Skip to main content

Will restaurants of the future still need a dining room?

It does not seem the coronavirus is leaving us soon, although we have seen good progress in developing the vaccine. In recent weeks, many places reported a surge of new infected COVID-19 cases. Some even resumed lockdowns and the mask-mandate order, forcing restaurants to shut down indoor dining services again.   

As a short-term remedy, restaurants immediately shifted their offering to curbside pickup and delivery services. Meanwhile, restaurants are testing new concepts to embrace the contactless self-service trend for the future. Here are some examples, 

 

Chipotle opened its first digital-only restaurant 

 

Chipotle Digital Kitchen

The new prototype, known as the Chipotle Digital Kitchen, debut in Highland Falls, NY, earlier this month. Different from the traditional Chipotle restaurant, the Chipotle Digital Kitchen features: 

 

  • A lobby designated for pickup services through off-premise orders. 
  • A see-through kitchen, allowing customers to see, smell, and hear what is going on behind the glass. 
  • Businesses from regular and large catering orders through the restaurant’s website, app, and third-party delivery partners. 

 

Chipotle expects that digital sales will remain to be a key driver of its business. The restaurant chain plans to roll out more digital kitchens in high-density, urban locations with large sales volume through digital orders. 

 

Burger King’s new stores will have multiple food collection points

 

Burger King plans to roll out new restaurants as early as next year in Miami, Latin America, and the Caribbean. The restaurant chain called it “the restaurant of tomorrow,” where

 

  • Multiple ordering and delivery points are available, including drive-in, drive-thru, curbside pickup, and outdoor dining.  
  • Because the kitchen is located on the second floor of the restaurant, conveyor belts will be used to deliver food to the cars. 
  • Customers can place an order as they park their cars in the drive-in location through the mobile app by scanning the QR code at the spot. Staff will deliver the food to the parking spot. 
  • Two to three drive-thru lanes are built-in, with a designated motorcycle lane in selected locations.  
  • Customers can pick up the pre-orders through the mobile app either in the dedicated parking spots for curbside delivery or the food lockers located in the front. 
  • The restaurant has a separate area for take-out orders by walk-up customers on foot or bike. 
  • Both outdoor and indoor dining areas are still available.

 

The typical new store is about 60% smaller than the current ones. In a more urban setting, the new store will heavily focus on collection options. 

 

Burger King New Concept Store Design


Taco Bell’s new stores will have two drive-thru lanes  

 

Taco Bell plans to open two company-owned stores with a new “Go Mobile” design in the first quarter of 2021. The new design includes: 

 

  • Two drive-thru lanes, one of which is reserved for pickup orders through its mobile app. 
  • Indoor pickup shelves. 
  • Designated parking spots for curbside pickups. 
  • More technology in the kitchen to speed up the process.

 

The size of the dining room in Taco Bell’s new stores will vary based on locations. The restaurant chain will work with the franchisees to update the existing stores. 

 

McDonald’s wants to make drive-thru even faster

 

The fast-food giant seems to be playing a catch-up game. In the past few years, McDonald’s has already sped up the drive-thru line by 30 seconds, partially due to a simpler menu. Nevertheless, consumers still spend an average of 349 seconds in McDonald’s drive-thru lanes in 2020, slower than Burger King, Taco Bell, and KFC. Now, McDonald’s is testing: 

 

  • Express lines for customers picking up mobile orders.
  • Triple-drive-thru stores.
  • Dedicated pickup spots.
  • Automatic ordering.
  • Minimalist food packaging
  • Digital menu boards that are supported by AI, which can make recommendations based on such factors as the weather and how busy the kitchen is. 
  • New stores with limited or no seating areas but a focus on drive-thru, pickup, and delivery. 

 

Are restaurants getting rid of the dining room for good? 

 

The pandemic has pushed the demand for contactless self-service in businesses like restaurants, hotels, and airlines. Besides the shifting focus on drive-thru, mobile order, pickup, and delivery services, it indeed appears that quick-service and fast-food restaurants are shrinking the size of the dining room.  

 

Will other types of restaurants, such as quick-casual or even fine-dining restaurants, follow the same trend? Also, will restaurants with smaller or no dining rooms stay after the pandemic? 

 

I believe the answers depend on if one believes COVID-19 will forever change the way people eat in a restaurant or the purpose of going out. So, are you more optimistic or pessimistic about the dining room’s future in restaurants?


Note: This post is also available on MultiBriefs.com; The pictures were downloaded from Chipotle.com and DailyMail.co.uk

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Social media engagement is immune to COVID-19 (by Steven Valenzuela)

In the unparalleled world of COVID-19, individuals are flooded with choices: whether it be what to eat or what church service to watch. While there are marketing strategies to get consumers to purchase products to immediately increase sales, it may be a more beneficial to engage with low spending consumers in the short term, so that businesses can keep them for the long term.   Social media game strong   During this time, it is crucial to keep social media posts constant and consistently more than ever before. A recent podcast by eMarketer reports that social media outlets such as Facebook have seen a significant rise in usage. The reality is that individuals have more time on their hands, which is why it is important for businesses to utilize their free time to create content for their social media channels. In a recent interview with the hospitality net, Leland Pillsbury stated  “Customers are going to come back...And if you allow your competitors to reengage with the guests before

The 7 Ps marketing mix of home-sharing services: Insights from over one million Airbnb reviews

The 7 Ps marketing mix framework is a widely used managerial tool that helps businesses identify the principal components of a service product. The 7 P elements include Product, Promotion, Price, Place, Participant, Physical Evidence, and Process.   The 7 Ps framework can assist marketers in making decisions regarding segmentation, positioning, and differentiation. Even for the same type of products with different brands, marketers can still drive higher sales through the improvement of a product’s marketing mix.     The empirical study about 7 Ps of home-sharing services   Building upon the 7 Ps marketing mix framework, I led a research team in a big-data, supervised machine learning analysis of over 1.14 million English reviews of 37,092 Airbnb listings in San Francisco (SFO) and New York City (NYC). We aimed to discover new meaningful business intelligence through the analysis of an immense quantity of online review information that is created by consumers in the cyber marketplace

Will Amazon’s new palm recognition become the next popular biometric technology?

Amazon recently introduced a  new biometric payment device , Amazon One, in two of its Go stores in Seattle. Shoppers can now enter and pay at cashier-free  Amazon Go  stores by scanning their palms. The company opened its first Amazon Go store in Seattle to the public in  January 2018 . Currently, Amazon operates  21 Go stores  in Chicago, New York, San Francisco, and Seattle, with five temporarily closed. Unlike a typical grocery store, Amazon Go offers grab-and-go, ready-to-eat snacks, breakfast, and lunch options for shoppers. Shopping at Amazon Go can be as easy as walking in and out of the store. After consumers download the Amazon Go app and link the account with a form of payment, they can: Walk into the store by scanning the Amazon Go app. Grab the items wanted. Walk out of the store. Be charged through the Amazon Go app. How Amazon One works Amazon One  works similarly to the Amazon Go app. To  sign up , shoppers will need a credit card, a mobile number, and of course, their