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.
“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.