Shake Shack is set to open a new location in Midtown Manhattan, one that will focus specifically on delivery and takeout orders, according to Restaurant Dive.
The new location will have two separate entrances, one for delivery and takeout orders, including those made via the Shake Shack mobile app, and one that traditional dine-in customers can use. The latter will have very limited seating options, though there will be an outdoor patio. The store will also feature self-service kiosks, which Shake Shack has been testing for some time, with varying degrees of success.
The news makes the NYC-based burger chain the latest QSR to jump onboard the trend of opening stores either dedicated to or heavily focused on to go orders. Trend might be an understatement, though. The National Restaurant Association predicts that off-premises orders will drive the bulk of restaurant sales over the next 10 years. QSRs in particular — are responding to the demand by increasing delivery services (either their own or with a third party), building out digital order strategies, and in some cases, Shake Shack included, literally redesigning store layouts.
Locations dedicated to off-premises orders is another tactic becoming commonplace. In 2019, Starbucks opened its first express location in Beijing, China, and followed up that move with plans to launch a similar shop in NYC next year. Last week, IHOP announced a new standalone restaurant chain called Flip’d that will cater to delivery and takeout orders. The list goes on: Krispy Kreme, Sweetgreen, KFC, Chopt . . .
Spoiler alert: the rise in popularity of ghost kitchens is only going to increase the number of to-go-focused locations restaurant chains open. Some of these locations will become ghost kitchens themselves, fulfilling delivery and takeout orders for not just that location but all of a brand’s surrounding stores. This is how Starbucks’s express store in Beijing currently functions, with to-go orders from surrounding Starbucks cafes funneled to the express store, speeding up fulfillment times and allowing traditional locations to focus on in-store customers.
Shake Shack plans to open a few of these to-go focused locations in the future.