Shake Shack's food trucks are a smart play to boost company sales in the lucrative private events and catering space.
— Erika Adams
Shake Shack is going mobile.
The company will be launching a food truck concept in early February, Shake Shack CEO Randy Garutti announced this week at ICR, an industry conference held in Orlando, Fla. The first two trucks will be stationed in New Jersey and Atlanta, Ga., but will operate on a broader regional basis as needed, according to the company’s plans. The trucks will be staffed and supported by local Shake Shacks in those respective areas.
Shake Shack’s leadership team expects that the main sources of revenue for the trucks will come from community events, festivals, private parties, and similar events that are easier to serve with a mobile cooking unit.
“It’s one of those things where people have always said, ‘Why don’t you have one?'” Garutti said at the company’s conference presentation. “‘Why can’t you come to my Bar Mitzvah and cook Shackburgers?'”
Investing in Non-Traditional Real Estate
The food trucks are the latest company push into non-traditional real estate to add to its total restaurant footprint. Aside from Shake Shack’s urban and free-standing store models, the company is also building up its presence in stadiums, airports, and even shopping mall food courts.
“Yes, we’ve done some food courts — which we thought we’d never do — and we’re doing really well in food courts,” Garutti said.
Shake Shack launched 34 new locations in the U.S. and operated across 16 countries by the end of 2018. Looking ahead, the company plans to launch 36 to 40 new locations in 2019.
80 percent of Shake Shack’s current domestic footprint now lies outside of the New York City area, a point that company leadership is particularly proud of as Shake Shack gravitates away from being known simply as a New York-centered brand.
The real estate growth plan in the new year largely hinges on building more restaurants in markets where Shake Shack already has a presence, with over 80 percent of the new openings that are planned for 2019 taking place in existing markets.
Shake Shack will report fourth-quarter and full year results for 2018 in mid-February.