Astronomical delivery fees can sometimes be enough to make a person close their foodservice app and head to the kitchen, but Shake Shack, with the help of Uber Eats, is trying to take that burden off of its customers.
Customers can place an order through the Shake Shack app and will pay just 99 cents for delivery on orders under $35. Orders exceeding $35 do not incur a delivery fee. Jay Livingston, Shake Shack's chief marketing officer, said Uber's experience in the delivery space made the exclusive partnership an easy decision.
"Their focus on data, on guest support, being able to cover the markets where we are, it was a big advantage for them when we thought about bringing on a partner to help us with this big project," he told Cheddar.
He noted the app is able to use that data to offer personalized services, like remembering users' orders and allowing them to track their deliveries. It will also play a role in a loyalty program planned to roll out later in 2021.
As the foodservice industry struggled greatly amid the coronavirus pandemic, Shake Shack was able to adapt and establish a digital heavy presence. While there is hope the pandemic could be under control, at least in the United States, in the foreseeable future, building on that digital presence is likely to continue being part of the company's business model.
"We were about 15 percent digital, and by digital, I mean orders through the app, web, or delivery, pre-pandemic. In March, that flip-flopped to 85 percent orders digitally," Livingston noted.
At the height of the pandemic, many Americans were moving out of major cities as people opted for less crowded suburban living, so Shake Shack will focus on both for future expansion plans. Livingston said he expects major cities, like New York, to experience a resurgence of energy, likely this spring and summer.
If the new delivery service isn't enough to entice customers, Livingston also said the company plans to revamp its menu this year.
"We're always innovating. We're always looking for the most exciting culinary things and we've got a bunch coming out this summer that we're super excited about," he said. "We are launching bacon avocado as topping to our burgers here in the next month or so."