Burger King might potentially change the dynamics of the fast food industry with a service none of its primary competitors are currently offering.
As if fast-food at the drive-through window wasn't fast enough, now consumers can have their food delivered right to their door.
The chain has begun to offer home delivery service in the Washington DC metro area. NBC Washington reported four Burger King locations, three in Maryland and one in Northern Virginia, have been trying out a delivery service since the fall.
In an email statement sent to Digital Journal in response to an inquiry, the company said, "BURGER KING® has been providing delivery service to our customers internationally for many years and has had great success with it all across the globe including in Mexico, Turkey, Brazil, Columbia and Peru. We are currently testing the service to bring this convenience to the United States, starting with just a few restaurants in the DC area."
On Jan. 23, the fast-food chain said it will expand their delivery services to 16 restaurants, all located in Maryland and Virginia. Burger King told this reporter the company currently has "no specifics regarding to the timing of a national rollout."
Burger King said customers can place an order by telephone or online, and a $2 delivery fee will apply with a $8-$10 minimum purchase (subject to store decision). The company will service delivery areas within a 10-minute drive from each pilot store. Hours of delivery are 11 a.m. — 10 p.m. daily.
Most menu items are included in the delivery service, but there are a few exceptions. Breakfast will not be available, and fountain drinks, ICEE beverages, shakes and coffee are also not available for delivery.
Modern technology makes it easy for consumers to place an online order and a company to track orders coming in, but what about the food going soggy by the time it reaches its destination?
Burger King said the delivery service will use, "new delivery packaging technology, in conjunction with thermal bags," to "keep food hot & fresh."
Interested consumers can check the company's dedicated delivery web page to place an order either by web or by telephone. This page also updates on stores providing delivery, broken down by state.
At this time many counter service chains are looking to diversify and offer services that are not part of the traditional business plan. Businesses such as Starbucks, Sonic and Burger King are testing the idea of selling alcohol on its premises, and White Castle recently announced they too are considering this as an additional menu option.
Digital Journal reported last month that competitor Wendy's moved up into the #2 spot beneath McDonald's as the most popular fast-food chain.
If delivery service takes off in the U.S. market, will this give the company an edge in the fast-food industry? Will the company set a new precedent in the industry? In today's society, which lives by the instant availability that the digital age affords, an initiative like this might just be embraced by consumers.