Shake Shack now has curbside pickup available at 68 restaurants and recently debuted its first Shack Track format location in Los Angeles.
During two investor events, brand leaders revealed how the fast-casual burger brand has accelerated digital and store format strategies during the pandemic.
The New York City-based chain, hit hard by Manhattan dine-in closures, said the curbside option is available through the brand’s app, allowing for a seamless pickup of meals. On Wednesday, the brand said roughly 1/3 of all app orders at eligible locations are being placed for curbside pickup, which has become a popular ordering channel during the coronavirus pandemic.
The brand has also finished converting its first store into the new “Shack Track” format, a design that offers easier ways to pick up mobile orders through walk up windows or drive-up lanes.
Shake Shack plans to convert about 8 to 10 existing stores into Shack Tracks over the next few months. The first conversion occurred recently at a downtown Los Angeles location.
With the restaurant landscape “forever changed,” CEO Randy Garutti said the brand is also developing its first-ever restaurant with drive-thru lanes.
The new drive-thru restaurant, planned next year, could have at least three lanes dedicated for mobile pick-up orders.
Shake Shack leaders said the pandemic has amplified existing plans to grow the chain's digital ordering channels. The brand has accelerated the rollout, for example, of curbside pickup which is helping to improve sales, according to early indicators, Garutti said.
Building off-premise ordering options has been especially important for Shake Shack as urban locations have been clobbered by the lack of foot traffic. With suburban stores currently outperforming urban locations, chain leaders said they are taking a harder look at real estate opportunities in suburban markets where there's more space to add drive-thru lanes and Shack Tracks.
The brand is also looking at in-house delivery because it is the chain’s “desire to own the guest,” Tara Comonte, president and chief financial officers, told investors.
“It is a priority for us. It is one of many parts of our ongoing digital strategy,” she said.
Ultimately, Garutti said Shake Shack is positioning itself to give consumers multiple ways to order in any market.
“No matter how you want your Shack, you are getting it on your terms,” Garutti said at the Goldman Sachs conference.
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Update: This story and headline have been edited to add updated curbside data from Shake Shack.