- Burger and milkshake chain Shake Shack named Dave Harris as its first chief information officer, according to a company announcement Wednesday.
- Harris comes to Shake Shack with an e-commerce background in digital innovation and "technology-enabled growth in large multi-unit environments," according to the announcement. He served as VP of digital technologies at Newell Brands. He was the CIO of Yankee Candle where he developed the company's omnichannel strategy, which encased POS deployment in more than 600 retailers and implemented mobile and kiosk technology.
- Harris joins Shake Shack with three other new roles for the company's executive team, including chief development officer, chief global licensing officer and chief marketing officer and an additional board member.
The company's C-suite expansion is meant to complement the chain's growth while streamlining technical strategy.
Harris is set to oversee "all aspects of technology" for the restaurant chain. His experience in customer- and front line-facing technology, like reservation and POS systems, loyalty programs and consumer websites, will pair him closely with new CMO Jay Livingston.
Livingston is tasked with personalizing the customer experience through digital channels on Shake Shack's mobile app and in-store kiosks. Shake Shack has had a tumultuous relationship with kiosks. The company halted an initial experiment with cashierless kiosks in 2017 after six months because of customer pushback.
In August the company reintroduced cashierless kiosks to supplement actual cashiers and Livingston will have to assess customer data before delving into a new market too aggressively.
But the burger chain is known for its startup-like agility beyond the kitchen and CEO Randy Garutti expects the partnership between Harris and Livingston to build the infrastructure needed to support new solutions. The addition of the CIO role to the fast casual chain is meant to help hone "in on the intersection of convenience" and "experience through tech," according to the company announcement.