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Burger King unveils design for future restaurants, including touchless features, outdoor dining

The coronavirus pandemic has forever changed the world. And what we now expect from once common, everyday experiences, such as dining out, has subsequently changed and continues to evolve.

According to a news release from Burger King, the fast food hamburger chain has considered these new expectations, and is unveiling updated restaurant designs to fulfill guests’ changing demands. This involves changes that “will deliver flexibility, innovative features and convenient options for how its food can be ordered and delivered,” the release said.

What is featured in the new designs?

Featured throughout the new designs will be: “dedicated mobile order and curbside pick-up areas, drive-in and walk-up order areas, enhanced drive-thru experience, exterior dining spaces and sustainable design elements,” Burger King said.

Burger King said that the new designs will feature multiple ordering and delivery modes, and that the physical footprint will be 60% smaller than a traditional Burger King restaurant building and site.

According to the press release, here are some of the features the reimagined restaurant blueprints emphasize:

  • Drive-in – Cars are parked under solar-powered canopies. Orders are placed through the BK App and food is quickly delivered to guests’ cars.
  • Curbside delivery – Advance orders can be placed through the mobile app with dedicated parking spots. Guests will notify the restaurant team member upon arrival via an app.
  • Pick up lockers – Mobile and delivery orders can be picked up from coded food lockers where food will come straight from the kitchen.
  • On-premise dining – The traditional indoor dining room is replaced with a shaded patio featuring outdoor seating.
  • Drive thru – Double or triple lanes will feature digital menu boards and merchandising. An external walk up window will be an alternate point for ordering take-out.
  • Suspended kitchen and dining room – Configured to reduce the building footprint, here drive-thru guests will have their order delivered from the suspended kitchen by a conveyor belt system, allowing for a 100% touchless experience. There is also a dining room and covered outdoor seating situated above the drive thru entrance. A triple drive thru will include a dedicated lane for delivery drivers.
Burger King

Burger King’s “Restaurant of Tomorrow” concept includes drive-in parking spots similar to a Sonic Drive-in restaurant. (Photo courtesy Burger King)

Who created the new designs?

Created by the Restaurant Brands International in-house design group, the press release said, “the plans were drafted with input from tech, operations and food innovation teams,” with the purpose of dramatically improving “the Burger King restaurant guest experience.”

“In March our in-house design and tech team accelerated new restaurant design plans and pushed the limits of what a Burger King restaurant could be,” said Josh Kobza, Restaurant Brands International chief operating officer. “We took into consideration how consumer behaviors are changing and our guests will want to interact with our restaurants. The result is a new design concept that is attractive to guests and will allow our franchisees to maximize their return,” the press release quoted.

Where and when will the new designs be built?

According to the press release, restaurants utilizing the new design concept will be built in 2021 in Miami, Latin America and Caribbean. Restaurant design renderings can be previewed at https://youtu.be/vwpz-wBqo4k and https://youtu.be/qoHONJCu4T0.

Founded in 1954, the Burger King brand is the second largest fast food hamburger chain in the world, the release said.

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