Burger King testing table booking app in Italy

Burger King is testing a table booking app for some of its restaurants in Italy once they fully reopen, which is expected to happen on June 1.

The fast food chain aims to make customers more comfortable eating inside restaurants after more than two months of lockdown in the country. The app will allow customers to order food for take-out or dine-in, pay and book a table, Andrea Valota, Burger King's chief in Italy, said, according to Reuters.

Burger King will begin testing its app at three of its Milan locations when they are permitted to fully reopen, and if the trial goes well, the app could be used in other countries, Valota said.

"We need to be good at showing people that it's safe to come to a place which is perceived as being crowded, and give them options so they understand there is a safe way to come in," Valota told Reuters.

A third of the tables at Burger King restaurants will be reserved during peak hours, typically from 12 to 2 p.m. and 7 to 9 p.m. Social distancing will already more than halve the capacity of the restaurants. 

Nearly all 220 of Burger King's restaurants in Italy have been shut down since early March as the government restricted businesses from opening. About 40 restaurants eventually reopened for home delivery services and on May 4, these opened locations began selling at drive-thrus.

Valota told Reuters that the fast food chain hopes the app will keep revenues stable, as 70 percent of Burger King's profit comes from patrons eating in. Executives expect the pandemic to alter consumer behavior "for a year or two."

Burger King workers will also limit the number of people in restaurants and take temperatures, and the tables will be covered by plexiglas screens. Kitchens have also been reorganized to become safer for workers in the coronavirus age, according to the news outlet.