Whoa, Shake Shack's Opening A Drive-Thru

The chain's first-ever drive-thru opens next week, with nine more to follow.

We've given you plenty of reasons to reconsider your In-N-Out fandom. Their fries are bad. Their politics are bad. There are lots of better options out there. "But, Lillian," you whimper. "They have a drive-thru!" Well, guess what, fools? A significantly better chain is about to enter the drive-thru space next week: Shake Shack.

QSR Magazine reports that the beloved burger chain's first drive-thru will open at 11 a.m. next Monday, December 6, in Maple Grove, Minnesota. The company also announced plans to open nine more drive-thrus by the end of 2022. "We've been envisioning drive-thru for some time now and have been working diligently to make the experience uniquely Shake Shack," said Shake Shack CEO Randy Garutti in a statement. "We'll be learning a lot from this location, and will continue to optimize and adapt as we roll out more of these formats next year."

This is a big deal for Shake Shack, which has been a walk-in destination since its inception. It sounds like the company is making an effort to invest in efficiency, with a two-lane ordering system, a separate pickup window, and an entirely separate kitchen for drive-thru orders. That last one is huge, hopefully minimizing frustration between drive-thru and walk-in customers. Here's hoping it also cuts back on weird drive-thru worker surveillance.

If I had to guess, I'd say the move to drive-thru is a response to consumer behaviors that rose during the height of the pandemic. Of course, Shake Shack is far from the only brand investing in the drive-thru experience. Starbucks is expanding mobile pick-up cafes and drive-thru options; meanwhile, Taco Bell made headlines with its futuristic new Taco Bell Defy drive-thru concept.

Unfortunately, it'll be a while before Shake Shake rolls out drive-thru options across its service areas. In the meantime, why not pay a visit to our beloved Culver's?