According to Restaurant Dive, in a shareholder letter, Shake Shack revealed that it plans to open between 20 and 25 drive-thru locations in 2023. Last year, the brand opened its first drive-thru in Maple Grove, in Minnesota, with great success. The industry site further explained that drive-thru windows equate to profits, noting that Shake Shack locations with a drive-thru earn an average of over $80,000 per week while those without a drive-thru cost about $76,000 per week. However, this begs the question: if drive-thru is more profitable, why not give one to each location?
Restaurant Business Online explains that building a drive-thru can be expensive. Shake Shack CEO Randy Garutti said that building a drive-thru Shake Shack “is significantly higher than a normal Shack at the moment.” And with the COVID shutdowns, that sticker price is up 15% as foot traffic is down (it’s 40% lower in Manhattan locations alone than it was in 2019). Restaurant Dive also notes that in addition to being more expensive to build, it takes longer for construction crews to complete projects and on average companies can expect a turnaround time of 15-18 months or even longer. .