Shake Shack is opening a new location later this month in New York City that will play host to a few functional experiments, CNBC reports. The upcoming Astor Place burger joint is going the self-checkout direction and will have digital kiosks rather than staff who take customers' orders.
The company's CEO, Randy Garutti, told CNBC that the changes introduced in this particular location are meant to "eliminate friction time," and include a rearranged kitchen, the option to order via smartphone and not accepting cash. Customers will also get alerts that their orders are ready via text rather than by a buzzer like every other Shake Shack and Garutti says the restaurant will also be tweaking delivery practices in order to shorten delivery times and optimize packaging.
The digital move won't eliminate all front-of-house staff, however. There will be "hospitality champs" to assist customers who use the kiosks and Garutti says they'll be paid at least $15 per hour -- a minimum wage that will likely be applied throughout Shake Shack restaurants in New York, California and Washington DC over the next couple of years.
However customers respond to the features at the new Astor Place location will help dictate if and how Shake Shack will adopt them in additional restaurants.