Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Touch-screen kiosks that do not take cash will be the order at Shake Shack's Death Star branch



The Shake Shack opening any day now at 51 Astor Place/the IBM Watson Building/Death Star will be a cashless and (mostly) faceless experience.

Shake Shack CEO Randy Garutti offered what Shake Shackgoers can expect here during an interview with CNBC yesterday:

[T]his Shake Shack won't have a cashier's counter. Instead, guests will use digital kiosks or their mobile phones to place orders. Manning these kiosks will be "hospitality champs," Shake Shack employees who specialize in making customers' time in the restaurant as seamless and enjoyable as possible.

Orders will go directly to the kitchen, which has been rearranged to "eliminate friction time," Garutti told CNBC.

Eliminating "friction" is a big piece of this new Shack location. In addition to streamlining the back of house operation, the Astor Place Shake Shack will not accept cash. Garutti said many customers still pay with cash in its restaurants, but the company wants to see if removing that option will make the dining experience more seamless.

In addition, instead of the traditional Shake Shack buzzer, diners will receive a text from the restaurant letting them know when their food is ready. This way customers are no longer tethered to the restaurant while their food is being prepared, Garutti said.

Garutti said that the Death Star Shack "will be a playground where we can test and learn the ever-shifting needs of our guests."

A few other things from the interview:

In order to hire the best staff, Garutti said the company will be paying workers at this location a minimum of $15 an hour.

And...

Garutti said company officials expect a few hiccups, but they are just excited to see what elements of this restaurant work best. In particular, he said the restaurant made sure to have a backup plan in case of internet malfunctions or Wi-Fi issues.

As Eater reported, Shake Shack has 17 open and upcoming locations in NYC and over 135 worldwide.

Updated 8 a.m.

The crinkle cut fries are being delivered...



34 comments:

Gojira said...

I can guarantee you that my experience there will be seamless, because I have no intention of ever setting foot in this "playground".

Anonymous said...

Wow, well, that eliminates people without a smartphone.
Discrimination !

Anonymous said...

I hate this cashless idea. What a pain in the ass. I won't be patronizing this place. I might have, otherwise, but I can't support this trend.

Anonymous said...

How will NOT having the opportunity to pay in dollars make this "seamless"? These so-called “hospitality champs” are nothing more than Fascism With a Friendly Face. Be warned, people.

Anonymous said...

It'll definitely be "frictionless" for me b/c I absolutely do NOT patronize places that are cashless; IMO, "cashless" is un-American and user-UNFRIENDLY.

Not taking cash may be for Shake Shack's convenience; it's definitely not for MY convenience.

Thanks, Danny Meyer, for saving me the money, the calories and even the possible temptation to go there!

blue glass said...

gets ride of the cost and problems associated with human beings
don't have to pay them, easily replaceable, no health benefits or overtime, no bathroom or coffee breaks, can wor 24 hours

ever tried to communicate with one of those phone or internet robots?
touch screens lull folks into believing it's progress because they don't involve any typing or thinking or reading
but they also narrow all your choices

welcome to the future

Anonymous said...

Nope, never setting foot in there. This cashless trend discriminates against those who don't have credit/debit cards. There are a few other businesses around here who do the same thing and I can't help but think they are only trying to attract one demographic.

Giovanni said...

Now only will the EV Shake Shack accept no cash, they also store your credit card number in the app. Say hello to the next Equifax. Their app doesn't even integrate with PayPal or Apple Pay which would prevent them from storing your card info. Plus the app limits you to 4 items in any category, not good news for orders from offices and large families and groups of tourists. Shake Shack doesn't mind paying exhorbitant rent in the Death Star but won't pay cashiers? That sucks. These people will do anything to boost their sagging stock price. Greed is not good. Welcome to Midtown South

cmarrtyy said...

First we have race discrimination. Then education discrimination. And now it's on to cashless discrimination. And technology discrimination. If we aren't gradually creating 2 classes on every level of society... And we're worried about income inequality? Raising the minimum wage isn't the solution, it's a distraction to what's really going on.

Anonymous said...

Could Shake Shack or any other restaurant or retail business be sued for not taking cash? Any lawyers out there?

Let's say you take a business client to lunch at a restaurant (reservations made for the quietest most private table), know they don't take your American Express card, and upon arrival find out the restaurant doesn't take cash either (even though you have $300 cash on you, more than enough for the cost of the lunch.) You are not only humiliated by taking the client to this place then having to find another suitable place but you lose the client who literally emails you "I don't do business with a guy who doesn't have a Visa or MasterCard when he invites me to a business lunch." You lose a $100K business deal over this. Do you have grounds to sue the restaurant?

The restaurant's lawyer could/would probably argue you should've checked to see if the restaurant took cash but your lawyer could counter than 99% or more NYC restaurants take cash, right down to presenting a list of restaurants within a ten block radius of this one and showing none of them refuse cash, so it was not negligence let alone unreasonable for the plaintiff to presume the restaurant took cash, especially if the place accepted cash in the past.

Bottom line is a restaurant's severe/rare policy helped cost someone a business deal. Does the plaintiff have grounds to sue?

Anonymous said...

No cash is a signal - keeps out old people

One more step in Bloomberg aim of demographic cleansing of NYC

Anonymous said...

Lots of people used cash for privacy purposes or to limit the use of debit cards to make tracking potential ID theft problems much easier. Just look at the most recent data breach by the credit bureaus. I agree with everyone here, the cashless policy is discriminatory. At the end of the day, Shake Shack remains 'fast food' and you should be permitted to pay cash for it. It's the same reason why I won't give my card over to any chain stores. They are irresponsible with the info. Not that I was planning on eating here, but still.

Anonymous said...

@12:34, I can't even deal with this comment. As to the rest of you, for every 1 person here who says "Not me" there are 100 who won't give a flying you-know-what. And that's the bottom line. Pun intended.

Anonymous said...

Sweetgreen around the corner is also cashless you cranks. Personally, I can't wait for a shack burger in the hood. Also-I'm super excited now that I know that I don't have to wait for you turds to count out your nickels to buy a $15 burger.

Anonymous said...

@Giovanni: EXACTLY right on all points you made!

I now pay cash for everything possible, b/c I'm not interested in being tracked by pizza places, hamburger joints, drug stores, stationery stores, pet food stores, etc.

And I sure as hell don't want either Danny Meyer OR Equifax to have any further details on me than they already have.

But hell, yeah, this is demographic cleansing - out with the old & poor, but bro's are ALWAYS welcome. Ugh!

Anonymous said...

It makes me wonder how many of the posters in favor of this new approach to paying for burgers (and everything else) will end up in Debtors Anonymous in 10 years. No matter how much money one has, it's never a good idea to spend money mindlessly and that's what this system encourages.

Anonymous said...

"Personally, I can't wait for a shack burger in the hood."
Dreams do come true.

Anonymous said...

@1:33pm: Yes, Shake Shack is fast food, but fast or slow - burger take-out or nice sit-down restaurant - the choice to pay in cold hard cash should ALWAYS be available.

If a business chooses to go cashless, they are telling me to go away.

Imagine K-Mart going cashless ... you can't, right? That's b/c they'd be out of business in a minute. Same for Duane Reade, etc.

And I don't trust any place with my credit card info any more!

Anonymous said...

You "can't even deal with this comment" 1:37pm (12:34pm.) Well if you are not a lawyer, I wasn't asking for you to "deal with this comment" I was asking for what a lawyer/s thought hence "Any lawyers out there" Dumbo.

Man takes a client to a restaurant which doesn't accept his credit card OR cash, doesn't know the place doesn't accept cash, loses a $100K business deal over the lunch not happening at that place and having to be moved elsewhere, has proof of reservation from the cashless place via Open Table - does he have grounds to sue the restaurant for the lost business deal? If you're a lawyer, please answer. If not feel free to answer with what your layman self thinks. If you can't "deal with this comment" buzz off as you add nothing to the convo.

Anonymous said...

4:58
Just stop.

Anonymous said...

Regarding question about if there are grounds for a lawsuit, perhaps the issue is discrimination?
Not so much for an independent business ( one location) to eliminate cash for a specific reason but that a chain is discriminating against people likely not to have debit or credit cards? Poor people, old people?

And also interesting decision - as others have pointed out - given the growing threat of hacking


Anonymous said...

Although many people will not care that this business is cashless--or even welcome it--I believe that it is my choice as a consumer whether I wish to pay in cash or not. In these days of data breaches and a general lack of privacy, I prefer cash. I will not be patronizing Shake Shack, or any other business which does not accept legal US currency.

I'm sorry that Anonymous 1:51 considers me a crank. And I can't recall ever having counted out nickels in order to pay for my meal.

Anonymous said...

"Also-I'm super excited now that I know that I don't have to wait for you turds to count out your nickels to buy a $15 burger."

Pro comment!

Also, I'd bet that a lot of the people now pissing themselves over the "cashless society" (oooh boogie boogie!) where amongst those that pooh-poohed the idea way back when it was laughed at as a "conspiracy theory"! Duuuuuurrrr. Well, can't say we didn't warn ya!

Anonymous said...

Hey 1:37pm/9:30pm just shut up if you don't like it.

Lawyers? Layman? I think it's a legit lawsuit. Your no cash policy which 99.999% of businesses don't have made me look like an ass in front of my business client and cost me a business deal with him from me embarrassingly having to take him to another restaurant for lunch. I looked like an incompetent fool even though I had $300 cash in my pocket because of your obscure/rare policy.

Anonymous said...

@12:42PM. Give it a rest. It's not the restaurant's responsibility to not fuck up your business deal. How is that a legitimate legal argument?

Anonymous said...

Who closes a big business business deal over lunch at Shake Shack? Pro tip: if you were going to close a big deal over a lunch, I'd recommend calling ahead to make sure they are open and accept cash.

Anonymous said...

I've hated all the 'trendy, overpriced' Shake Shacks and now can add this one to the list. Unfortunately the poor college kids have to pay for the user unfriendly experience for overpriced burgers and shakes. Cashless? Should be Priceless as in Free!

Anonymous said...

@11:58am: Well, I *can* remember: The last time I counted out nickels to pay for my meal was when I was a young kid eating at the Automat with my parents.

Anonymous said...

You know who do not have credit cards and mostly pay with in cash? Most senior citizens and the poor. This is just a form of discrimination. And if you do look at the demographics of Shake Shack customers, it's mostly the young and beautiful, the tourists, transients, bourgeois and the bourgees, and the gascon. 1:51 p.m is a prime example of the latter

As a kid having saved my allowances and putting them in a piggy bank, it was a delight when I would occasionally dip in to that piggy bank and walk to a McDs to get those golden fries and a shake. I suppose a kid today can not do that at this Shake Shack unless mommy and daddy are with him/her OR he/she has their own credit card already.

1:51 p.m. and Shake Shack's stance on this basically is, if you don't have credit card or cannot afford the Shack, then go to McD. It's just another form of If you on't like_____, then move to____.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 11:58 here again--Anonymous 5:21, you're right! I DID go to the Automat with my grandmother, and putting the nickels in the slots was indeed part of the magic. And at that time, the only credit card that I had ever seen was a sort of metal lozenge that my mother got from a few select department stores.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 6:33--Actually, I am neither a senior citizen nor poor, and I pay cash. But I will admit to not being beautiful . . .

Anonymous said...

This is not for the convenience of the customer or to enhance the customer experience. The cashless system moves people in - therefore out- faster, eliminates cashier pilfering, eliminates the need to go to the bank for bills and change, eliminates daily trips to deposit money, tracks more information on customers (including credit card data) and probably other financial benefits to the restaurant. There is no upside for the customer. Those who use apps, credit or debit cards, etc. will use them whether or not the restaurant accepts cash. Those who prefer to use cash will just go elsewhere (including Shake Shacks that haven't adopted this system).

K/d0 said...

this lawsuit case has me incredulous. some arguments about having to accept legal tender + there is somewhat legitimate pro forma discrimination against the economically disadvantaged. but bc your business deal went sour? can you sue traffic for being late to work?

Peachy McPeachface said...

What a pack of pretentious assholes is Shake Shack. I would not eat there if they paid me.