Burger King Tests New App for Dine-In Reservations in Italy

Category: Business


Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

  1. stabilize / ˈsteɪ bəˌlaɪz / (v) – to maintain a certain quantity or quality of something

    The company has stabilized its profits, so it’s doing well.

  2. apprehension / ˌæp rɪˈhɛn ʃən / (n) – worry or fear about something that might happen in the future

    Schools might remain closed for the next few months because of apprehension about the spreading disease.

  3. alter / ˈɔl tər / (v) – to change

    The CEO wants to alter the current direction of the company by implementing new strategies.

  4. perceive / pərˈsiv / (v) – to see someone or something in a certain way

    Many people perceive him as a snob, but he’s just shy and reserved.

  5. observance / əbˈzɜr vəns / (n) – the act of following practices, traditions, rules, etc.

    In observance of safety standards, all workers should wear face masks and hand gloves.


Read the text below.

Fast-food chain Burger King is testing a new app that enables customers to order digitally and make dining reservations at its Italy locations.

Through the new app, customers can easily reserve a table, order dine-in or takeout food, and pay before going to their chosen Burger King branch. About 30% of the tables at each branch will be allotted for digital reservations during peak hours. According to Andrea Valota, general manager of Burger King Italy, the purpose of this initiative is to encourage people to dine in again after over two months of the strict lockdown in the country.

The chain hopes to stabilize its revenues with the new initiative and plans to launch the app in other countries if it becomes a success in Italy.

Earlier in March, nearly all branches of Burger King in Italy were temporarily closed because of the strict government-imposed lockdown. Throughout the lockdown period, the chain slowly reopened about 40 of its branches to accommodate home deliveries.

Even though some restrictions have been lifted, Burger King still fears that apprehension about the possibility of another outbreak might prevent customers from dining in its stores. Valota said the pandemic might alter customers’ behavior for years, so it is important to assure them that they can be safe even in places commonly perceived as crowded.

In addition to creating the app, Burger King has also implemented new safety standards at its restaurants. One of these is the strict observance of physical distancing for both employees and customers. Customers’ temperatures will also be taken before they can enter the restaurant, and kitchen staff will be required to wash their hands more frequently.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.

Discussion A

• Do you think the new app will be successful in convincing people to dine in Burger King? Why or why not?
• How else can restaurants convince customers that it is safe to eat out? Discuss.

Discussion B

• In what ways do you think customers’ behavior will change after the pandemic (e.g. not dine in restaurants as much)? Discuss.
• What permanent changes should businesses implement after the lifting of lockdowns (e.g. wearing of masks for both employees and customers, strict physical distancing)? Discuss.