Skip to content

These 3 Popular Chains Ranked The Best For COVID-19 Safety Measures

These are the safest quick-service restaurants to go to right now according to a massive in-store market research evaluation.

Ipsos is at it again! After evaluating different grocery store retailers to see which stores ranked as the best in terms of safety during coronavirus, this market research company decided to also look at popular quick-service restaurants. In order to determine which retailers provided the safest customer experience during the pandemic, Ipsos sent out their mystery shoppers to 5,700 different stores to conduct secret in-store evaluations to see how they are responding to COVID-19 in terms of safety. After doing some research, they chose three quick-service chains as the safest restaurants to go to during the pandemic.

Ipsos published this data in their Consumer Health & Safety Index as a way to benchmark how retailers (including popular chain restaurants) are doing during the pandemic. After their visits, mystery shoppers would report which retailers were able to successfully implement Health and Safety measures, and which ones failed to meet those standards. Once all of the evaluations were in, Ipsos determined that Chipotle, McDonald's, and Starbucks were deemed the safest restaurants to go to right now. Here's the information Ipsos shared in an email released to Eat This, Not That! about their latest findings. And for more restaurant news, be sure to sign up for our newsletter.



original chipotle location

Out of all of the restaurants that were evaluated by Ipsos, Chipotle ended up ranking the highest in the QSR category in terms of safety. In order to evaluate this, mystery shoppers specifically looked for ways employees were keeping clean and safe, and how customers can continue cleanliness even within the restaurant. After visiting multiple locations, Ipsos reported 90% and 83% of employees consistently wore masks and gloves. 49% of locations had hand sanitizer ready a the entrance, and a whopping 82% had hand sanitizer available in the restrooms—which is huge compared to the industry average of 24% at the moment. So if you're craving a burrito bowl, a trip to Chipotle is probably the smartest move.



people waiting on food at mcdonald's

Even though McDonald's has a multitude of locations across the world, Ipsos actually determined this popular fast-food chain to be the second safest and cleanliest retailer for restaurants in their QSR category. Ipsos reported 95% of McDonald's locations are using plexiglass at checkout to keep employees safe, and different lanes created in the store in order to direct the traffic flow. 87% of the locations included motion-activated or touchless fixtures in bathrooms.



walk-in starbucks

Coming in third in the QSR category is one of your favorite coffee chains—Starbucks. According to mystery shoppers, 93% of Starbucks locations had employees wearing masks, and 83% of locations offered contactless payment options for customers. So if you're getting sick of brewing your own cup of coffee at home and you're ready to treat yourself to an iced coffee, Starbucks will be your best option in terms of safety.

Eat This, Not That! is constantly monitoring the latest food news as it relates to COVID-19 in order to keep you healthy, safe, and informed (and answer your most urgent questions). Here are the precautions you should be taking at the grocery store, the foods you should have on hand, the meal delivery services and restaurant chains offering takeout you need to know about, and ways you can help support those in need. We will continue to update these as new information develops. Click here for all of our COVID-19 coverage, and sign up for our newsletter to stay up-to-date.
Kiersten Hickman
Kiersten Hickman is a Deputy Editor at Eat This, Not That!, with a main focus on food coverage, nutrition, and recipe development. Read more about Kiersten