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Queues as first McDonald’s drive-throughs reopen in Norfolk after lockdown

PUBLISHED: 15:38 03 June 2020 | UPDATED: 08:39 04 June 2020

There were long queues outside the McDonald's branch on the Hardwick Retail Park, in King's Lynn, when it reopened after lockdown  Picture: Chris Bishop

There were long queues outside the McDonald's branch on the Hardwick Retail Park, in King's Lynn, when it reopened after lockdown Picture: Chris Bishop

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There were long queues outside the drive-throughs as some McDonald’s in Norfolk reopened for the first time after lockdown.

There were long queues outside the McDonald's branch on the Hardwick Retail Park, in King's Lynn, when it reopened after lockdown  Picture: Chris BishopThere were long queues outside the McDonald's branch on the Hardwick Retail Park, in King's Lynn, when it reopened after lockdown Picture: Chris Bishop

Cars were queued around the store on the Hardwick retail park, in King’s Lynn.

Staff wearing PPE were marshalling the queue, while workers inside the store also wore gloves and masks as they passed food out to customers.

One woman who had driven over from Wormegay to get a takeaway for herself, her children and her partner said she had queued for 30 minutes for her food.

There were long queues outside the McDonald's branch on the Hardwick Retail Park, in King's Lynn, when it reopened after lockdown  Picture: Chris BishopThere were long queues outside the McDonald's branch on the Hardwick Retail Park, in King's Lynn, when it reopened after lockdown Picture: Chris Bishop

“My little girl was so excited she cried when I said we were going to get a Maccy D’s,” she said. “I mean, how sad is that.”

MORE - Which McDonald’s in Norfolk have now reopened?

Business at Swaffham McDonald’s drive-through got off to a slow start before things picked up during the lunch hour.

There were long queues outside the McDonald's branch on the Hardwick Retail Park, in King's Lynn, when it reopened after lockdown  Picture: Chris BishopThere were long queues outside the McDonald's branch on the Hardwick Retail Park, in King's Lynn, when it reopened after lockdown Picture: Chris Bishop

A spokesman from the branch said they had made use of their car park, and so had not seen queues off the site into nearby roads.

He said: “We’ve had a couple of hundred cars through since we opened. When we first opened we had about six or seven in the queue but as word of mouth got around it started picking up. Between 1pm and 2pm we had to use our spare car park.”

He said it took an average of “300 seconds” - five minutes - between a customer placing their order and collecting it, longer than their usual 2-3 minute target.

There were long queues outside the McDonald's branch on the Hardwick Retail Park, in King's Lynn, when it reopened after lockdown  Picture: Chris BishopThere were long queues outside the McDonald's branch on the Hardwick Retail Park, in King's Lynn, when it reopened after lockdown Picture: Chris Bishop

The spokesman said: “That’s because the kitchen is at half staff because of social distancing. Our customers have been understanding.”

Chicken nuggets and cheeseburgers was all that was on the minds of those waiting for up to an hour at Thetford Forest Retail Park.

Mcdonalds staff, dressed in PPE, directed cars to the growing queue which spanned across the site.

There were long queues outside the McDonald's branch on the Hardwick Retail Park, in King's Lynn, when it reopened after lockdown  Picture: Chris BishopThere were long queues outside the McDonald's branch on the Hardwick Retail Park, in King's Lynn, when it reopened after lockdown Picture: Chris Bishop

Despite being told of the long wait, families from in and around the town were determined to get their first Mcdonald’s fix after lockdown.

Gina Burst, a mum from Thetford, was in the queue after promising her son.

She said: “We were told it was between an hour to an hour and a half wait.

Staff in PPE and long queues of cars could be seen at Mcdonald's, in Thetford's Retail Park, as it opened for the first day since lockdown began. Photo: Emily ThomsonStaff in PPE and long queues of cars could be seen at Mcdonald's, in Thetford's Retail Park, as it opened for the first day since lockdown began. Photo: Emily Thomson

“But I promised my seven-year-old son I would get him chicken nuggets as soon as Mcdonald’s opened again.”

Another woman waiting in the queue said she is pregnant and has been craving Mcdonald’s for weeks.

But a spokesperson from the store said this was the calm before the storm as they expect even more people to turn up when the dinner time rush hits.

Gina Burst, a mum from Thetford, queued for up to an hour to get Mcdonald's for her son. Photo: Emily ThomsonGina Burst, a mum from Thetford, queued for up to an hour to get Mcdonald's for her son. Photo: Emily Thomson

Tony Rahman was visiting Pets at Home, located next door to the fast food site.

He said: “It is mad that all of this is just for Mcdonalds.

“There must be a lot of bored people out there. I wouldn’t queue that long.”

Tony Rahman was visiting Pets at Home, located next door to Mcdonald's in Thetford, and said he couldn’t believe the queues. Photo: Emily ThomsonTony Rahman was visiting Pets at Home, located next door to Mcdonald's in Thetford, and said he couldn’t believe the queues. Photo: Emily Thomson

MORE - Primark announces date it will reopen

All three restaurants and drive-thrus have been closed since lockdown was announced, denying golden arches fans of their fast food fix.

But the a limited menu is now on offer at some drive-throughs, along with opening hours of 11am - 10pm.

Staff in PPE and long queues of cars could be seen at Mcdonald's, in Thetford's Retail Park, as it opened for the first day since lockdown began. Photo: Emily ThomsonStaff in PPE and long queues of cars could be seen at Mcdonald's, in Thetford's Retail Park, as it opened for the first day since lockdown began. Photo: Emily Thomson

Staff in PPE and long queues of cars could be seen at Mcdonald's, in Thetford's Retail Park, as it opened for the first day since lockdown began. Photo: Emily ThomsonStaff in PPE and long queues of cars could be seen at Mcdonald's, in Thetford's Retail Park, as it opened for the first day since lockdown began. Photo: Emily Thomson


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