McDonald's Issues 59-Page Guide for Reopening Dining Rooms: Report

Steps recommended by McDonald's to deter the spread of coronavirus could prove complicated and expensive.
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McDonald’s  (MCD) - Get Report has reportedly established dozens of safety policies that it has requested of its franchisees before they re-open their dining rooms amid the coronavirus pandemic.

McDonald’s put together a 59-page guide for the restaurants to use in the re-openings that include suggestions to clean bathrooms every 30 minutes and to wipe digital kiosks after each order, according to The Wall Street Journal, which reviewed the guide.

Restaurant dining rooms are beginning to open around the country, as state and local governments loosen their shelter-in-place rules.

Suggestions in the guide from McDonald’s are complex and expensive, The Journal notes, which could make it problematic for franchisees to implement them.

All service workers should have masks and gloves, the guide said. McDonald’s wants its restaurants to make sure social-distancing is observed.

Morningstar analyst R.J. Hottovy is bullish on the company.

While 30% of the 1 million U.S. restaurants are at risk of permanent closure in the next 12-18 months thanks to the pandemic, “we believe wide-moat McDonald's is well positioned to compete for market share ceded by smaller independents,” he wrote in a report last month.

“We still view McDonald's dividend as one of the safest in the industry. Even if its dividend were cut, we'd still expect its payout ratio to remain ahead of industry averages.”

Hottovy puts fair value for the stock at $205.

McDonald’s shares closed at $175.37 Thursday, up 1.48%. The stock has dropped 19% over the past three months, compared to a 15% slide for the S&P 500 index.