Operations

Shake Shack updates its drive-thru plans

The fast-casual burger chain said it will open its first drive-thru in Maple Grove, Minn., instead of Orlando, as originally planned. Shake Shack said it intends to have 10 drive-thrus by the end of 2022.
Shake Shack
Photo courtesy Shake Shack

In January, Shake Shack announced its first drive-thru would be opening later this year in a new development in Orlando.

But this week, the fast casual—which has been hampered by its lack of drive-thrus during the pandemic—confirmed it was modifying those plans just a bit.

The burger chain’s first drive-thru will instead open this December in Maple Grove, Minn., about 20 miles northwest of Minneapolis, according to a spokeswoman for the New York City-based chain.

“The timeline shifted due to construction delays,” she said.

The Orlando drive-thru, in the Vineland Pointe development, is still on the docket, due to open early next year.

And Shake Shack recently signed a lease for a location in Des Peres, Mo., about 20 miles west of St. Louis, with plans to open a drive-thru there, she said.

Shake Shack now says it is targeting 10 drive-thru openings in 2022, up from the five to eight it had predicted earlier this year.

“We’re really excited about this growth,” the spokeswoman said. “We’re looking forward to adding drive-thru as an option for our guests while continuing to delivery the uplifting experience and hospitality that Shake Shack is known for.”

Shake Shack has previously said its drive-thru will feature traditional lanes as well as an order-ahead-pickup lane, much like Chipotle Mexican Grill’s wildly successful Chipotlanes.

With a real estate portfolio concentrated in urban areas, Shake Shack saw its sales take a major hit during the pandemic.

In August, the 200-unit chain continued to note a major divide between its urban and suburban restaurants.

It has been adding walk-up windows and curbside service at locations nationwide to boost convenience and, in turn, hopefully boost sales and traffic.

Shake Shack had earlier reported that its Orlando drive-thru unit will be 3,300-square-feet with dual drive-thru lanes, a pickup window and a patio.

“Shake Shack is being a little more impacted than your average fast casual or certainly than the QSR just because of the kind of real estate we have,” CEO Randy Garutti told analysts last year. “We have zero drive-thrus.”

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