See the new Burger King restaurant design
Oct 10, 2023, 12:55 PM | Updated: 4:41 pm
Customers entering Burger King locations will “start to see something different in 2024,” said Tom Curtis, president of Burger King US & Canada.
After working on it for over a year, the brand officially unveiled a new restaurant design called “Sizzle” during the company’s franchisee convention last week, Curtis said.
Currently, there are two Burger King restaurants open that have been remodeled with the Sizzle decor: One in New Jersey, and one in Las Vegas. Another will open later this month in North Carolina, according to the company. The plan is for more updated restaurants to start opening next year.
The new concepts feature digital ordering kiosks, plenty of Whopper branding, and streamlined drive-thru and pickup lanes. Moving forward, “we’re going to lean in where the most of our business comes in, which is the drive thru,” Curtis said.
Last year, Burger King announced a $400 million plan to improve the business, including $250 million toward remodeling and other restaurant investments.
The facelift is past due: Burger King has been behind its competitors in brand updating. It has revealed updated decor over the years, but renovations have been slow moving. The company last introduced a new concept, Garden Grill, several years ago. In 2020, it showcased new design features, including triple drive-thru lanes, and planned some prototypes. But three years later, restaurants still need a makeover. Sizzle is the latest redesign.
Now, it seems, Burger King is trying to push ahead.
For the past year or so franchisees, which operate the majority of Burger King locations, have been securing permits and finding contractors, Curtis said, laying the groundwork for remodels.
By the end of next year, about half of US restaurants should have the Sizzle or Garden Grill design, he said. A spokesperson for the brand said both Sizzle and Garden Grill locations will be in development next year, without sharing a breakdown or how many Garden Grill locations are currently open.
The new or remodeled restaurants will also finally bear the brand’s updated logo, which was unveiled in 2021 and can be seen on social media channels and in commercials, but rarely in real life.
“We have very few restaurants right now with the new logo up,” said Curtis. It’s a “question mark” on whether old locations will get the new logo, he added.
The news comes as Burger King is struggling to bring customers into its locations.
In the second quarter ending on June 30, sales at Burger King’s US restaurants open at least 13 months jumped 8.3% year over year. Globally, including in the US, sales at Burger King restaurants open at least a year grew 10.2%.
But much of the sales growth in the US was driven by people spending more when they actually bought food from a Burger King, not because more people were coming through the door.
“We are still not in positive territory,” when it comes to traffic, said Josh Kobza, CEO of Burger King parent company Restaurant Brands International, during an analyst call in August. “Growth in traffic … is one of the most significant near-term opportunities we see for the brand.” Kobza said at the time that the trend is improving.
“We’re making progress, and that progress is continuing,” Curtis added in an interview with CNN discussing Sizzle.
In addition to the location upgrades, the brand is also drilling down on its Whopper campaign, but with a slightly different focus.
So far, the brand’s marketing blitz has focused on the many ways to customize its signature burger. Next year, Burger King will continue to spotlight the Whopper, but this time focus on its flavor.