Kentucky Fried Chicken is going to look different in the very near future.
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The fast food chain’s restaurant-wide redesign is meant to limit person-to-person contact and bolster to-go options as the coronavirus pandemic continues. The “modernized” updates will begin in 2021 and be dubbed the “’Next Generation Prototype’ restaurant concept,” according to a press release sent to FOX Business.
Visual mockups show KFC restaurant exteriors with its signature red and white stripes along with Colonel Sanders's face. Large markers in the parking lot direct cars into a curbside pick-up location for online orders while a similar system is used with a brightly lit arrow and chicken bucket that direct customers to an on-food pick-up cubby area.
The designated areas have been designed to streamline the digital ordering process, so customers, employees and KFC’s delivery partners can access food with as little human contact as possible, the press release explains.
“KFC U.S. drive-thru sales grew 60% in Q3 2020 compared to a year ago, and recently hit a delivery milestone with 80% of KFC’s in the U.S. delivering through multiple delivery aggregator partners,” an excerpt from KFC’s release reads. “With the increase in online ordering, delivery and drive-thru, the new design will take the stress out of the ordering process for both KFC restaurant employees and customers.”
Inside the revamped restaurants, KFC intends to install contactless self-service kiosks for quicker service and personalized order options.
A video tour of the 3D mockups on YouTube shows an interior view with two sneeze guard-lined kiosks a short distance from the cashier counter and indoor seating area. Through the window, chairs and tables can be seen for outdoor dining.
“Prior to the pandemic, consumer behavior was already shifting towards a digital experience/preference and since March, the trend has accelerated proving a need for a modernized design,” KFC’s release noted.
Despite the presence of the coronavirus, KFC reports that 60% of its restaurants feature an “American Showman” design, which surpassed the 50% update goal the chain announced last year, according to Restaurant Dive.
KFC’s parent company, Yum! Brands, announced the fried chicken chain yielded more than $6.9 billion in total system sales in the third-quarter of 2020.