Burger King, Popeyes Post-Coronavirus Rules Include Masks, No Self-Serve Soda

When Americans return to their favorite fast food restaurants, they'll see new safety measures for restaurant employees and diners, which include masks on workers and shuttered soda fountains.

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In an open letter published on May 12, Jose Cil, the CEO of Restaurant Brands International (RBI), which owns Burger King, Popeyes and Tim Hortons, said certain changes will be implemented when their dining rooms reopen across the country, and some things may stay in place long after the coronavirus pandemic ends.

"While we have mandated masks and gloves in the short-term, our brand and operations teams are now evaluating more comfortable and reusable masks that may become part of our standard uniforms," Cil said, addressing that reopening dining rooms will require both confidence and comfort.

While the potential new uniform is still theoretical, all 15,000 RBI restaurants already have new protective measures in place, including daily temperature checks for all employees at the start of their shifts.

The dining experience will also look and feel different. Self-serve soda fountains have been turned off. Instead, customers will have to get beverages, extra condiments and trays from the behind the front counter.

"One of the most normal things in our lives is coming together, and that often includes sitting down with your family or friends and enjoying a meal together at a restaurant." wrote Cil. "We are working very hard to continue to build your confidence in the measures we are taking to keep you safe in our restaurants – so you can more quickly return to a sense of comfort and normalcy in bringing your family inside to sit down for a meal."

Until the dining rooms of Burger King, Popeyes and Tim Hortons reopen, RBI has added hundreds of dining rooms to digital apps such as Uber Eats, expanded mobile order and added curbside pick-up options. But are these takeout options safe? Here are all your COVID-19 food questions, answered.