurants.”
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Due to the spread of the coronavirus, health officials and governments across the country have ordered restaurants and bars to shut down their dining rooms indefinitely in order to slow the rate of infection. As a result, the hospitality industry — which employs more than 15 million Americans — is suffering greatly.
Many in the restaurant industry have transitioned to delivery and take-out models in order to stay in business and continue to pay workers, while others are unable to implement these changes effectively and have been forced to lay off thousands of employees, at least temporarily.
As of March 25, there have been at least 93,568 confirmed cases of coronavirus and 1,433 deaths in the United States, according to The New York Times. The majority of the cases are in New York, New Jersey, Washington state, and California.
The CDC says the best prevention methods are basic forms of hygiene — careful hand washing, avoiding touching the face, moving away from people who are coughing or sneezing, and staying home at signs of illness.
As information about the coronavirus pandemic rapidly changes, PEOPLE is committed to providing the most recent data in our coverage. Some of the information in this story may have changed after publication. For the latest on COVID-19, readers are encouraged to use online resources from CDC, WHO, and local public health departments and visit our coronavirus hub.
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