Shake Shack overhauling enterprise systems with 'Project Concrete'
- Shake Shack is undergoing an enterprise systems upgrade called Project Concrete as part of its transformation plans, according to CEO Randy Garutti during the company's Q4 2018 earnings call.
- The digital transformation initiatives of Project Concrete "will be in an effort to ensure our infrastructure and support systems are sufficiently robust and scale to deliver," said Garutti. The burger chain is investing in automated business processes to eliminate administrative manual tasks.
- The company had a one-time $750,000 operating expenditure for Project Concrete for the quarter. In all of 2018, Shake Shack has spent about $1.3 million in one-time operating costs and about $1.1 million in encapsule on Project Concrete, according to the earnings call. The expense is just shy of the $2.5 million the burger chain expected to spend on Project Concrete in 2018.
Historically, the only way customers could acquire a ShackBurger was to order at the cashier and wait until their buzzer notified them, "order up." Now the company is embracing the different channels customers like to use, according to Garutti.
But the additions of channels complicated Shake Shack's operations. In 2017, the company had to halt the expansion of kiosks in restaurants after a six-month period due to customer backlash.
The company is striving for a $570 million to $576 million total in revenue in 2019 and sees technology as an enabler.
Last week, the restaurant named its first CIO and CMO, expected to work together on digital initiatives, like the consumer-facing website. The CIO will oversee "all aspects of technology" with a particular focus on omnichannel strategy for personalized customer experiences.
Follow Samantha Ann Schwartz on Twitter