Burger King is the world’s second-largest hamburger chain, but they’re aiming to beat top dog McDonald’s in the area of sustainable packaging. The monarchy-themed fast-fooderie has decreed that reusable packaging shall be rolled out in the royal cities of New York, Portland and Tokyo, and here’s what that packaging looks like:
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I’m not sure if customers will go for this. The idea is that you order a meal and specify you want the reusable packaging, which you’re then charged a deposit for. When you return it, the deposit is refunded. The packaging is then washed, though it’s not clear where or how; the press release just states that this part of the process is handled by partner TerraCycle’s “circular packaging service, Loop.”
I admire the effort–but I’m not sure they’ve thought the UX through. For example, let’s say I order BK takeout and ask for the reusable packaging. Later that week I return to BK with the packaging, and I order a new meal through the drive-thru window, and ask for the reusable packaging again. Do I say “but don’t charge me for it, because I’m bringing back reusable packaging from last time” and they take my word for it while I’m still at the intercom?
Or do they ring up the second set of reusable packaging while I’m at the intercom, but then when I arrive at the window and produce the first set of reusable packaging, they then adjust the amount in the register?
I wonder if there will also be a gross-out factor. While the press release states that “Loop’s cleaning systems have been created to sanitize food containers and cups, meaning each will be hygienically cleaned and safe before each use,” I think this needs to be conveyed to customers visually; I don’t think brown is a great color choice. If the packaging was white, and when I receive it I can see that it’s gleamingly clean, I’d have more confidence in the system.
That being said, I wish them well with the program. It’s scheduled to roll out sometime in 2021.