Shake Shack’s coronavirus pivot includes cook-at-home burgers—CEO explains how it came about

Shake Shack burgers can now be cooked inside your own home as part of the company’s response to the coronavirus pandemic. 

The restaurant chain partnered with a company called Goldbelly to launch a nationwide, cook-at-home burger kit, Shake Shack CEO Randy Garutti told CNBC on Friday. 

“We’re doing what we can to make these businesses make sense for the moment,” Garutti said on “Squawk on the Street.” 

The cook-at-home burger kits can be ordered online and cost $49 for an eight-pack. It includes cheese, buns and Shake Shack’s in-house sauce.

“It was pretty easy to do when you have an entrepreneurial, incredible team like we do,” Garutti said. 

Shack Shake has transitioned all of its U.S. restaurants that remain open to “to-go only” models as the coronavirus has swept across the country.

Same-store sales in the month of March were down 29% compared with last year, Shake Shake told investors Thursday. More dramatic sales declines occurred in the last two weeks, the company said. 

“We’ve gone from a restaurant that’s never had a drive-thru — we don’t have any — to most of our restaurants are operating as a drive-thru right now, whether it’s your car or yourself,” Garutti said. 

Shack Shake also has expanded its third-party delivery partners, going beyond its relationship with GrubHub to soon include Uber Eats and DoorDash, Garutti said. 

It’s about “giving people wherever you are, whoever your favorite delivery partner is, the opportunity to grab your Shack,” he said. 

This evolution happened quickly in response to the pandemic, but Garutti said changes will extend beyond the crisis.

He said people will still want to use restaurants as a gathering place, but “we’ll forever have some new sticky behavior, where people are going to want delivery. They’re going to want to pick up.” 

“And that’s why we’re doubling down on those now, keeping our balance sheet strong, so out of this … we’re going to be there and figure this out for what’s ahead,” he said. 

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