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Here's what the Burger King of the future will look like

Burger King has been working on new restaurant designs for years, but the coronavirus pandemic has sped up its plans to roll out contactless features. See its three-lane drive-thru and "burger lockers" of the future.

Posted: Sep 4, 2020 5:11 AM
Updated: Sep 4, 2020 5:11 AM

Burger King's future restaurants will be fit for the coronavirus age, with triple drive-thrus, burger pickup lockers, takeout counters and more.

The burger chain unveiled two new restaurant designs with those features and others on Thursday. It plans to build some prototypes next year in Miami, Latin America and the Caribbean, and incorporate other elements into existing restaurants over time.

"As we look into 2021, we'll be ramping up again on our new development around the world and doing a lot of remodels," said Josh Kobza, chief operating officer for Restaurant Brands International, which owns Burger King.

Some of the features highlighted in the prototype, like double drive-thru lanes, curbside pickup and digital menu boards, already exist. Others are brand new.

In the new designs, customers will be able to drive into a designated spot, order through the app and have food delivered to their cars. They'll see triple drive-thru lanes, one dedicated for delivery drivers. If they arrive on foot, they'll be able to order outside through a walk-up window. The restaurants will also be smaller: One prototype has no indoor dining option at all. The other has a dining room and kitchen — with a conveyor belt for drive-thru orders — suspended over the lanes.

Burger King has been working on new restaurant designs for a few years. But the pandemic has accelerated certain trends, like online ordering, and made to-go orders an even greater focus for fast-food restaurants.

"We're seeing more and more guests wanting to dine off-premise, wanting to use drive-thrus, wanting to do takeaway," Kobza said. "With Covid this year, many of those shifts in consumer preferences have accelerated." Those changes prompted Burger King to "innovate even faster and to think even more about how quickly we can evolve and improve things like our drive-thru experience or the delivery experience."

Drive-thru and delivery have been crucial for Burger King's US business during the pandemic, when indoor dining has been banned or restricted.

In the second quarter, drive-thru sales made up 85% of total US sales, compared to about 67% of total sales in US restaurants last year. Over 6,500 of the nearly 7,300 US Burger King restaurants have drive-thrus.

And since February, Burger King has added delivery to about 2,000 more US restaurants. Now, about 6,100 US Burger King restaurants make deliveries.

There are nearly 18,800 Burger King restaurants worldwide.

As fast food restaurants plan for the future, many are emphasizing their to-go options over dining frooms. Taco Bell recently said that it is cutting back on dining room seating and adding a second drive-thru lane dedicated to pick-up orders made on its app. The restaurant's "Go Mobile" concept is debuting next year.

Minnesota Coronavirus Cases

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Cases: 312969

Reported Deaths: 3637
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Hennepin661641115
Ramsey27766505
Anoka22149228
Dakota22015190
Washington13999115
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St. Louis8747112
Scott846255
Wright775843
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Mower261623
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Polk256324
Morrison231629
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Beltrami217117
McLeod212812
Becker205415
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Steele19497
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Itasca190423
Carlton185816
Todd181214
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Iowa Coronavirus Cases

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Cases: 227398

Reported Deaths: 2368
CountyCasesDeaths
Polk33642336
Linn14352165
Scott1124986
Black Hawk10893135
Woodbury10372126
Johnson955336
Dubuque923291
Story678822
Dallas637257
Pottawattamie631970
Sioux370325
Webster358535
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Clinton331344
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Des Moines291520
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Warren281914
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Wapello255772
Jones232313
Jasper217944
Marion205320
Lee203917
Carroll198422
Bremer195212
Henry18307
Crawford174616
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Jackson144613
Delaware144221
Washington141314
Dickinson139210
Boone137011
Mahaska126827
Wright12456
Clay11784
Buchanan117010
Hardin115810
Page11374
Hamilton11199
Clayton11175
Cedar108413
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Kossuth10667
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