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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.


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…

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