Coronavirus causes McDonald's to cancel Worldwide Convention

Coronavirus just served McDonald’s a very unhappy meal.

The fast-food company recently announced the cancellation of its biennial in-person Worldwide Convention due to the ongoing coronavirus outbreak. The company will, however, still hold a digital convention in its place.

McDonald’s CEO Chris Kempczinski announced the cancellation on the company’s Youtube channel. After addressing the current situation, Kempczinski stated that “protecting the well-being of our people and our customers is our number one priority and guides each and every decision we make.”

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He continued, “Last week, I asked for insights from managing directors and franchisee leadership regarding [the] Worldwide Convention. Based on their feedback, extensive global travel restrictions, input from the World Health Organization and other local and global health ministries, and our assessment of the situation, I’ve made the difficult but I think right decision to cancel our in-person Worldwide Convention in Orlando in favor of a Digital Worldwide Convention.”

He also said he regretted not being able to attend his first Worldwide Convention in-person as CEO, but describes the new digital format as an opportunity to host "the most inclusive Worldwide Convention in our history."

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McDonald’s also reminded franchise owners around the world to enhance their daily hygiene practices, Restaurant Business Online reports. This includes sanitizing surfaces described as “high-touchpoint,” such as door handles/push plates, kiosks, touchscreens, tabletops and restroom surfaces.

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As of Monday morning, there are more than 400 confirmed cases of coronavirus in the United States (spread across 34 states), with the worldwide total topping 109,000.