3. SOUNDBITE (English) Jose Cil, Restaurant Brands International:
"We've been open for business in the drive-throughs and delivery for quite some time. And through our mobile app. But now is as the country begins to reopen. We're we're reopening our dining rooms. We probably have about 15 percent of our restaurants. So about fifteen hundred restaurants in North America that have started to open their dining rooms."
4. Employee cleaning counter
5. Various of customer in dining room
6. Employee cleaning counter
7. SOUNDBITE (English) Jose Cil, Restaurant Brands International:
"We've put in place a very strict standard for reopening procedures around hand-washing sanitization, PPE as I mentioned, with with acrylic screens and masks and gloves. And we've we've done all the signage to ensure that we maintain social distancing. And then we're working with each of the local municipalities and the different states and making sure that our franchisees and those municipalities in the states are aware of the rules that are being implemented locally and that we're making sure that we're we're aligned with the process that each community and each state is implementing for the reopening."
8. Employee prepping order
9. Sign reading (English) "Stand behind the lines."
Restaurant Brands International, which owns Burger King, Popeyes and Tim Hortons, has opened around 1,500 dining rooms, or 15% of its U.S. total.
Seats are spaced further than they used to be, and plastic dividers separate customers from cashiers.
Restaurant Brands CEO Jose Cil says opening dining rooms helps customers feel more confident as they slowly re-establish their routines.
"It gives them comfort that they can step out of their home and enjoy it at one of our restaurants," Cil said this week as he sat in a Burger King dining room in Miami. Masked employees frequently sanitized tables nearby.
Fast food restaurants _ well equipped for drive-thru and takeout _ have fared better than sit-down restaurants as the coronavirus pandemic gripped the U.S. But that gap could start to close as dining rooms reopen.
As of this week, 32 states _ mostly in the Midwest and South _ have allowed dining rooms to open at least partially.
And restaurant executives say customers are curious and eager to eat out. U.S. sales at full-service restaurant chains like Olive Garden and Applebee's hit a low in early April, when they fell 79% year-over-year.
Fast food sales were down as well, but only 41%. A month later _ as dining rooms reopen _ numbers for sit-down restaurants and fast food have significantly improved.
States with the most dining rooms open, like Texas and Tennessee, have some of the highest sales.