Fast-food restaurants see lots of changes as companies try to keep up with trends and innovation in cutthroat industry.
Many of those innovations focus on menu items.
In particular, Restaurant Brands International's (QSR) Burger King division has been implementing various changes to its franchises.
The "Home of the Whopper" has "committed to selling a 50% meat-free menu in the U.K. by 2030," reported Daniel Kline, managing editor for TheStreet.com.
The company, based in Toronto, Canada, has also been diverging from French fries, recently selling an item called Cheesy Tots.
And of course who can't forget the new spicy Mango Habanero King, which consists of "two flame-grilled patties as a double and one as a single, two slices of American cheese, thick-cut bacon, mango habanero sauce, and spicy jalapeños--seeds in," according to Colette Bennett of TheStreet.com.
These items--meat-free foods, Cheesy Tots, and the Mango Habanero King--are all new menu items. But in the background, Burger King has been working on a new project.
Where The Inspiration Comes From
Recently, Best Buy (BBY) introduced a new store concept. The new store was designed as a "small format, digital-first" concept. Best Buy described it as a "new digital-first shopping experience that encourages customers to do everything from shop, select your product and get advice digitally while in the store."
The store provides efficiency by instant information via scanning items, elevated self-checkouts, and instant expert advice.
Other big companies, like Amazon (AMZN) , also have developed this idea with Amazon Go and Amazon Fresh: "Amazon Go operates with no cashiers or self-checkout stations, and instead the average shopper walks in, picks up items, puts them in their shopping cart, and walks out."
Amazon Fresh "...operates as a delivery service for Amazon Fresh and Whole Foods Market orders. Amazon Fresh users can also order groceries online for delivery as quick as two hours later or pick them up."
These ideas are not unknown: a technology retail company Best Buy did it as well.
And the ideas are spreading Burger King, through completely separate from Best Buy and Amazon, is planning to do something similar.
Burger King Tests New Store Concept
You may have already guessed it, but Burger King Toronto has announced that it has been testing new store layouts, and the reasons will surprise most.
José E. Cil, Chief Executive Officer of Restaurant Brands International, Inc., told Food Business News that Burger King franchises are interested in elevating profits and guest experience.
In order to complete this idea, buildings will be altered and new ideas will be tested: "We're considering remodels versus scrape-and-rebuilds versus relocations or offsets, and this is centered on kind of the guest experience on digital and also enhancing our throughput or the capacity for us to serve more guests in our restaurants," the publication quoted Cil as saying.
Joshua Kobza, Chief Operating Officer of RBI, told Food Business News that changes will also be implemented for drive-thru: "We're testing express drive-thru lanes for mobile order and pickup, tandem drive-thrus with two sets of menu boards and order points in a single lane and restaurants with above-lane conveyor systems, allowing two cars to receive their orders at the same time,”
These models will also be tested at RBI's Popeyes and Tim Hortons, according to the report. Depending on their success, the ideas could roll out elsewhere soon.