Burger King to open first delivery-only kitchen in UK

·2 min read
GREECE - 2021/05/07: In this photo illustration a Burger King logo seen displayed on a smartphone screen with Burger King website in the background. (Photo Illustration by Nikolas Joao Kokovlis/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)
The company has around 500 restaurants in the UK. Photo: Nikolas Joao Kokovlis/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Burger King will trial delivery-only kitchens in the UK after demand for home deliveries soared during the coronavirus pandemic. 

The fast food giant opened its first delivery-only kitchen in London on Sunday. The new venture in Kentish Town has the potential to reach over 400,000 customers, the company said.

"The opening of the first delivery-only Burger King kitchen marks an expansion of this valued service, which we believe will drive growth," Alasdair Murdoch, CEO of Burger King UK, said. 

Read more: Cult US fast food chain Popeyes Chicken to launch in UK

Customers can currently order through food delivery service Deliveroo (ROO.L), with deliveries through rivals UberEats and Just Eat (JET.L) on the horizon.

Restaurants and fast food chains saw a major shift to takeout during the pandemic. It was partly driven by the forced closure of restaurants but it remains to be seen how permanent the trend will prove.

Delivery-only kitchens were pioneered by Deliveroo, which partners with restaurants to open so-called "dark kitchens" in areas where the food is not available.

"We know consumers have found food delivery services to be a real help during these challenging times, and that takeaways have offered some much-needed joy up and down the country," Murdoch said.

Burger King, which is owned by Restaurant Brands International (QSR), is the second largest fast food hamburger chain in the world. The company, famous for its Whopper, has around 500 restaurants in the UK. 

Burger King's launch of delivery-only kitchens comes amid fierce competition in the casual dining and fast food space. Last week, Wendy's announced it was planning to return to the UK more than two decades after a failed attempt to enter the market.

In March, Popeyes, the fast food chain behind a chicken sandwich that bewitched the US, announced it will launch in the UK this year. The cult fast food chain plans to open its first restaurant in Britain by the end of 2021.

Watch: Seven things you should know about Burger King