Itís the future of fast food bytes in the Big Apple.
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.
Workers dubbed “hospitality champs” will guide diners through possible tech glitches as they place orders at the kiosks, which only accept credit cards.
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.”
Buzzers at the burger joint, which was founded by famed restaurateur Danny Meyer, will be replaced by text messages to alert diners when their food is ready.
The new notification model allows customers to roam outside the restaurant while waiting for their burgers, fries and shakes. When their order is ready, they pick it up at a counter.
The chain plans to use the Astor Place branch as a testing ground for the cashless kiosk model, which eliminates the job of cashier. It also gets rid of its traditional order placing area.
Staff at the new restaurant will be paid a minimum of $15 an hour in order to attract the best workers — at a time when areas such as New York, California and DC are transitioning to that as a minimum wage, Garutti said.
In the future, the chain also plans to offer high-speed delivery and innovative packaging, he said.
“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.
The new Shake Shack will have dining rooms and waiting areas similar to other New York City branches.
Shake Shack isn’t the only restaurant chain that has recently gone cashless.
Sweetgreen, a fast-casual salad chain with locations in Manhattan, stopped accepting cash earlier this year.