March 17, 2020 / 2:13 PM / 14 days ago

McDonald's considering deferring rent for franchisees amid virus outbreak

March 17 (Reuters) - McDonald's Corp is considering rent deferral and other measures to ensure liquidity at its franchisees around the world, amid curbs on dine-in restaurants to contain the spread of the coronavirus, a regulatory filing showed on Tuesday.

Bars, food-joints and other places that draw crowds have been shut down in major cities around the world as part of efforts to promote social distancing.

McDonald's, Starbucks Corp and a string of other restaurant chains have now shifted to take-away and delivery services in the United States.

"At this time, neither the duration nor scope of the disruption can be predicted, therefore, the negative financial impact to our results cannot be reasonably estimated, the company said in a filing here

The world's biggest fast food chain is facing criticism for not providing paid sick leave to hourly workers, even as health authorities encourage people to stay home and self-isolate if they are feeling ill.

About 93% of McDonald's 38,695 restaurants around the world were franchised at the end of 2019. (Reporting by Uday Sampath in Bengaluru; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila)

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