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8 Things You Won’t Find In McDonald’s Anymore

The McDonald's you see next might not be the McDonald's you remember.

McDonald's SignMatthew Horwood/Getty Images

Fast food of the future

In the wake of COVID-19 and stay-at-home orders, life as we know it is changing in unprecedented ways. One aspect of the world that may never return to normal is the foodservice industry and food sector, which accounted for over 60 percent of the jobs lost in March.

During the recent stay-at-home orders, the want for quick, convenient food was higher than ever. Throughout it all, McDonald’s managed to keep 99 percent of its 14,000 locations open for drive-through and delivery options. Even so, during the period from January to March, the corporation’s sales fell six percent. Even as late as early May, one in four restaurants remained closed for dine-in options. Requirements are changing in every sector, and you won’t even find these 10 things in hotels anymore!

On the bright side, many McDonald’s locations are now opening for dine-in services. In order to open, each franchise location had to undergo a series of cleaning practices, protocol changes, and service adjustments to keep both customers and employees healthy. McDonald’s will certainly look a little different when you stop in for your next fast-food fix!

A McDonalds' employee holds up a food package at a test location in a restaurant at The GelreDome Arnhem, The Netherlands on May 1, 2020, as part of measures to attempt to stop the spread of COVID-19 (novel coronavirus). - In this restaurant prototype, the fast food chain shows what seated catering in the 1.5 meter economy could look like. There are two variants: Take Out Plus and Dine In. (Photo by Remko DE WAAL / ANP / AFP) / Netherlands OUT (Photo by REMKO DE WAAL/ANP/AFP via Getty Images)REMKO DE WAAL/Getty Images

Smiles (no big yellow grins!)

In the 59-page dine-in guide McDonald’s released earlier this month, it was outlined that all employees are now required to wear gloves and masks. While this may not seem surprising, it does alter the typical business model of “service with a smile.” It’s difficult to gauge attitude when you can’t see the facial expressions of your server or customer. Further, many of the franchises will need to make face shields available to adhere to state-by-state legislative and health requirements. It’s a new world, but these 25 photos show that face masks are part of the new normal.

New York City Board Of Health Approves Bloomberg's Over Sized Sugary Drink BanMario Tama/Getty Images

Self-serve soda fountains (and refills!)

The self-service drinking fountains that we’ve all come to expect from McDonald’s and other fast food chains will become a thing of the past. McDonald’s has pledged to shut-down, section-off, or staff the soda fountains to cut down on high-volume, often-touched areas.

Also, each “refill” will likely now require a new cup. These changes mean that you won’t be able to concoct crazy soda combinations to your heart’s content anymore. By the way, here’s why Coke tastes so much better at McDonald’s.

Florida, Vero Beach, McDonald's Fast Food restaurant Cashier giving change to CustomerJeff Greenberg/Getty Images

Counter pick up

You might be used to hearing your order number called and picking up your tray at the counter. Unfortunately, you can kiss that all goodbye. Instead, your order will be brought to you on a tray. The classic fries and burgers will all be served double-bagged. Even napkins and pre-wrapped straws that are usually self-service at nearby dispensers will be delivered. This business model is much closer to that of a sit-down restaurant with table service. It’s a big change, but try to imagine these things flight attendants won’t be allowed to do anymore.

Mcdonald's Automated Ordering Smith Collection/Gado/Getty Images

Touch-screens

For a moment, it seemed that touch-screens would be the way of the future. Tons of restaurants and businesses were implementing them at counters and kiosks to streamline the ordering and paying process. Now, McDonald’s has required that if they are used, they must be wiped down between every single customer. If your nearby McDonald’s franchise decides to still use them, the cleanliness requirements will severely cut their efficiency and usefulness (which might lead to many being retired altogether). Antibacterial wipes are certainly having their heyday, but try to avoid these common mistakes you might be making with them.

An employee of McDonald's wearing a protective mask and a...SOPA Images/Getty Images

Close quarters while ordering

While you might remember long lines of hungry customers in the store, you won’t see the same crowding and bunching anymore. When the stores do open, there will be six feet between you and the next customer eagerly waiting to order your meal. McDonald’s is implementing mandatory spacing stickers on the tile floors to help maintain the distancing recommendation of six feet.

There will still be friendly employees behind kiosks, but they will now be behind a barrier of plastic or plexiglass for protection. You’ll also see contactless payment options to decrease the number of high-touch surfaces. These changes won’t just be affecting the fast-food giant—here are 10 ways your favorite restaurant might change.

A playground outside McDonald's.Jeff Greenberg/Getty Images

Play areas

Play areas will remain closed even when the dining rooms reopen. There seems to be no feasible way to maintain proper social distancing and sanitation on and within the play structures or the “interactive games and tables.” Sorry, kids! Here’s why PlayPlaces have seemed to be vanishing even before COVID-19.

CA Passes State Law To Force Restaurants Chains To Display Calorie InfoJustin Sullivan/Getty Images

All-day breakfast

For the time being, McDonald’s is operating on a limited menu to simplify cooking and preparation processes. In addition to all-day breakfast, other items will be temporarily removed, including chicken selects, salads, and grilled chicken sandwiches. While it’s unclear if some of these items will return soon or at all, here’s to hoping that these bestselling McDonald’s items won’t ever be leaving the menu.

Close-Up Of DoorknobTsvi Braverman / EyeEm/Getty Images

Bathroom door handles

In addition to daily employee wellness and temperature checks, McDonald’s will also increase the frequency of sanitation for common spaces. Many tables will be blocked off to lessen the number of potential dine-in guests. Also, employees will maintain signage to signal which tables are freshly cleaned. If some of these measures seem extreme, take a peek at these things restaurants aren’t cleaning as they should.

Some of these new recommendations are aimed at communal restrooms as it’s a high-volume, touch-heavy space. In its report, McDonald’s recommended a number of new (and expensive) purchases to update restroom spaces. These include adding foot-pulls for door openings, switching from blow dryers to automatic towel dispensers, and installing other hands-free gadgets.

McDonald’s will certainly never be the same, but times are constantly changing! Check out these things you won’t find in school anymore to soothe you and take you back down memory lane!