McDonalds' plan for staff to pass food directly to customers at the drive-through and handle cash will breach alert level 3 restrictions, Unite Union says.
Mike Treen, the union's national director, says the draft plan of level 3 operations he's seen flouts the rules and may be a "breach of health and safety obligations".
When the nationwide lockdown lifts to alert level 3 from midnight tomorrow, hospitality businesses are allowed to open, but only if customers are served without face-to-face contact.
"The training material given to staff has them passing product directly to customers in drive through closer than 2m and requires them to handle cash," Treen said.
"This does not meet the requirements to maintain physical distancing and have contactless interactions."
It may also put customers at risk, Treen said, as they will receive food from staff who haven't been physically distancing from other customers and who have been handling cash and food.
McDonalds spokesman Simon Kenny said the company had sought advice through official Government channels and had third party auditors review its level 3 plans.
"Some examples of the contactless service and physical distancing customers will note include new protective screens in Drive-Thru windows, how payments are processed and how food is handed over," he said.
Cash won't be handled at the same window that food is given out and staff have been trained on new processes such as how to receive and return cash with minimal contact, how to hand over receipts, and not to put straws in drinks, he said.
Surfaces and point of sales areas will be washed hourly at a minimum.
"The number one priority for McDonald's in planning to reopen under alert level 3 is the safety of our staff and customers," Kenny said.
"As with everyone, we are working in a live situation and will continue to seek out expert advice to ensure we have interpreted alert level 3 guidance correctly."
McDonalds invited Unite Union to see the changes made in person, but didn't receive a response, Kenny said.
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While other fast food chains such as Burger King, KFC, Pizza Hut and Carl's Jr have taken extra measures, Treen said there were still problems.
"Burger King plans to accept cash but at least it is at a separate window from food," he said.
KFC, Pizza Hut and Carl's Jr will only accept eftpos payments.
"But Burger King and Restaurant Brands plan to receive payments and hand over food using a tray through a window that does not maintain a 2m distance," Treen said.
"This, therefore, breaches alert level 3 settings and public health requirements."
Only Wendy's appears to have been fully compliant, he said.
Wendy's customers will need to wait until drive-through windows are closed before taking food that is placed on a table outside and they cannot pay with cash.
Treen said it was frustrating to see that thousands of smaller restaurants were making the effort, at their expense, to open under level 3.
"The strict requirements for physical distancing and contactless transactions remain in place, whether click and collect or drive-through," he said.
"Just because they already have a drive-through area, doesn't mean they don't have to take the extra measures to make that area compliant.
"We are concerned that profit is being put ahead of safety and this will be a danger to
customers and workers."