Fast Food Kiosks Update – Shake Shack, Taco Bell

By | February 20, 2023
dunkin donut drive thru

Fast Food Technology News

Bit of news on the restaurant front and as usual it is the smaller chains that are headlining the news. One prediction related to all this that I will make is that given the new generative Chatgpt, VR and the Super Bowl commercial that it won’t be long before some celebrity takes your order at your local drive-thru.  Eventually celebrity avatars will stare into our face constantly.

This week we have Taco Bell, Shake Shack, and Chipotle.

Taco Bell

Roll out the purple carpet, as Taco Bell has opened its doors to its latest Cantina restaurant experience in the heart of Los Angeles, bringing the vibrant atmosphere to the iconic palm tree-lined, Hollywood Boulevard community. The latest Cantina restaurant – known for its boozy drink menu and all the craveable menu items fans have come to expect – sits on a historic 1920s Hollywood property, once a bookstore known as a book lover’s haunt for movie stars, bringing the same technology-forward digital features to create a modern Cantina dining experience.

Early last year it was the Defy drive-thru concept and then before that the NYC Cantina.  I have full portfolio of images on the kioskindustry site. I have no gallery mechanism here on AVIXA (hint hint).

taco bell kiosks

taco bell kiosks

Shake Shack

Meanwhile Shack Shack released their company earnings this month and the CEO made the rounds of the analysts.  He wanted to point out areas of focus.

Drive Thrus

You can say that one more time as they are the ultimate key for Shake Shack.


Yes, that is an area of focus for me. In the case of SS, they are using iPads affixed to counters to let the customers order their own food, and pay for it with a credit card.  Apparently the credit card reader isn’t fixed and that might be a big problem with PCI


Currently, the company operates 11 drive-thru locations, 9 of which opened last year. Each location should generate, the company said, more than $4 million in annual sales. That’s compared to $3.8 million at traditional company-owned stores. Operating profit margins should be on par or better than the company average.

A drive-thru in Orlando, Florida, which opened last year, produced $86,000 in average weekly sales — it is on track to do $4.5 million and “headed towards a $5 million,” said Garutti. Operating profits: 20%, higher than approximately 19% for stores in prelim Q4 results.

Good search for Drive-Thrus and Shake Shack images. I use DuckDuck because I am a privacy nut.

shake shack drive thru

Other sides to this story are in additional coverage below. The trend with tipping resonates (tipping fatigue) and not sure how the back office will use kiosks.

And then we have Chipolte

Chipolte has never been afraid to try things especially in the automation and AI space but this time they have a new “regional concept” design aka Californians. MSN has decent coverage.

This experiment is a variation on what is called a “ghost kitchen”. Last year it was all the rage and then it sort of subsided as reality checked in. But a restaurant with no counter per se is a valid concept and these will allow customers to order food at a kiosk, or drive thru, but the counter is gone. You still have people walking around acting like concierge assistance.

That’s it for this week

More Posts

Author: Staff Writer

Craig Keefner -- With over 40 years in the industry and technology, Craig is widely considered to be an expert in the field. Major early career kiosk projects include Verizon Bill Pay kiosk and hundreds of others. Craig helped start kioskmarketplace and formed the KMA. Note the point of view here is not necessarily the stance of the Kiosk Association or