As concerns about the disruptions caused by coronavirus continue to grow, Burger King has offered its help. The fast-food chain will offer two free kids meals with every adult meal purchased that's either ordered online or through Burger King's smartphone app.
Jose Cil, the CEO of Restaurant Brands International, which is Burger King's parent company, spoke with Bloomberg News about the decision on Tuesday. "We work closely with each of our franchisees," Cil told the outlet. "We're going to get through this. We have a strong franchise system and a very strong franchise model."
A number of restaurant industry leaders, including Cil, had spoken to President Donald Trump on a conference call about how to adapt to ever-changing conditions while still working to slow the spread of COVID-19, the disease caused by coronavirus.
The executives also discussed federal aid for small business owners for their industry, which largely consists of independent franchises. Cil added that the crisis team at Restaurant Brands, which also owns Popeyes and Tim Hortons, has been examining coronavirus since January, and is working with its franchisees to provide aid on a case-by-case basis.
we're thinking about you. we believe restaurants will have an increasingly essential role in feeding our country. so whether you're ordering at BK or elsewhere, use minimum contact methods like drive-thrus, pick-up or delivery. take care, https://t.co/tWSdfUbbGu— Burger King (@BurgerKing) March 17, 2020
Bloomberg had also reported on Tuesday that consulting firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas estimated that as many as 7.4 million jobs in the foodservice industry could be lost due to the pandemic.
State and local governments across the U.S. have implemented mandates that have shuttered all public-facing businesses for the time being. Bars, movie theaters and gyms are all impacted, though restaurants have often been allowed to sell food via delivery or takeout, at least for now.
A number of big-box retailers, including Target, Whole Foods and Dollar General are all offering special ""seniors only" hours for the time being. Seniors are still widely considered to be the most vulnerable demographic affected by coronavirus, which, according to the CDC on Wednesday, has infected more than 7,000 citizens, with 97 reported fatalities. The disease has also been reported in all 50 states, as well as the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
In order to help slow the spread of coronavirus, the WHO has offered some simple tips to follow on its website here.