The future of Shake Shack doesn’t involve human cashiers.
The popular burger chain announced on Monday that its newest New York City location will be cashless and kiosk-only, meaning robots will be taking orders instead. Customers at the Astor Place location will be ordering their food using an app or the touchscreen kiosks and paying with credit cards only. They’ll be alerted via text message when their order is ready.
“We’re really viewing this as an evolution of the guest experience aimed at enhancing hospitality,” Kristyn Clark, Shake Shack’s senior manager of brand communications, told Fox News.
“The Shack kiosk was developed to allow Shake Shack to serve more guests at peak times – whether in-Shack, for pickup via the Shack App, or even delivery – resulting in fewer lines, less wait time and quicker speed of service at every channel. It’s a guest-centric approach," she added.
Instead of spending time waiting in line, customers will now be able to leisurely walk through the restaurant and spot open seats while they wait. The orders will be ready at the counter.
The restaurant won’t be completely staff-free. Workers will guide diners at the kiosks and work through potential tech glitches. The new set up will be a test run for the chain, who boasts about its $15 minimum wage at its New York, California and Washington, D.C., locations.
“The Astor Place Shack will be a playground where we can test and learn the ever-shifting needs of our guests,” the chain’s CEO Randy Garutti said in a news release.
Clark told Fox News the kiosks are not meant to replace human workers, but to “provide greater hospitality.
The Astor Place location is expected to open this month.
Shake Shack is one of the few restaurants going cashless. Sweetgreen, a popular salad chain, also stopped taking cash earlier this year at all locations.