To make room for extra drive-thru lanes and areas for curbside pickup, fast-food chains are rethinking the idea of a modern-day restaurant with new design prototypes. And one component, particularly, is taking on minimal actual property within the fashionable fast-food joint—the eating room.

As chains proceed to unveil their futuristic restaurant designs, lots of them are decreasing the scale of their eating rooms, and in some instances eliminating them altogether. Listed here are among the largest chains main off-premises eating.

For extra, that is the #1 quickest drive-thru in America proper now, and remember to skip The 8 Worst Quick-Meals Burgers to Keep Away From Proper Now.

Courtesy of Taco Bell
One of many largest adjustments you may see at these new Go Cell Taco Bell places is the large drive-thru, adopted by the a lot smaller eating room simply above them. Not less than 30 such locations shall be accomplished by the top of this yr.

Panera Next Generation Restaurant
Courtesy of Panera

Panera opened its first “subsequent era” restaurant in Missouri final week, and along with double drive-thru lanes and new digital options, its eating room has additionally obtained a facelift. For one, the brand new location and any future Panera shops can have eating rooms that shall be about 5 occasions smaller than what you are used to. Nonetheless, the chain is getting snug and can put its bread-baking ovens on full show to shock prospects.

Burger King
Courtesy of Burger King

Burger King’s “restaurant of the long run”, a prototype set to debut this yr, will function quite a lot of improvements: a large drive-thru, meals lockers, conveyor belts, and in some instances. , , Al fresco eating room. Whereas among the collection’ newer designs function small eating rooms sitting instantly above the drive-thru lane, others eschew the normal inside fully and as a substitute embody solely a shaded patio for on-premises eating.

Courtesy of Portillo

Portillo, a beloved Chicago model, is named a lot for its iconic sizzling canines as it’s for its giant eating rooms. However the future appears to be like very totally different for the chain and its prospects. In response to CEO Michael Osanlu, Portillo is betting on off-premises gross sales as its most important supply of site visitors, and its new places will replicate this technique.

Portillo isn’t solely decreasing the scale of its eating rooms, however it can quickly be testing a prototype area with no eating rooms. The primary pick-up-only unit will open this winter in Joliet, Sick., and can as a substitute have three drive-thru lanes.

ihop flipped storefront
Courtesy of IHOP

IHOP could also be a serious dine-in chain, however the model is increasing with on-the-go offshoots extra appropriate for takeout. Flip’d by IHOP is serving IHOP’s iconic breakfast and lunch menus, however in moveable packaging, and with very small areas with restricted eating room areas.

del taco

Del Taco’s concept of ​​a post-pandemic restaurant was dubbed Recent Flex – a brand new design that provides potential operators a variety of retailer sizes. A few of these choices embody smaller drive-thru-only places with out eating rooms.


Not desirous to get in the best way of drive-thru effectivity, McDonald’s final yr mentioned it was additionally exploring an specific restaurant mannequin that will skip the eating room and deal with drive-thru, takeout and supply providers.

KFC Exterior
Courtesy of KFC

KFC introduced final yr that it plans to steadily part out its present restaurant design (known as “American Showman”), which locations much less emphasis on meals. It launched two new designs that will considerably cut back their conventional eating rooms—one centered on drive-thru growth in suburban areas, and one with decreased dine-in capability for city areas the place actual property is pricey.

Chipotle Mexican Grill Storefront by Night

Along with including its Chipotlean (its proprietary drive-thru on steroids) throughout the US, Chipotle additionally examined digital-only eating places for the primary time in New York state final yr. The situation doesn’t have a eating room and its workers can not take in-store orders. As a substitute, prospects should place their order by means of the chain’s cellular app or web site for pickup or supply. You possibly can anticipate to see this Chipotle setup broaden nationwide within the coming years.

For extra data, see The 108 Most Standard Sodas and How Poisonous They Are.

Mura Dominco

Mura is a deputy editor main ETNT’s protection of America’s favourite quick meals and restaurant chains. Learn extra about Muras

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