Taking coronavirus preparedness to the next level, Restaurant Brands International (QSR -0.57%), or RBI, parent company of the Burger King, Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen, and Tim Hortons restaurant chains is providing 15,000 infrared thermometers to its locations in North America.
The infrared thermometers will be used to take employees' temperatures when they arrive to work, confirming that they are healthy. Members of the team are also expected to practice social distancing. The company ordered its restaurants to carry out extra cleaning procedures, including frequent sanitizing of "high contact surfaces" and increased availability of hand sanitizers at all locations.
The provision of infrared thermometers comes as part of what might be called a larger coronavirus "aid package" to restaurants. Franchises in America will share in a $70 million cash fund provided by RBI, which will help keep the locations afloat during the shutdown.
A similar 40 million Canadian dollars will be distributed in Canada. This fund is specifically earmarked to pay for 14 days of sick leave for ill Tim Hortons workers, giving them sufficient time to recover from a coronavirus infection "without worrying about providing for themselves or their families."
Some of the American funds can also be used for remodeling by franchisees. RBI has additionally chosen to reduce or postpone rent for some locations to help those operating franchises weather the crisis successfully.