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Burger King just unveiled new plans for a dramatic redesign of its restaurants, and if one thing’s for sure, it’s that drive-through and pick-up options are king.
Renderings of the new design, which were released on Thursday, show a modern Burger King that shrinks the dining room and elevates the kitchen to create more drivable space. The physical footprint of the store is 60% smaller than a traditional Burger King building, according to a company press release.
The design is optimized for what Burger King calls “COVID World,” with pickup cubbies where customers can grab a burger and fries without employee contact. The store will also feature curbside delivery spots, where customers can place orders through a mobile app.
Over the past few months, the coronavirus pandemic has roiled the restaurant industry, but some dining establishments have done better than others. In the spring, visits decreased 47% at full-service restaurants, according to The NPD Group. Meanwhile, fast food restaurants saw a dip of 17%.
In turn, Burger King and a host of other restaurants are pivoting their focus to pickup options. Burrito giant Chipotle, sandwich-seller Panera, and burger-slinger Shake Shack have all said that they would be more focused on take-out, rather than reopening dining rooms, going forward. The move saves money on expensive new safety features, decreases the need for staff, and prevents employees from having to enforce mask policies, which have on occasion led to dangerous conflict.
Burger King's first restaurants featuring the new design will be built in 2021, in Miami, Latin America, and the Caribbean, the company said. Take a virtual tour of the new restaurant designs below.