Like many restaurants over the past year, the challenges of the COVID-19 crisis led Denver-based, 370+-unit burger chain Smashburger to reevaluate its digital accessibility. Over the past year, the company has undergone a store transformation to better meld in-store experiences with the convenience of COVID-era technology.
In this episode of Extra Serving, we talk to Smashburger president Carl Bachmann about their new store prototypes, which includes smart cubbies where customers will find their food. The sealed compartment keeps their food warm and will automatically open when they walk or drive up to their designated outdoor cubby (through geofenching technology on the app), along with virtual drive-thrus, which involves more advanced curbside pickup technology.
“We’ve really worked on building our digital ordering platforms so people can order from their own personal device, really creating an environment from a tech standpoint that makes that convenient,” Bachmann said. “Our cubby system allows people to come in and get their food, avoid the queue lines and traffic and have a touchless interaction.
In addition to these tech-savvy designs, Smashburger’s new stores — 40 of which will be opening this year— feature a muted color palette and an open kitchen concept to show off the food creation process.