The fast-food industry has been faring somewhat better during the pandemic than the restaurant industry as a whole, but a newly released redesign by a casual-dining giant shows just how much the coronavirus era has changed the way we grab a quick bite. Burger King has debuted its plans for the "restaurant of tomorrow" in a pair of promotional videos, and per Business Insider, it's a "dramatic" overhaul, with a focus on drive-thru and pickup options. A release describes the chain's "enhanced guest experience in COVID world," featuring a 60% reduced physical footprint. In one design, the kitchen and dining room are suspended above the expanded drive-thru lanes, where food is delivered via conveyor belts.
Other elements include a walk-up window, canopied drive-in spots where customers can use a QR code to order and have their food delivered, and "coded food lockers," where patrons who place mobile orders can come to pick up their Whoppers and fries. "The design of this restaurant allows a 100% touchless experience," the release notes. Forbes—which cites data noting that pickup transactions at restaurants, supermarkets, and retailers have spiked 200% since March—reports that the overhaul comes courtesy of parent company Restaurant Brand International's in-house design group. Other chains, including Taco Bell, Shake Shack, Chipotle, and Panera, are also looking to revamp their offerings to adapt to this new era. The new BK design will debut in Miami next year, as well as in the Caribbean and Latin America. (Read more Burger King stories.)