Taco Bell debuts 7 coronavirus cleaning steps across US stores

The restaurant joins other top brands like Chick-fil-A and Starbucks rolling out similar measures

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Taco Bell is rolling out seven new safety steps for U.S. store employees to combat the spread of the coronavirus. The initiative is set to take place over the next few weeks.

The fast-casual chain said in a press statement that it has been “leveraging information from experts and learning from the experiences of our sister brands in other countries to protect our people and our communities as best we can.” And while it will take time to train all 7,000 U.S. restaurant teams, it added, “we are working hard to implement the following steps as quickly as possible over the next month and as supplies become available.”

The steps are:

1. Contactless service and payment

Cash transactions will be handled using a sanitized tray, while customers using credit or debit will swipe their own cards. The payment terminal is sanitized after every transaction.

All transactions — payment and food — are handed out the window on a sanitized tray.

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2. All employees will wear gloves and the store said, “every effort will be made to immediately provide masks to team members as supply is made available.”

3. Every order is sealed once it’s ready.

4. The chain will also offer industry sanitization standards through specialized COVID-19 training with leading experts.

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5. There will be a dedicated cleaning role to deep clean high-frequency touchpoints.

6. Customers will have extra sanitation options including an individual sanitizing wipe with every drive-thru order.

7. Taco Bell will also employ employee staff temperature checks at the beginning of each shift and prior to employees interacting with any food or equipment.

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“The safety of our team members and guests remains our top priority as we continue implementing new ways of engaging and operating amid this rapidly changing health crisis,” Mike Grams, Taco Bell president and global chief operating officer, wrote in the statement. “We are incredibly proud of our team members across the country who are working hard to implement these changes and taking care of our fans every day.”

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Taco Bell is not the only brand implementing robust cleaning policies. Chick-fil-A is installing hand-washing stations at its drive-thru and mall locations. Meanwhile, retailers Amazon and Walmart are enforcing temperature checks when employees report to work. Home Depot and Starbucks are providing thermometers and asking staff to self-monitor. And McDonald's said it will screen workers before they start their shifts.

While restaurants across the United States have been forced to close amid the COVID-19 pandemic, some remain operational as delivery- or takeout-only venues. To prevent the spread of the virus, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has urged regular disinfecting, hand-washing, wearing face covers and staying 6 feet away from others.

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