Elevated Hospitality Experience Brings Convenience to Ordering

Shake Shack Hero Image

Summary

Shake Shack began as a hot dog cart operating out of Madison Square Park in New York City in 2001, and has since grown into a gourmet fast-casual restaurant with 300 locations as of October 2020. Shake Shack had its sights set on evolving its technology to better meet the needs of its customers, and the pandemic turned this plan into a more urgent necessity.

Shake Shack partnered with Bounteous to quickly progress its digital strategy, starting immediately with implementing curbside pickup and third-party delivery functionality directly into the company's popular app. The success of these implementations then led to continued partnership with Bounteous on several other initiatives that will be launched in 2021.

Three phone screens showing different pages of the Shake Shack mobile app

Challenge

The pandemic demanded Shake Shack to quickly adapt to changes in consumer behavior and the lack of dine-in at their restaurants. The company needed to shift the loss of sales from dine-in to another channel.

Bounteous worked with Shake Shack to make its preconceived idea of contactless curbside service a reality. Speed of the launch was imperative, with a plan to continually improve the functionality through iterative design and development.

Shake Shack also wanted to improve the user experience when it came to delivery service. Ordering from Shake Shack should be easy, without the need to download and use third-party apps. Shake Shack needed to provide delivery as an option in their own app, right next to their other convenient options like curbside and walk-up service.

Shake Shack Solution Image

Solution

Bounteous strategically collaborated with the entire Shake Shack team, including restaurant staff, to get a holistic view of the key features and functionality that would make the implementation successful. Through multiple discovery sessions, Bounteous gained a comprehensive knowledge of the restaurants' processes and how the app works together with the Shacks' kitchens.

After aligning with the Shake Shack team on which proposed design would work best, Bounteous built curbside and walk-up functionalities into the existing iOS experience and ensured that back-end functionality would meet front-end needs. After some initial testing, the curbside and walk-up functions were launched. Starting with 12 pilot locations, the curbside and walk-up program has expanded greatly to cover over 65 Shake Shack locations.

To improve the delivery service user experience, Bounteous worked with Uber Eats, enabling us to integrate directly into their back-end system and host the entire experience within the Shake Shack app itself. This transition provides customers greater convenience and a more personalized experience. The implementation launched successfully on iOS this year and will be launched on Android and web in 2021.

Results

The investments Shake Shake made to its digital strategy paid off. The curbside pick-up function launched quickly (about a month and a half after the project kickoff) and effectively. Even though the original plan was to launch something quickly and then make adjustments along the way, the strong strategy from the start enabled the first version of the launch to be successful and needing minimal tweaks.

The curbside pick-up function was not marketed at all when it launched, and even still, 20% of all orders (at the locations where curbside was offered) in the first week were coming in through this channel.

The results include:
- Total curbside adoption up to 36% to date (October 2020)
- Total walk-up adoption up to 47% to date (October 2020)
- One-third of all app orders at locations with curbside are ordered in that format
- More than 300% growth in native app and web sales year over year
- Over 800,000 new customers through digital channels from the start of the pandemic through July 30

Shake Shack expects these innovations to its digital channels to remain a significant component of sales and ongoing growth—so much so that there are more plans in the works for 2021 to continue to expand on its digital strategy.
300 %
growth in native app and web sales YOY
800 K
new customers through digital channels
36 %
Total curbside adoption

Bounteous came in at an especially crucial time and was the ideal partner. The Bounteous team quickly learned the ins and outs of our business and developed a comprehensive and well-thought-out digital strategy to bring our business to the next level.

Jeff Rausch
VP of Digital Technology, Shake Shack