The next Burger King you visit might not have a dining room

Bloomberg September 4 | Updated on September 04, 2020 Published on September 04, 2020

Burger King is considering all those options as it rethinks restaurants for a post-Covid-19 world   -  Bloomberg

In place of a dining room, these fast food outlets may have drive-thru lanes, coded lockers for food pick-up, covered patios

Three drive-thru lanes. Coded lockers for food pick-up. Covered patios in place of indoor dining rooms.

Burger King is considering all those options as it rethinks restaurants for a post-Covid-19 world.

The fast-food chain owned by Restaurant Brands International Inc unveiled potential designs on Thursday for its next generation of restaurants that are smaller and use technology to minimise interaction between customers and employees. Eateries have had to rethink their operations in the coronavirus pandemic as health concerns have hurt indoor dining while boosting demand for delivery and drive-thru options.

“These designs are intended to address some of the shifts in guest behaviour that we’d already been seeing, but really accelerated this year,” Josh Kobza, chief operating officer for Restaurant Brands International, said in an interview.

The first new stores are slated to be built in 2021 in Miami, Latin America and the Caribbean. The company didn’t specify which of the new features the restaurants would adopt or what they will cost to build.

The format changes suggest the pandemic could have lasting — even permanent — effects on the industry. While both retail stores and restaurants have instituted temporary changes to their operations, Burger King’s move is one of the first major design overhauls impacting newly-built locations.

The designs are the culmination of a year-long shift in fast food to smaller stores and more digital capabilities. The Burger King store concept features a 60 per cent smaller physical footprint, which could mean cheaper leases, while including features such as coded lockers for retrieving mobile orders, dedicated curbside pick-up spots and even a conveyor belt system to deliver food from the kitchen to drive-thru customers.

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Published on September 04, 2020
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