Chick-fil-A still wants its customers to “eat mor chickin” — just not in the dining room. On Sunday, Chick-fil-A announced that it would be closing the dining areas of its restaurants to limit “person-to-person contact” amid the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak. Restaurants will instead be offering alternate options, such as delivery or takeout, for the time being. “Our highest priority continues to be the health and well-being of everyone who comes into our restaurants,” reads a news release shared to Chick-fil-A’s press site. “As we navigate the evolving impact of coronavirus on our communities, we are temporarily closing our dining room seating to help limit person-to-person contact,” the statement continued. “Some of our restaurants may only offer service through our drive-thrus, while others may be able to offer takeout, delivery or mobile order options. “Thanks for your patience. We know these are challenging times, but we’ll continue to do our best to serve you.” In the week leading up to Sunday’s announcement, Chick-fil-A had heightened its cleaning protocols and warned of modifications to service, staffing and hours of operation. By Friday, the chicken chain had closed all of its playgrounds, and started serving all meals in take-out containers, regardless of whether guests were dining in or eating out. Chick-fil-A president and COO Tim Tassopoulos had also assured guests that Chick-fil-A restaurant operators had been instructed on proper health protocols from local health departments, and that the chain was operating under the recommended guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Chick-fil-A, meanwhile, is just one of several national chains taking action to stem the spread of coronavirus. Taco Bell, for instance, announced on Saturday that the company was preparing restaurants to go takeout or drive-thru only, should the need arise. And on Sunday, Starbucks revealed it would be opting for a “to-go” model at its stores in the U.S. and Canada, allowing customers to order or pick-up at the counter and drive-thru, but not use the shops’ dining areas or patio spaces.
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