Coronavirus (COVID-19): UK McDonald's, Greggs, Pret, Costa, Leon and Pure latest responses

Nicola Knight
Senior Analyst - Food-To -Go

Date : 19 March 2020

As government advice and consumer reaction to the coronavirus (COVID-19) epidemic in the UK changes rapidly, food-to-go operators are adapting.

Here are the latest responses to the situation from the leading companies:


  • From 5am today (19th March) all restaurants will close seating areas and temporarily move to being takeaway, Drive Thru and McDelivery only
  • Toilets and handwashing facilities will remain open wherever possible, but children’s play areas will close
  • Strengthened, detailed cleaning procedures continue to be implemented in both restaurants and with McDelivery partners 
  • All Drive Thrus and McDelivery orders via Uber Eats and Just Eat, will be contact-free
  • This year’s Monopoly promotion will be delayed until McDonald's can be confident that customers can win, claim and redeem the prizes available, including luxury holidays, European city breaks and cruises
  • Emergency services personnel, health and social care workers offered free drinks


  • Closing seating areas and offering takeaway only, with Click & Collect (106 stores) and Greggs Delivery (6 cities via Just Eat) available in selected locations
  • Closing toilets so staff can focus on keeping shops clean and safe
  • Moving items from condiment units behind counters
  • Closing water refill stations and not accepting reusable cups but 20p discount is still honoured
  • Encouraging use of contactless and for customers to respect others’ personal space while waiting to be served
  • Offering emergency service personnel free drinks


  • Seating areas closed as service switches to takeaway only
  • Hot drinks free of charge and 50% off all other items for NHS workers
  • Deliveries will continue through Deliveroo 


  • From today seating areas will be closed; toilets remain open; newspapers removed
  • Cashless payment only
  • Takeaway packaging only – no dine-in crockery available
  • Re-usable cups cannot be used but it will honour the 25p discount and will recycle cups in-store where possible
  • Food range will be more limited, focussing on customer favourites and covering dietary requirements and preferences
  • Costa Express machines will operate as normal


  • Goal is to keep restaurants open observing protocol to keep staff and guests safe
  • Delivery available through Deliveroo or Uber Eats
  • Switching restaurants to mini supermarkets: working on a project with international hospitality provider Absolute Taste to sell pre-packaged meals and ambient sauces to the public through restaurants and delivery.  Other restaurants are being invited to join the scheme to sell restaurant-quality ready meals, sauces, meats and other foods that customers can then store and eat at home.
  • Increasing discount to all NHS workers to 50% and supporting people who work in hospitals near to Leon restaurants with free food deliveries
  • Working on plans to support the elderly by setting up a service from next week to support them. More in the next few days.
  • Partnering with food waste charities to make sure food doesn’t go to waste
  • Discontinuing reusable cup scheme in our restaurants but offering the same discount 


  • Launched Working From Home boxes containing meals, drinks and snacks designed to last the whole day and delivered in a 100% biodegradable box

Other operators

  • Grind, the London-based coffee and cocktail brand has closed all but three of its 11 sites - Shoreditch, Exmouth Market and Greenwich outlets will operate as takeaway only and will serve free takeaway coffee for NHS workers.  It also plans to launch an app for mobile ordering and payment of coffee and food for collection as well as click and collect on its website
  • Danish bakery chain Ole & Steen will offer NHS and other emergency staff – including armed forces – a free hot drink as well as 25% off all eat-in and takeaway food (excluding alcohol)

For more on Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Latest news and reports click here
How IGD is working with the food and consumer goods industry during coronavirus - visit our dedicated webpage