McDonald’s has cancelled its worldwide convention for franchisees as the coronavirus continues to bring down industry events around the globe.
The highly-anticipated meeting, which brings together McDonald’s partners from around the world, was due to take place in Orlando, Florida in April.
Instead of rescheduling it for later in the year, the fast food chain plans to hold it virtually instead.
CEO Chris Kempczinski sent a message to employees on Friday informing them of the decision.
“Last week, I asked for insights from managing directors and franchisee leadership regarding the Worldwide Convention,” he wrote. “Based on their feedback, extensive global travel restrictions, input from the World Health Organisation and other local and global health ministries, and our assessment of the situation, I’ve made the difficult but I think right decision to cancel our in-person Worldwide Convention in Orlando in favour of a Digital Worldwide Convention.”
The company normally spends between $25m and $30m (£19m and £23m) organising the annual convention.
Meanwhile, McDonald’s has ordered franchisees to increase the frequency of cleaning in their restaurants to prevent the spread of the virus.
The measures include sanitising high-touchpoint surfaces, such as door push plates and handles, kiosks, touchscreens, counters and tabletops.
McDonald’s has a global cross-functional working group that meets daily to assess the impact of coronavirus on its operations.
Mr Kempczinski has also shared a video update on McDonald’s response to COVID-19 along with his announcement on Worldwide Convention 2020.
View the video below: