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Why KFC is building the ‘restaurant of the future’

KFC unveils the newly renovated South Penrith that features a more sustainable restaurant.

Sustainability is the core strategy of KFC as it unveiled the first of its ‘restaurant of the future’ design with the reopening of its South Penrith branch.

First opened in 1987, KFC South Penrith underwent a major remodel in late-2022. To create the restaurant of the future, KFC has partnered with saveBOARD, a sustainability solutions firm that manufactures healthy, affordable, high-performance, low-carbon building materials.

According to KFC, the South Penrith branch is the first quick-service restaurant to utilise saveBOARD’s solutions.

/KFC

“The saveBOARD used in our South Penrith restaurant is manufactured entirely from previously unrecyclable packaging waste that would otherwise end up in a landfill. This waste includes things like multi-layered liquid paper board packaging, milk and juice cartons, soft plastics, and bespoke materials such as coffee pods. With every board sold, we save approximately 25kgs of packaging waste that would normally end up in landfill. Depending on the restaurant's size and scope, this means we will divert between 250kg and 1,000kg per restaurant,” A KFC spokesperson told QSR Media.

Aside from that, the restaurant was also enhanced to deliver customers a convenient, state-of-the-art restaurant experience, with a theatrical twist. The restaurant features an immersive tunnel at the drive-thru entrance, with visuals of the Colonel’s fried gold projected across several screens throughout. Patrons will also have the option of placing their orders via three self-service kiosks within the restaurant. KFC said it’s a combination of these sustainable, tech-enabled, and theatrical features that make the South Penrith restaurant one of the future. 

Another unique feature is how it brings customers its drive-thru orders. A traditional way is to have staff give customers their orders through a window. However, another lane fully utilises an automated system where food is carried out through an elevator.

 

@drajosk FUTURE. Also staff still hand you food and staff put the food in the elevator . #kfc #foodelevator #foodfuture #fastfood ♬ Cool Kids (our sped up version) - Echosmith

KFC said it plans to construct future restaurants with saveBOARD materials and retrofit select existing locations with the game-changing low-carbon and fully recyclable at end-of-life product. 

“We will also continue to explore further possible uses for saveBOARD in our designs and construction as we further explore its possibilities. We look forward to creating more restaurants in the future, as we did in South Penrith,” KFC said.

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