McDonald’s will require masks in all restaurants and de-escalation training for employees

Illustration for article titled McDonald’s will require masks in all restaurants and de-escalation training for employees
Photo: John Keeble (Getty Images)

McDonald’s announced Friday that, as of this Saturday, August 1, it will require face masks in all its 14,000 locations in the U.S. It will also require its employees to have de-escalation training in order to handle belligerent customers who refuse to wear masks—either their own or those provided by the restaurant—or stand peacefully in the designated pick-up area far from the other customers. McDonald’s executives have evidently seen enough videos like this one and heard enough stories like this to be wary. This is what we’ve come to.

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“The intent of this policy is to take a proactive approach and focus on quickly finding solutions when customers are unable or unwilling to wear a face covering,” Joe Erlinger, the president of McDonald’s USA, and Mark Salebra, the National Franchise Leadership Alliance chair, explained in a statement. “In those situations where a customer declines to wear a face covering, we’ll put in place additional procedures to take care of them in a friendly, expedited way. Additionally, we will provide training for our restaurant staff to ensure they are prepared to address this new policy in a friendly and positive way.”

I am very curious what these de-escalation strategies are, and also how well angry people will respond to them. If they’re successful, perhaps those tactics could also be applied to international diplomacy and even the U.S. government.

Aimee Levitt is associate editor of The Takeout.

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DISCUSSION

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You have to risk your health, and your family’s health, to show up to work in the middle of a pandemic. On top of that, now you are primarily responsible for enforcing a mask mandate, which is exponentially more difficult because the country’s president has insisted on making the simple act of wearing masks a partisan issue, putting your safety further at risk given the documented lunacy of some of the anti-mask people. How much more of a burden are we going to ask people making less than a living wage to endure?