Burger King is investigating new store formats in the UK, as part of a drive to increase its representation from 700 to more than 1,000 outlets.

It plans to open 25 of the stores in the next 12 months.

Burger King development director Andrew Pickett said flexible restaurant footprints had been designed to penetrate high street, retail park and shopping locations that had not been available to Burger King until now.

Burger King’s standard drive-thru format has so far been 2,750 sq ft (255 sq m), with 90 seats, but it recently opened a 1,800 sq ft (170 sq m) store in Bradford.

‘Early indications are that it is delivering the same sales levels as a standard restaurant, but we have taken 15 to 20 per cent out of the costs,’ said Pickett.

He said that Burger King would no longer insist on dedicated parking at retail parks, which would reduce its land take from half an acre (0.2 ha) to a quarter of an acre (0.1 ha).

A similar approach is likely on the high street, with trial stores as small as 500 sq ft (45 sq m). Pickett said: ‘Rising costs are hitting our profitability on the high street. We’re re-engineering our format, and the smaller stores are achieving the same sales levels.’

Burger King’s agents, Hammond Phillips in England and Eric Young in Scotland, have a new requirements list, and roadshows will be held in major cities this month to alert property agents and landlords.