A number of major restaurant chains have decided to take the proactive step of offering only takeout and delivery to address concerns about gathering socially in the wake of the novel coronavirus pandemic. This follows some areas, including New York City, mandating that policy.

It's a move designed to encourage social distancing while also keeping the restaurants operational. That's important not just for customers who need to eat, the companies trying to at least bring in some sales, but also workers who keep earning money with less danger from being exposed to the public.

A person delivers Starbucks.

Starbucks is moving to a delivery, pickup, and drive-through model for now. Image source: Starbucks.

Which restaurant chains are doing this?

It's important to note that this list is a moving target. The chains on the list will change and it's possible whole states or even the entire country will adopt takeout and delivery only as a temporary mandate. As of now (roughly 5 p.m. on Monday, March 16) here are the chains that have taken this action, according to Nation's Restaurant News:

  • Yum! Brands (YUM 0.96%) Taco Bell (Pizza Hut and KFC are closing some but not all dining rooms).
  • Chick fil-A
  • Jack in the Box (JACK 0.34%)
  • Chipotle (CMG -0.41%)
  • Starbucks (SBUX 1.67%)
  • Shake Shack (SHAK -1.79%)
  • Noodles & Company (NDLS 1.58%)
  • McDonald's (MCD 0.43%)

Expect these restaurant brands to be joined by countless others soon as Americans begin to understand the potential impact of the novel coronavirus and the COVID-19 disease it causes.

Will this be bad for business?

People being asked to mostly work from home will generally be bad for the restaurant business. Takeout and delivery may make up for some of the lost in-eatery sales but it's reasonable to expect that most, if not all chains, will face major negative impact.