President Donald Trump spoke with executives of the largest U.S. restaurant companies on Tuesday about keeping drive-thru options open to feed people and financial support for the industry.
Participants on the call with Trump included the CEOs of Domino's Pizza, Chick-fil-A, Subway, Restaurant Brands International, Bloomin' Brands, Yum Brands, Darden Restaurants, Papa John's, Wendy's and Raising Cane's. McDonald's U.S. president also participated.
The White House said that the executives all committed encouraging customers to use drive-thru, pickup or delivery options in response to the coronavirus outbreak.
One industry executive on the call with the president urged the White House to take action to support small business owners with a fund that would provide cash flow for business owners to remain solvent during the coronavirus pandemic, keep employees on payroll and continue to grow once things stabilize, according to a person with direct knowledge of the call.
In response the president indicated his support, saying that "I think you're really going to like what we're doing," the source said.
Another source with direct knowledge of the call said it was productive and Trump made "completely clear" the White House was not considering shutting down restaurants or delivery services at this time.
Yum Brands, which owns Taco Bell, KFC and Pizza Hut, said in a statement that it was a very productive meeting. A representative for Domino's Pizza said that the call was "very brief," and Trump expressed support for the industry and its role in feeding and employing people during this time.
"We shared our commitment to supporting public health and safety while continuing to ensure essential access to food," Wendy's spokeswoman Heidi Schauer said in a statement. "We are grateful that the White House sought our collective industry perspective."
Trump praised the executives at a late morning briefing Tuesday.
"They have been fantastic," the president said. "They're keeping it open, smaller staffs. Very capable people, very capable companies."
At least 19 states across the country have mandated that restaurants and bars close their dining rooms amid the outbreak. Restaurant companies like Chick-fil-A, McDonald's and Starbucks have already closed their dining rooms in company-owned locations in the U.S.
Separately, McDonald's said Tuesday it may offer some franchisees rent deferrals as restaurants close or see traffic plunge. The global fast-food giant also warned that the "negative financial impact" to its results cannot be reasonably estimated at this time.
The chief executives of the International Franchise Association and the National Retail Federation were also on the call, as well as Treasury Secretary Steve Mnunchin and Larry Kudlow, the president's top economic advisor.
Here are the participants:
President Donald J. Trump
Secretary Steven Mnuchin, Department of the Treasury
Larry Kudlow, Assistant to the President and Director of the National Economic Council
Tim Pataki, Deputy Assistant to the President and Director of the Office of Public Liaison
Richard Allison, CEO, Domino's Pizza
Dan Cathy, CEO, Chick-fil-A
John Chidsey, CEO, Subway
Jose Cil, CEO, Restaurant Brands International
Robert Cresanti, President and CEO¸ International Franchise Association
David Deno, CEO, Bloomin' Brands
Joe Erlinger, President, McDonald's USA
David Gibbs, CEO, YUM! Brands
AJ Kumaran, Co-CEO and COO, Raising Cane's
Gene Lee, President and CEO, Darden Restaurants
Rob Lynch, CEO, Papa Johns
Todd Penegor, CEO, Wendy's
Matt Shay, National Retail Federation