Shake Shack is the latest major restaurant chain to temporarily shift to a to-go-only operating model. The company announced mid-Monday that all of its corporate restaurants are closing down dining rooms “as the COVID-19 situation continues to rapidly evolve.”
Shake Shack said customers can still place to-go orders in the restaurant, pre-order online, use the Shake App for pickup, or order delivery via Grubhub and Seamless in all cities. Other providers, such as Postmates, DoorDash, Caviar, and UberEats are also available in certain markets (Shake Shack has an exclusive deal with Grubhub).
Additionally, Shake Shack said, restaurants across the country could be impacted by closures or reduced hours over the coming weeks.
“As we navigate this evolving situation, we’ll continue to act in the interest of the safety of our team and our guests,” Randy Garutti, Shake Shack CEO, said in a statement. “We’re committed to doing our part as a company to play a proactive role in protecting our communities. I am endlessly inspired by and proud of our teams as they act quickly in these uncertain times, and grateful to our guests for their continued trust and support. When the time comes to re-open our dining rooms as the community gathering place we were born to be, our teams will be ready. Until, then we are thankful for the privilege to serve our guests safely.”
Due to “the current unprecedented market conditions domestically and internationally,” Shake Shack withdrew its financial guidance for the fiscal year ending December 30, 2020, the company said. It plans to provide an update after the first quarter.
Shake Shack said after Q4 it had 167 company-operated locations. Shake Shack ended the year with 275 units systemwide (163 domestic corporate stores, 22 domestic licensed stores, and 90 international licensed stores). The company said then it expected to open between 40 and 42 company-operated stores in 2020, with 90 percent in existing markets. Twenty to 25 net new licensed Shacks were projected to open, too.
Whether or not Monday’s news affects this projection is something Shake Shack will address in its Q1 2020 recap.
Same-store sales dropped 3.6 percent year-over-year in Q4 (85 units in the comp base), which broke out to a 1.8 percent increase in price and a 5.4 percent dip in traffic.
At the time, Shake Shack guided to low-single digit increases in same-store sales for 2020.