Burger King Tests Touchless Restaurant Design in Miami
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The year 2020 was a challenge for the catering industry. The coronavirus pandemic has forced restaurants to change everything from interior design to menu options to meet safety needs and consumer demand.
It also happens on a large scale.
Miami-based fast food giant Burger King unveils an all-new restaurant design that prepares the fast food chain for our “New Normal”. As more people demand for al fresco dining and contactless transactions, Burger King plans to test the design in Miami and several locations in Latin America and the Caribbean next year.
Rapha Abreu, global design director at Burger King, mother of Brest International, tells the New Times that Miami was chosen because it is the company’s hometown. “As of today, we plan to control one of these Miami restaurants in 2021. Miami was chosen because that’s where our headquarters are and we usually run innovative projects – our backyard.”
The exact location and opening date of the new Burger King has yet to be announced.
“We designed the indoor and outdoor spaces as if we had a blank sheet of paper, with no preconceived ideas about what a Burger King restaurant should look like,” says Abreu.
The new designs will implement some features that have already been introduced in current Burger King locations, such as: B. Online orders and roadside collection. Some designs are 100 percent non-contact.
Abreu says the chain is unwilling to make its traditional restaurant obsolete. “These new designs will be added to the collection of restaurant designs we have for Burger King,” he says. “And both traditional restaurants and these new models will be built in the future.”
The designs are slim and compact, taking up about 60 percent of the floor space of a traditional Burger King. However, the pint-sized restaurants have plenty of features – including a Burger King Ventanita where customers can walk to a special window and order takeaway.
Drive-through streets offer digital menu boards and a “living wall” through which diners can see into the restaurant’s kitchen.
The new Burger King offers a drive-in area where guests can park under solar-powered canopies and order via the BK app by scanning a QR code. The food is delivered straight to the car.
The new location also offers roadside delivery for orders placed in advance through the app. For even less human interaction, coded pick-up cabinets are available for customers who prefer to pick up pre-ordered groceries.
To enable on-site dining, the new designs include either a shaded patio area or an indoor / outdoor area suspended above the drive-through entrance.
McDonald’s has retained its title as America’s fast food giant for decades. But the giant probably hears Burger King’s heavy footsteps. Last year, BK launched the Impossible Whopper to attract a growing meat-free meal market. Burger King is now testing a pandemic-inspired pivot. Does the king want to usurp the fast food crown?
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Laine Doss is the food and liquor editor for the Miami New Times. It was featured on Eat Street by Cooking Channel and in the Great Food Truck Race by Food Network. She won an Alternative Weekly Award for her contribution on what it’s like to wait for tables.