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Burger King Leads Trend Of Restaurant Chain Redesigns De-Emphasizing Indoor Dining


Though the coronavirus pandemic will come to an end at some point, dining will never be the same.

Burger King announced on Thursday the launch of two new design concepts for future locations that feature "touchless" food delivery and de-emphasize indoor dining, CNBC reports. Both styles would require as much as 60% less square footage than the current standard Burger King.

The first of two designs from the Restaurant Brands International subsidiary will be called Next Level and place both a dining room and kitchen on the second floor, topping multiple drive-thru lanes serviced by conveyor belts from the kitchen, CNBC reports. The other design will be called Your Way and include solar panels overhanging parking spots for curbside pickup orders, as well as outdoor seating and multiple drive-thru lanes.

Both new versions of Burger King, which will start rolling out next year in Miami, South America and the Caribbean, will depend on touch screens and smartphone apps to facilitate transactions with minimal contact between diners and employees. The adjustment was one Restaurant Brands International was already planning before the coronavirus accelerated the process, CNBC reports.

The adaptation will likely be repeated by restaurants across the world, especially major chains with the capital for large-scale renovation projects.

Smaller footprints and more drive-thru capability are necessary responses to a rapidly decreased comfort level with indoor dining, rather than specific social distancing requirements that may be reversed in time, FRCH NELSON Design Director Marty McCauley told QSR. McCauley has designed restaurants for Yum! Brands, which owns Kentucky Fried Chicken.