The King gets a New Kitchen Design
This Burger King project started with developing an exciting design makeover for the BK kitchen and testing that design with customers in WD’s own retail theater research environment. The customer-tested design was then put to the test to ensure that it works within existing structural and cost parameters. Lastly we created a unique VR experience to introduce the concept as well as designed and operated a trade show booth to serve franchisees at their Global Conference.
In the highly competitive quick serve restaurant industry, a new look can be as important as a new addition to the menu. When industry veteran Burger King wanted a fresh design, it turned to WD, well known for our extensive experience in food service strategy, branding, design and operations.
Combining research gathered by BK with our own Strategy & Insights, WD created an exciting new kitchen design. But that was just the beginning.
BK also leaned on WD to help sell the new idea to its 17,000 franchisees at the company’s 2016 Global Franchisee Conference—a traditionally skeptic group. We rose to the challenge and produced a virtual reality experience that generated buzz and excitement among conference attendees who came from six continents.
Customers become audience in our BK Kitchen Theatre
Our new BK kitchen design—a stroke of genius based on consumer research and testing done in our own Retail Theater—involved reworking the back-of-house footprint to create an open kitchen experience where customers can watch their food being prepared.
Capitalizing on Burger King’s decades-long “flame grilled” positioning, we created a broiler display with real flames and placed it in full view of customers waiting on their orders. Close by is a visible food prep area for chopping veggies and assembling sandwiches. Knowing a big chunk of BK sales come from its drive-thru window, we updated the exterior design to include a large window looking in on the kitchen so guests on the go can also see their food being prepared.
We dubbed the concept “Kitchen Theatre” and partnered with the BK operations team to manage installation costs and ensure the new design works within operations and efficiency requirements. Kitchen Theatre is being introduced initially in 5 global markets. Our team has already started work on the prototypes for Spain & China with Miami, Germany & London to follow.
Step into our kitchen
We produced a 3-D fly-thru video highlighting the Kitchen Theatre concept that the Burger King CEO shared during the opening session of the Global Franchisee Conference. That was coupled with a “talk of the conference” trade show booth built around a unique virtual reality experience.
We equipped seven Samsung Gear VR headsets with programming that offered three different viewpoints of the new restaurant design—queuing, prep area and drive-thru. Attendees could put on the headsets and suddenly they were standing in a BK Kitchen Theatre. For fun we hid the BK King in the drive-thru scenes and challenged attendees to find him. Also available was a 30-page book WD produced detailing the Kitchen Theatre concept and sample floor plans.