Burger King is preparing for the long haul.
The fast-food restaurant chain announced new store designs Thursday, emphasizing contactless ordering and outside dining to adapt to changing guest needs during the coronavirus pandemic.
The new designs, developed by parent company Restaurant Brands International, resemble Sonic: parked areas dedicated to mobile orders, curbside pickup, walk-up order, improved drive-through and outside dining.
The first new design restaurants will be built in 2021 in Miami, Latin America and the Caribbean Islands, the company said in a release. Burger King operates more than 18,800 locations worldwide. It was unclear if the fast-food company plans to build these new design restaurants in other U.S. cities later.
Under the new design, guests can place orders online through the Burger King app by scanning a QR code at their parking spot under solar-powered canopies and have food delivered to their cars. They can also order in advance and park in the spot dedicated for curbside delivery or pick up the orders from coded food lockers. The new drive-through option will feature double or triple lanes, with digital menu boards, as well as an external walk-up window for takeout orders.
For those who prefer to eat on the premises, one new design replaces the indoor dining room with a shaded patio and seating. Another features a suspended kitchen and dining room, with outdoor seating, built above the drive-through lanes, which will deliver orders to drive-through customers through a conveyor belt. Food-delivery drivers will have their own drive-through lane.
“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,” Josh Kobza, chief operating officer for Restaurant Brands International, said in the release. “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.”