BurgerFi’s new CEO Julio Ramirez, former COO of Burger King, on the fast-casual brand’s first drive-thru

New prototype expected to open in early December in Kentucky, with others to follow


Holly Petre, Nation's Restaurant News

Nov 18, 2020


BurgerFi, the North Palm Beach, Fla.-based better-for-you fast-casual burger brand, on Wednesday announced plans for the chain’s first drive-thru.


The drive-thru prototype is set to open in early December in Hamburg, Ky. The franchise owners, who already operate 10 BurgerFi locations, used an existing restaurant layout and drive-thru to open this new unit.


For its first drive-thru, the company used new CEO Julio Ramirez’s experience as the executive vice president and chief operations officer at Burger King to get the model up and running.


“We went from our online digital business being around 25% before COVID, and now it's upwards of 60% so we’re realizing that people were looking for creative ways they could get our food without necessarily coming inside the restaurant,” said Ramirez.


That includes this new drive-thru as well as expansion of the brand’s large ghost-kitchen network, which enables them to reach markets like Chicago and Miami without the expensive real-estate costs. Those locations are in partnership with Reef and Epic Kitchens.


At the new drive-thru, BurgerFi is...