• By mid-2018, the fast-casual burger joint had
  • In the future, Shake Shack restaurants will have automated kiosks in conjunction with cashiers.
  • We visited the cashless Shake Shack restaurant in New York City, and found that the experience was a lot easier than the reviews made it out to be.

In late 2017, Shake Shack set out to go cashless, opening its first kiosk-only location in New York City.

Though the intention was to transition to a more seamless operation and become more digitally inclined, the plan backfired — by May 2018, the chain had already abandoned its plans to go cashless.

On an earnings call in May,

The Shake Shack on Astor Place has replaced all of its cashiers with kiosks. Upon walking in, I was directed to the kiosks by two employees who were stationed near the entrance.

There were close to 10 kiosks at the front of the store, and they were set up in a semi-circle. I went pretty early in the day, and no one who walked in had to wait in line.

The welcome screen on the kiosk directed me to tap on a category. My options were drinks, retail, flat-top dogs, burgers and chicken, crinkle-cut fries, shakes and custard, and beer and wine.

The category pages were pretty straightforward. On each page, you can see a photo of the item, the price, and the categories. To see more, you can swipe in either direction as you would on an iPad or smartphone.

As someone who typically takes forever to decide what to order, it was a huge advantage to be able to go back and forth on the menu without anyone staring at me, waiting for me to decide.

Once I tapped on the burger I wanted, I was able to see more details about it and select how many I wanted to add to my cart.

In the top corner were two buttons for more information. Tapping on the "allergens" button allows you to select which foods you need your meal to be prepared without.

The other button in the corner alerts the restaurant staff that you need help with something or have a question.

Once I was ready to check out, I was able to see everything that I had added to my cart. The system suggested other options I might want to tack on to my order.

The kiosks had a card reader that you could insert your card chip into. It accepted credit and debit cards, Apple Pay, Android Pay, and Samsung Pay, but not cash. The entire restaurant was cashless.

After placing my order, I was prompted to enter my name and phone number so I could be contacted when it was ready.

The last screen allowed me to enter my email so I could be sent my receipt.

I received a text about 10 minutes after I placed my order, telling me my food was almost ready.

The kiosks were straightforward and clear to use, and it was easy to customize meals. It also seemed to speed up the ordering process quite a bit — there were always open kiosks, and there was never a line. Though some customers had expressed confusion about the process, there was a big "help" button on the kiosk at all times, and there were plenty of people standing by to assist.