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Vice President Mike Pence acknowledged fast-food giant McDonald’s on Tuesday for special services it is providing for truck drivers after the industry asked for help as it encountered numerous coronavirus-related challenges.
“We heard that McDonald’s is now offering curbside delivery to truckers who are unable to use the drive-thru to pick up a Big Mac,” Pence said during a press briefing on Tuesday.
This week, McDonald’s announced curbside service offerings for drivers, who have had trouble getting access to food on the road as states require businesses to curtail operations or shut down entirely.
“We realize that you can’t bring your rig through the Drive-Thru and for safety reasons, we cannot accept walk up orders at the Drive-Thru window,” the company said in a press release.
Drivers can download the McDonald’s app and select curbside service and walk up to the designated curbside area where a worker will bring their orders to the door when they are ready.
As previously reported by FOX Business, the industry had sent letters to both the White House and to restaurants asking for assistance as drivers faced challenges while attempting to carry out their jobs.
“Managing the human aspect right now is a pretty big challenge,” Brian Fielkow, president of multimillion-dollar trucking and logistics company Jetco Delivery, told FOX Business. “If you want your grocery store stocked, [truck stops] have to be able to serve food, [allow access] to restrooms, showers, basic hygiene stuff.”
As truck stops close down across the U.S., drivers have become unable to access these necessary services – even as demand surges for some types of freight. Truckers, for example, deliver everything from urgent medical supplies to everyday items consumers order from Target and Amazon.
That said, some companies in the trucking sector that serve particular niches of the economy stand to do well – even as the broader economy struggles during the coronavirus outbreak. Fielkow told FOX Business that nimble and financially strong companies in particular should do just fine.
On the flip side, companies that may still be reeling from 2019 – a tough year for the industry that led to at least 795 firm closures – could be in for a challenging period.
And that could pose problems to the broader economy when the situation abates – since capacity in the trucking industry could very well be declining at a time when consumer demand is rebounding.