Steak ‘n Shake replacing dining room staff with self-service kiosks


(WJW) — The next time you visit Steak ‘n Shake, things may look a little different.

In a letter to investors, CEO and Chairman of Biglari Holdings Sardar Biglari said the chain “is in an era of radical transformation.”

He explained that dine-in customers will have a new way to place their order.

“What will be most evident to our returning patrons is that instead of ordering at the table, or even at a counter with an attendant, our guests will now initiate their transaction at a kiosk,” Biglari wrote.

He continued on to say that in previous years paying Steak ‘n Shake wait staff was too costly. Biglari claimed that preparing food often took too long and “the operation of dining rooms with table service was a money loser.”

Biglari adds that switching to the kiosk model will be costly. It will cost between $100,000 and $200,000 to remodel and add new equipment to the chain’s over 500 locations.

Steak ‘n Shake, like many other restaurants, was impacted by the coronavirus pandemic. The chain had to permanently close 57 locations and even began to operate with drive-in service at some stores.

While indoor dining has reopened in several states, Steak ‘n Shake has still kept its dining rooms closed. Bilgari says that reopening dining rooms with self-service kiosks will “amplify profits.”

He added that this change will be better for customers too.

“We are embracing efficiency and transitioning the service model to empower our guests to place and pick up their own orders,” said Bilgari.

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