The Reason McDonald's Is Trying To Reopen Its Dining Rooms

If you've been inside a McDonald's to pick up an order recently, you may have noticed something missing. No, it's not self-order kiosks or the (infamously unreliable) ice cream machines. Those things are still around. It's the diners! According to the New York Post, back in March of 2020, all McDonald's indoor dining rooms (along with play areas) were closed due, of course, to the pandemic. Who could forget, after all, little Blake McLennan's oh-so-relatable Facebook rant when she couldn't go play at her favorite restaurant? "Everything in this world has just shut all the way down ... We can't go anywhere, not even McDonald's, which is my favorite restaurant," she tearfully lamented.

Lucky for McLennan, those McDonald's still without diners account for a minority of locations today. According to Insider, as of January 2022, only around 20% of franchise locations' dining rooms have not been reopened yet. But, the franchise is eager to get those areas back in action as soon as practicable for a very specific reason — and, no, it's not just to enjoy our smiling faces as we munch on some tasty McNugs.

McDonald's wants to reopen all dining rooms to help out drive-thrus

While we may have not always been able to eat indoors at one of our favorite chains over the past couple of years, Americans didn't give up the tasty fast food altogether. According to Insider, at times during the pandemic, drive-thru orders have accounted for as much as 70% of McDonald's sales in some markets. Unfortunately, the added traffic has put a strain on drive-thrus.

In order to ease some of the added burden, McDonald's would like to reopen the remaining dining rooms that are still closed, Insider reports, though, no timeline has been officially announced. But, don't shed too many tears into your McFlurry for the chain just yet. Even with those dining rooms closed, McDonald's announced that its fourth-quarter 2021 sales were the highest comparable sales the company had seen since it started reporting them in 1993 (via the company's website). Which, when you take into consideration the amazing Happy Meal toys — like Teenie Beanies and Hot Wheels — that came out during that timeframe, really says a lot!