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The pandemic transforms the design and architecture of new restaurants

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The momentum with which the mobility market has entered the restaurant sector, coupled with other factors such as digital processing of the hospitality sector, has caused that in recent times the restaurant spaces have been rearranged to better serve the consumer trends that emerge among consumers, now dominated by younger generations such as millennials Y, in the future, the very similar generation Z.

Among the changes that have already been observed in recent years is the concept of limit the area used for the salon or face-to-face service. Business volume on-premise, on site, represents a decreasing percentage, as time passes the interest in eating within a given establishment continues to wane.

This has meant that businesses oriented to the delivery of food at home have been able to choose to mount restaurants in smaller venues, with fixed costs in terms of rent or acquisition much lower than usual. This phenomenon has been decisive so that the commercial network associated with restoration has not declined in cities affected by the real estate bubble, how can they be new york, London, Barcelona or Madrid, cities that would have otherwise witnessed an enormous destruction of companies related to the hospitality industry.

On the other hand, he delivery requires the presence of a collection area when the orders made via telematics have to be distributed by the fleet of distributors of the company or associated companies such as Uber Eats, Just Eat, Deliveroo O by Dash, to mention a few. These spaces were improvised in the early days of the takeaway fashion, but it was soon observed that the entry of delivery men to the area destined for the consumption of the visitors was a great nuisance for all the parties involved.

A) Yes, segregated collection areas connected directly to the kitchen have proliferated, allowing delivery drivers to access from the street, quickly detect the next order to deliver, and leave with the destination to the address of the end customer.

Mobility options are not limited to home delivery of food. Although in Spain it is still not the most frequent, in EE. THE. there have been since 2019 a strong investment to adapt the premises located in the outskirts of the big cities to the service drive-thru, the one in which customers arrive by car and collect their order, previously requested by microphone, touch screen or app mobile, at the window. Reduce the space for the restaurant and expand the area dedicated to parking and car lanes It is an architectural decision that has been seen to proliferate in many points of sale of large organized restaurant brands specialized in the fast food niche in the United States., and it is undoubtedly a reality that will gradually become more frequent in commercial areas and industrial estates.

Decision making in terms of architecture, interior design and layout of the restaurant's specialized furniture is not a trivial matter for the professional in this sector. Linked to these types of decisions, all kinds of inefficiencies and competitive advantages.

In the midst of the coronavirus crisis, this is more obvious if possible. Returning to the case of drive-thrus, During the hardest periods of the first wave, restaurants in the US. THE. they experienced a increase 26% in the volume of business perceived in this type of service. At the rate of these metrics, companies like Taco Bell They have made a great effort to stimulate the installation of double lanes in their restaurants, something that allows them serve more customers and minimize waiting times, which in turn is greatly improving your digital profile by collecting more positive reviews. So important is this factor, that in the famous chain of tacos have coined their strategy of lane expansion to serve drivers such as «Go Mobile».

No es la única compañía reconocida que se suma a esta moda, por lo que se puede descartar que se trate de una excepción. Shake Shack, la franquicia de comida casual famosa por sus batidos de autor, entró en el mercado drive-thru en el mes de mayo gracias a su Shack Track, un carril donde los clientes pueden solicitar su pedido a través de la app móvil de la compañía desde su vehículo y recibirlo poco más adelante en la acera. Aunque es un paso provisional a la espera de que se instale el primer drive-thru propiamente dicho en 2021, el servicio se quedará de modo permanente para aquellos establecimientos que no tengan posibilidad de reforma arquitectónica.

Sin embargo, el mayor cambio no lo ha introducido ni Shake Shack ni Taco Bell. En un movimiento que se esperaría más de la siempre pionera Domino’s Pizza, la cadena de hamburgueserías Burger King, eterno rival de McDonald’s, se adelanta ahora a todos sus competidores en el segmento de la comida rápida al lanzar dos diseños vanguardistas con el que reducirán enormemente sus necesidades de espacio.

La crisis del coronavirus ha provocado que los locales diseñados como parte del proyecto «Restaurante del mañana» de Burger King sean un 60% más pequeños que los habituales. Las diferencias no se limitan al tamaño general, sino que la disposición de los interiores responde a un diseño utilitario orientado a las ventas multicanal, y en el exterior los drive-thru predominan, dispuestos bajo un techo de paneles solares que alimentan el establecimiento haciendo que su huella de carbono sea menor.

El número de pasillos en el comedor se minimiza también y los pedidos se entregan gracias a una cinta transportadora, con un punto de recogida asignado previamente que permite un control total sobre el servicio aportado desde la cocina. El nuevo diseño y arquitectura responden a una estrategia nueva ya mentada hace unos meses por la directiva de la compañía.

José Cil, actual director ejecutivo de la marca, ya indicó durante la reunión del segundo trimestre celebrada en agosto con Restaurant Brands International que había grandes oportunidades para capitalizar sobre el negocio off-premise, y eso es justamente lo que buscan al instalar un servicio multicarril para drive-thru en sus restaurantes más modernos.

A ello hay que añadir zonas designadas para recogida fuera del establecimiento, con posibilidad de instalación de taquillas contactless incluso, una de las novedades más elogiadas tras la primera oleada de SARS-CoV-2.

Detrás de todos estos cambios hay una potente idea con la que los restauantes se tienen que familiarizar, y es que incluso tras la pandemia, cuando ya no haya casos de COVID-19, el negocio off-premise o fuera de las instalaciones, seguirá siendo la norma, por lo que el momento para adaptarse a los cambios es ahora. Acoger las novedades tecnológicas que revolucionan el sector de forma temprana siempre es buena idea en un negocio con tan elevada competitividad como es el de los restaurantes.

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Artículo realizado por el equipo de redacción de DiegoCoquillat.com. Cuenta con profesionales tanto en el terreno de la hostelería, gastronomía y turismo, como en de las nuevas tecnologías e innovación.

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