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This Adored Burger Chain Is Aggressively Expanding With 90 New Locations

And opening its first drive-thru in Florida.
shake shack burger chicken and fries on tray

Getting your hands on a top-notch burger is about to get even easier in 2021. Beloved burger brand Shake Shack has revealed plans for a massive expansion over the next two years. The chain is set to open as many as 90 new company-owned restaurants in both urban and suburban "top-tier real estate" spots, which will incorporate new restaurant formats.

In total, the company has 35 to 40 openings targeted for 2021, as well as 45 to 50 in 2022. Shake Shack's very first drive-thru will also open in the fourth quarter in Orlando after plans were announced last year, according to a presentation held at a recent ICR conference. (Related: McDonald's Is Making These 8 Major Upgrades.)

But the drive-thru isn't the only new restaurant innovation Shake Shack has in store as it eyes even more ways to make digital ordering more convenient than ever. The chain will also incorporate walk-up and drive-up windows in addition to curbside pick-up and in-store pick-up shelves, all of which are meant to facilitate fast contactless transactions with minimal wait times.

And there's good reason why Shake Shack sees its future in the realm of digital orders. They made up well more than half of the chain's sales for every single month since March of last year. That's a stark contrast to the mostly on-premise sales the burger slinger was accustomed to before the pandemic.

Shake Shack only launched curbside pick-up in July, and the chain has seen success in attracting new customers with the new offering. First-time customers made up about 30% of curbside pick-up orders since launch, demonstrating that potential customers are looking for the safest and most convenient options when deciding on a fast casual spot.

For more on the current state of drive-thru options, check out 6 Fast-Food Drive-Thrus You'll Be Seeing Everywhere Soon and 5 Worst Drive-Thrus of 2020. And don't forget to sign up for our newsletter to get the latest restaurant news delivered straight to your inbox.

Mura Dominko
Mura Dominko is a senior editor at Eat This, Not That!. Read more