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A rendering of Shake Shack's first drive-thru location

Shake Shack to open its first drive-thru in Maple Grove, Minn., Dec. 6 as part of further expansion into suburbs

The chain plans to open more than half of its units in suburbs in 2022

Fast-casual burger chain Shake Shack has announced it will open its first drive-thru location in Maple Grove, Minn., on Mon. December 6 at 11 a.m. It will be located at the Shoppes at Arbor Lakes lifestyle center.

The new drive-thru unit will feature a separate kitchen dedicated to drive-thru orders, an outdoor digital menu board, a two-lane ordering system and a separate pick-up window. Customers also will be able to order ahead for pickup online or via the chain’s app. The restaurant will be open from 11 a.m. until 10 p.m. seven days a week.

Founded in New York City in 2004, Shake Shack saw success in urban centers with high foot-traffic until the onset of the pandemic, when office workers in the central business districts where the chain operates stayed home, depriving the restaurants of many of their customers. Since then, the 350-unit chain has sought to operate in more suburban areas. It also has ramped up delivery, integrating third-party delivery services and upgrading its app to allow for ordering for delivery as well as pick-up.

“We are so incredibly excited to open our first ever drive-thru in Maple Grove,” Shake Shack chief development officer Andrew McCaughan said in a press release announcing the opening. “I’m so proud of all the teams at Shake Shack that worked tirelessly to bring this new experience for our company and guests to life. We look forward to bringing this new Shack format to our guests, pairing our classic community gathering experience with the ability to enjoy our premium menu conveniently within the comfort of their own cars.”

CEO Randy Garutti said the drive-thru unit was “a huge step forward” for the chain.

“We’ve been envisioning drive-thru for some time now and have been working diligently to make the experience uniquely Shake Shack. We’re bringing our guests an even greater quality, craft, care and experience while adding a new level of convenience,” he said. “We’ll be learning a lot from this location and will continue to optimize and adapt as we roll out more of these formats next year.”

The chain said it planned to open 45-50 new restaurants in 2022, of which up to 10 will be drive-thrus and more than half will be in suburban markets.

Shake Shack opened a restaurant with one drive-up window in the Chicago suburbs earlier this year and is also experimenting with other formats, including two that acept tips.

Contact Bret Thorn at bret.thorn@informa.com 

Follow him on Twitter: @foodwriterdiary

TAGS: Operations
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