Dubbed the Shack Camp Box, the kit contains a bunch of supplies with which to do craft-y activities, including food-related ones. The brand will run a virtual camp via its Instagram channel where folks can follow along through the summer. Build your own lemonade stand (complete with prompts on how to run a business), create ice cream sundaes, and other activities are on the agenda. The “camp” website also notes $75 worth of exclusive offers as a perk, so there’s doubtless some Shake Shack grub thrown into the mix, too.
Considering the various and strange ways restaurants are currently employing to connect with customers they can’t serve in dining rooms, a box of glorified swag doesn’t actually seem that outlandish. For those with kids, it might actually prove useful, since many summer camps have been cancelled and more kids are staying at home this year.
There’s also a philanthropic angle to it, which means it’s hard to get too cynical here. The campaign supports The Fresh Air Fund’s virtual summer program that brings virtual camp activities to underserved children in NYC.
The Shack Camp Box is available as of today. Each box includes six activities and goes for $79 via the Shack Camp’s site. Corresponding Instagram videos start on July 13.
Shake Shack needs as much customer connection as it can get right now. Despite its efforts around improving its off-premises strategy during lockdown, the chain reported this week that second-quarter sales were down 49 percent as a result of both the pandemic and nationwide protests. In a business report released Tuesday, the company noted that “Shack sales were estimated to be negatively impacted by approximately $3.2 million in the fiscal period June due to nationwide protest activity and resulting curfews causing temporary Shack closures and reduced operating hours.”
The company has also had to re-close some stores because of the rise in coronavirus cases of late.
Virtual summer camp won’t be able to fix all the brand’s problems, but it is another example of a restaurant trying to redefine what the restaurant experience means, both right now and for the future.