The novel coronavirus pandemic has forced restaurants to reconsider their man-made structures and interior designers to ensure a more secure environment and reduce interaction between humans. Independent restaurants installed delivery windows and rethought their interior dining rooms, while fast-food franchises added new off-premise outlets like curbside. Taco Bell plans to launch the first Go Mobile outlets in Q1 2021, including a conventional drive-thru lane, as well as a priority mobile order pick-up lane.
Burger King is planning to introduce two new restaurant designs which, according to a press release, will have dedicated mobile order and curbside pick-up areas, drive-in and walk-up order areas, enhanced drive-thrus, outdoor dining space and sustainable design elements. The first newly developed restaurants will be built in Miami, Latin America and the Caribbean in 2021, which the chain promises would be 100 percent touchless and 60 percent smaller than a typical restaurant.
During the pandemic, Burger King’s comparable sales suffered, falling 13.4 percent in Q2 2020. A design that emphasizes off-premise channels may help it recover revenue lost over the long term, particularly if this design is implemented across the U.S.
Josh Kobza, Chief Operating Officer at Restaurant Brands International in a press release said that “In March the in-house design and engineering team accelerated new restaurant design plans and stretched the boundaries of what a Burger King restaurant could be,”. We needed to consider the evolution of customer tastes and our guests would like to engage with our restaurants. The result is a modern style philosophy that attracts visitors and helps our franchisors optimize their returns.
Drive-thru transactions increased 26 percent across the industry during April, May and June, while developing smoother drive-thru experiences is likely to help generate more orders, according to the NPD community. The drive-in model is also an important alternative and maybe piggy-backing on the pandemic success Sonic Drive-In has had. According to a Top Data survey, the fast-food chain has been the favoured restaurant across the US for the period from June 12, 2019, to June 12, 2020, based on Cuebiq results.
Also, the suspended kitchen design requires less staff, particularly with back-of-house employees delivering orders that used a conveyor belt system rather than a member of staff delivering orders to a client. This will help to lower labour costs and deal with labour shortages that have persisted even during a time of high unemployment.