Put away your cash, New Yorkers. That particular form of money is no good at Shake Shack, TechCrunch reports. Or at the very least, one location of Shake Shack. The wildly popular burger, fries, and shakes joint is now opening up a cash-free location. It follows in the footsteps of other fast food vendors like Sweetgreen, which has attempted to ditch non-digital tender in hopes of speeding up long lines. And if you’ve ever waited for a Shake Shack burger, you know exactly how infuriatingly long that line can be.
At the restaurant’s Astor Place location in New York City, customers will only be able to order their food via kiosks. The location is set to open in early October, and all the kiosks found in the store will be custom-made and outfitted to Shake Shack’s particular needs. Orders will be placed via the touchscreen, and the machines will send eager burger lovers text message alerts when their orders have been fully prepared.
But just because all ordering will be handled by a machine doesn’t mean that the new Shake Shack will be completely devoid of a human touch. Rather, there will be people manning the operations of the restaurant — just not necessarily in a cashier capacity. Rather, the so-called Hospitality Champs working at Shake Shack will help customers place their orders and answer any questions they might have, like what exactly is is the ‘Shroom Burger? Moreover, the chain has noted that Hospitality Champs will be paid a minimum of $15 per hour — not bad for effectively playing second fiddle to a kiosk.
Shake Shack already has a mobile ordering app, available for both iOS and Android, and the restaurant noted that its kiosks were based on this digital ordering experience. Of course, other restaurants have also toyed with mobile ordering and kiosks, but going fully cashless isn’t something that many have tried.
In any case, it will be interesting to see how Shake Shack’s experiment plays out. After all, as more and more tender goes digital, it only seems like a matter of time before no cash is the norm rather than the exception.