As the situation across the U.S. continues to evolve, Taco Bell is outlining its latest measures to help reduce the spread of COVID-19.
Because COVID-19 is impacting communities in different ways, restaurant operations need to be equally as fluid and diverse. Where government mandates are in place, restaurants are required to follow those instructions. If carry out operations are permitted, guests may order on ta.co, in the app, or in the restaurant and take their food to-go.
As of March 15, all traditional company restaurants began operating through the drive-thru only. Urban in-line and non-drive thru restaurants are operating carry-out only.
At this time, Taco Bell restaurants are also evaluating business hours and operations based on many different factors. For instance, some Taco Bell restaurants will stop serving breakfast beginning Wednesday, March 18, for the time being and open at 10 a.m. to serve the balance of day menu. Any restaurants changing their hours have been directed to update on tacobell.com/locations, but customers can expect that many locations may begin to reduce hours of operations.
In addition, the brand is working with delivery partners around the globe to prepare for an increase in demand for online ordering and delivery services.
Over the last two weeks, Taco Bell has reinforced restaurant-level protocols in its markets regarding prevention, hygiene, cleaning and sanitation, and has rolled out new temporary procedures to promote the health and safety of team members and customers.
- Providing gloves for all cashiers to wear during their shift
- Increasing the frequency of cleaning and sanitizing throughout the restaurants
- Focusing on sanitizing high-touch areas such as kiosks, drink dispensers, front counters, pin pads, tables, trays, etc.
- Reinforcing already strict sanitation, handwashing, and health and wellness policies for team members
- Making every effort to ensure hand sanitizer is always available in the restaurants for team members and customers
- Equipped the restaurant hotline with up-to-date processes and information to help quickly answer questions and provide any necessary guidance to restaurants around the clock
While continuing to enforce the already strict procedures around illness reporting for restaurant team members, should one of the restaurant team members become directly exposed to or diagnosed with a confirmed case of COVID-19, Taco Bell is ensuring the affected team members self-quarantine. The restaurant will work with local health authorities, thoroughly clean and sanitize, and if an employee is confirmed, close the restaurant until it is safe to reopen. Taco Bell is working closely with our franchisees around the world to reinforce this strict policy.
Team Member Sick Pay
Outside of making sure the restaurant is as clean as possible for customers, it’s important team members stay home if they feel ill. Earlier this year, Taco Bell announced that on January 1, 2020, team members in all company-owned restaurants nationwide, and at all levels, became eligible to receive at least 24 hours of paid sick time per calendar year, with some restaurants offering more hours in states with paid sick time laws. In states without mandated paid sick time laws, some franchisees have matched this policy, and others are encouraged to offer the benefit as well.
Because team members are the heart of Taco Bell, and the impact these actions can have are important, at company-owned restaurants, Taco Bell will be paying employees who are required to self-quarantine, or who work at a restaurant that is closed, for their scheduled or regularly scheduled hours during their quarantine period. Franchisees are also encouraged to take a similar people-first approach.
The brand will continue to update its policies, procedures and operations as needed while this unprecedented and dynamic situation continues to evolve, while keeping team member and customer health and safety top of mind.