Robots To Replace All Human Cashiers At New York Shake Shack

A brand new Manhattan Shake Shack set to open its doors later this month in Astor Place will offer guests all the same great-tasting burgers, dogs and shakes as other locations but it will be missing one costly component that most other restaurants still depend on: cashiers

As the NY Post points out today, Shake Shack will be using it's newest location to test a fully automated ordering system that will allow customers to order at kiosks or via the company's app and then pick up their food once they get a text. 

Robots will replace humans and cash won’t be accepted at a soon-to-open Shake Shack in the East Village, reps for the popular burger chain said Monday.


Customers will place orders via an app and at touch-screen kiosks inside the restaurant, which is scheduled to open an Astor Place branch later this month, according to company CEO Randy Garutti.


Diners can also pay on smartphones and tablets using the restaurant’s app.


“The Astor Place Shack will be a playground where we can test and learn the ever-shifting needs of our guests,” Garutti said. “[It] represents our dedication to innovation and to providing the best for our guests and for our teams.”


"We’re excited to lead with kiosk-only ordering, putting control of the Shake Shack experience in our guests’ hands, and an optimized kitchen with increased capacity for mobile orders and eventual delivery integration to support ongoing digital innovation,” Garutti said.

Of course, Shake Shack is hardly the first restaurant to test kiosk ordering systems (see: McDonalds Is Replacing 2,500 Human Cashiers With Digital Kiosks: Here Is Its Math) but they may be among the first to forego cashiers completely.

Meanwhile, as we noted earlier this year, CaliBurger has already announced plans to 'hire' “Flippy”, a robotic kitchen assistant, in all of its 50 global locations by the end of 2019.

“The application of artificial intelligence to robotic systems that work next to our employees in CaliBurger restaurants will allow us to make food faster, safer and with fewer errors,” said Miller. “Our investment in Miso Robotics is part of our broader vision for creating a unified operating system that will control all aspects of a restaurant, from in-store interactive gaming entertainment, to automated ordering and cooking processes, ‘intelligent’ food delivery and real-time detection of operating errors and pathogens.”


The chain declined to reveal the cost of Flippy, saying Miso Robotics is working with customers to determine the best pricing model.


“The price will be in line with the productivity benefits Flippy provides to restaurant owners,” said a spokesperson.

And while Caliburger declined to reveal the cost of "Flippy", we're going to go out on a limb and assume they wouldn't be rolling out the technology unless they were getting a decent ROIC on their investment...just a hunch.

Here are some videos of "Flippy" in action:

So, all Shake Shack has to do now is hire a couple of "Flippy" robots and they can automate their entire restaurant.

Just more unintended consequences of Bernie's 'Fight for $15'....fight on Bernie...It's really working!