Burger King has already unveiled its restaurant designs for the future – a fully contactless model with a suspended kitchen and dining room sitting above drive-thru lanes, configured to reduce the building’s footprint. Drive-thru customers can even have their order delivered via conveyor belt system.
That’s the future, but what about the present? The COVID challenges facing restaurant chains like Burger King are far from over.
Parent company Restaurant Brands International has announced that it will modernise the drive-thru experience at more than 10,000 Burger King and Tim Hortons locations by the end of next year, with Popeyes beginning a rollout of its own in late 2020. This includes the installation of about 40,000 screens.
Burger King has more than 6,500 U.S. drive-thrus. This past quarter, drive-thru mix lifted to more than 85 percent of total sales versus two-thirds in 2019. The initiative includes presenting menu options on digital screens tailored to each guest, as well as the integration of the company’s loyalty program at the moment of ordering, providing remote, contactless payment to speed up drive-thru lanes.
"Our guests have sought out our drive-thru lanes for our iconic food and beverages throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, even in the face of mandated dining room closures around the world," CEO Jose Cil said in a statement.
"We believe strongly that it is time to modernize our drive-thru lanes throughout the US and Canada to provide even better, quicker and contactless service for our guests.”
The new innovations include digital menuboards with predictive selling technology, an integrated loyalty programme and remote contactless payment.