McDonald’s is already reopening its Ireland and U.K. dining rooms

A McDonald’s in Northern Ireland after coronavirus lockdown rules were eased in June
A McDonald’s in Northern Ireland after coronavirus lockdown rules were eased in June
Photo: Liam McBurney/PA Images (Getty Images)

Thanks to our unfortunate tendency to ignore experts, politicize face masks, and elect politicians who don’t know what they’re doing, the United States is largely paralyzed in the face of COVID-19. This means that (amongst other challenges) supermarkets are facing shortages, food producers are cutting products, and restaurants are sort of scary to eat at. In Ireland and the U.K., however, this isn’t the case. Not only is the pandemic far better controlled in these places, but McDonald’s has decided it’s safe enough to open 700 locations in those areas for dine-in service.

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As reported by Reuters, things across the pond are significantly better than they are in the U.S. Life in the U.K. is gradually returning to some semblance of normalcy: earlier this month businesses like pubs, restaurants, and hair salons were given the all clear to start accepting customers again, and in all U.K. countries except Wales (where government restrictions remain in place), that includes McDonald’s. Anyone craving golden fries and insubstantial burgers will once again be able to sate themselves at a table inside any one of literally hundreds of McDonald’s locations.

McDonald’s is not my fast food franchise of choice, but the idea of being able to actually sit down in one to have a meal—a “things are normal, why wouldn’t we eat fast food burgers inside a greasy plastic room?” meal—is sort of amazing. That 700 of them are reopening across Ireland and the U.K. is damn near magical. It means that not only are parts of Europe faring much better than the United States in the face of a pandemic, but they are so far beyond us in terms of recovery that even their fast food operations put us to shame. I never would have predicted that other countries’ McDonald’s dining rooms would be nationally humbling, but this is 2020, the year that simply will not stop giving.

Jacob Dean is a food and travel writer and psychologist based in New York. He likes beer, less traveled airports, and is allergic to grasshoppers (the insect, not the mixed drink.)

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DISCUSSION

eddie-brannan
Eddie-Brannan

It means that not only are parts of Europe faring much better than the United States in the face of a pandemic, but they are so far beyond us in terms of recovery that even their fast food operations put us to shame.

Educate yourself. And if you live in a red state edumacate yourself.

The UK is a close-to-US-scale fuckup as far as COVID-19 response is concerned. They should not in any way serve as guidance to us (and vice versa).

The UK is the Florida of Europe. Their opening of McDonalds “dining rooms” is not a measure of anything at all, other than the fact that another dumb piece of shit with comic hair is asleep at the wheel while a bozo base applauds.