Leon fast food restaurant at the Eurotunnel terminal in Folkestone, UK. (File Photo: iStock)

Healthy food chain Leon said Monday (March 23) it will convert its outlets into mini-supermarkets and offer online groceries as restaurants are forced to close in Britain to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

Leon, which has 65 UK locations, said in a statement that its new e-commerce website will sell consumers food direct to their homes – just like the nation’s supermarkets.

The website, which launched Wednesday, offers restaurant-quality ready meals, sauces, meats and other food that customers can store and eat at home.

“Right now you have struggling restaurants and their staff ready to provide food to customers on the one hand, and on the other, supermarkets with empty shelves,” said Leon founder and CEO John Vincent in Monday’s statement.

The balance isn’t right. Not for customers, not for people facing job losses and not for businesses.”

Government restrictions that seek to prevent COVID-19 spreading further in Britain are forcing restaurants to stop serving food at their premises.

US fast food chain McDonald’s has decided to shut all its UK and Ireland restaurants with effect from Monday night.

Food and drink chains Nando’s, Costa Coffee and Subway also announced that they will close all their outlets as a result of the coronavirus outbreak.