Shake Shack joins the evolution of the human-free restaurant with word that their forthcoming Astor Place location will employ robots instead of people for the ordering process of the meal. A spokesperson for the brand previously told Gothamist to look out for "cool features" coming to this location and that now appears to be a reference to the kiosks at which customers will place orders. Also: no cash will be accepted at this location.
Customers can place their orders at the kiosk or via the app that the company released earlier in 2017. "Hospitality champs," as they're referred to by the company, will be available to guide customers through the process should any confusion arise. Finally, the buzzers have been replaced by a text that goes to your phone.
The remaining humans at the Astor Place store will be paid a minimum of $15 an hour.
Our robot future has been employed by other restaurants and Shake Shack CEO Randy Garutti said there was a "huge opportunity for technology" in an interview with Eater last year. In that same interview, Shake Shack owner Danny Meyer admitted to the "temptation to replace human beings with robots or with iPads" but said that they "haven't found anything that does that better, either in terms of the food or the hospitality, than people."
"The Astor Place Shack will be a playground where we can test and learn the ever-shifting needs of our guests," according to a statement by Garutti, who also told CNBC that the Astor Place model could be employed at other Shake Shacks if customer reactions are favorable, but noted that it's a "one size fits one" when it comes to each specific location.