By Micah Maidenberg
Restaurant Brands International Inc. said it will provide additional pay to some employees amid the coronavirus pandemic and offer paid leave for others who get sick from the virus.
The company behind Burger King, Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen and the Tim Hortons coffee chain also said Monday it plans to help out franchisees that operate its restaurants but are struggling with lost sales as dining rooms remain closed.
Restaurant chains have been hit hard by new mandates around social distancing that have pushed consumers to cook more at home and limited sales in many markets to carry out, delivery and pick up. Analysts are bracing for major declines in sales for the second quarter.
Companies have said they will provide a range of support to both franchisees and some employees.
Qdoba Mexican Eats, which has about 730 locations in North America, said earlier this month it would defer franchisee royalty payments for eight weeks. McDonald's Corp. said last week it was exploring rent deferrals.
Yum Brands Inc., the company behind KFC and other restaurants, said Monday that close to 1,200 managers at company-owned locations will receive one-time bonuses of $1,000.
Restaurant Brands said Monday it is working with operators of Tim Hortons in Canada to create a C$40 million (nearly $29 million) fund to pay employees who are affected by the virus and must stay home for up to 14 days.
At Burger King and Popeyes locations in North America, the company will provide sick leave for up to 14 days to employees in company-owned restaurants who have been diagnosed with Covid-19, the illness caused by the new virus, or have been asked to self-isolate.
All employees at restaurants run by the company in the U.S. and Canada will receive a bonus in April, Restaurant Brands said.
The company is advancing cash and offering rebates to operators, making about $70 million available in North America, among other measures.
Restaurant Brands also said Monday it has drawn down a $1 billion credit line to bolster its cash position.
Write to Micah Maidenberg at email@example.com