Coronavirus crisis leads to scores of business closures in Falkirk

McDonald’s will close its branches in Falkirk from 7pm tonight but the fast food giant is just one of many businesses shutting up shop due to the coronavirus.

By James Trimble
Monday, 23rd March 2020, 2:18 pm
Updated Wednesday, 25th March 2020, 2:09 pm

Earlier today, the Scottish Government advised all “non-essential” shops and businesses should close for the time being.

Restaurant’s served their last customers and public houses in the area called last orders and closed on Friday as per government guidelines.

McDonald’s – which has branches in Grangemouth’s Earls Gate Roundabout, Falkirk High Street and Falkirk Central Retail Park – had banned people from dining in the premises, but had still been operating a drive through service for the last few days.

Sign up to our daily The Falkirk Herald Today newsletter

McDonald's in Earls Gate Roundabout

Now the company stated it will close every single one of its restaurants in the UK and Ireland from 7pm tonight, following concerns about maintaining safe social distancing.

The local branches are three of the 1300 McDonald's restaurants – employing 135,000 staff – in the UK and Ireland which will close until further notice.

McDonald’s UK chief executive Paul Pomroy said: “We have not taken this decision lightly and know our restaurants have been playing an important role in the community providing hundreds of thousands of free drinks to front line health and social workers and emergency services personnel.

"But I have been clear throughout this that we would only continue to operate while it was safe for our people and together with our franchisees, we feel now is the time to make this decision to temporarily close.

"I want to thank every single one of our 135,000 employees. I am so proud of them all for adapting so quickly to a constantly evolving work environment, taking every step to keep our customers, couriers and teams safe and looking after each other so very well.

Mr Pomroy added it had become clear maintaining safe social distancing while operating busy takeaway and drive through restaurants was becoming “increasingly difficult".

Following the McDonald’s announcement, bosses at Nando’s – which has a branch in Falkirk Central Retail Park – stated it was closing all its 400 restaurants in the UK.

Then earlier today Subway announced its branches in the UK, including all those in the Falkirk area, like La Porte Precinct, Grangemouth, Kirk Wynd, Falkirk and Hallam Road, Stenhousemuir, would be closing down from 5pm tonight.

A Subway spokesperson said: “We want to do everything in our power to protect our loyal guests, dedicated franchise owners and amazing sandwich artists. So, for that reason, we have authorised all of our franchise owners to close their stores in the United Kingdom and Ireland from 5pm today, until further notice.

“We believe this is the best thing to help support social distancing and keep everyone as healthy as possible for as long as possible. However, many of our franchise owners are continuing to support the nation's front line workers in their amazing efforts, by donating food responsibly, over the next few days.“We'll be back with you as soon as we can.”