Monday, February 1, 2021

[EXCLUSIVE] Sources Say Shake Shack Scores Suburban Site For New Drive Thru Restaurant

Well placed real estate sources tell ToNeTo Atlanta that Shake Shack has secured a former suburban Burger King for one of their first drive-thru enabled locations.  The freestanding building, located in an outparcel of Alpharetta Crossing (11780 Haynes Bridge Road), was home to Burger King for more than two decades before the Miami-based fast food chain closed the location last year.  The restaurant is about 2,900 square feet and sits on just over a half an acre, according to Fulton County tax records.  

Shake Shack, which got its start as a food cart in New York's Madison Square Park in 2004, has today grown into a publicly traded company with more than 300 locations worldwide and a market capitalization of nearly $5 billion.  In metro Atlanta, the company currently operates four units: Buckhead Village District in Buckhead, Perimeter Mall in Dunwoody, EDGE on the Atlanta BeltLine in Old Fourth Ward, and on Concourse A of Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport.  

There was talk last year that Shake Shack would open a new location at Colony Square in Midtown, but those plans never materialized and Sweetgreen was later confirmed to be taking the space instead.  

The company announced in October that it will open its first drive-thru in 2021, with as many as eight by the end of 2022.  In total, the company plans to open between 35 and 40 locations system-wide in 2021, according to Shake Shack CEO Randy Garutti.  

Shake Shack's entry into drive-thru service was accelerated as a result of the pandemic, but they are not the only fast casual operator to add drive-thrus to their business.  Panera and Jason's Deli both operate drive-thru units (including several in metro Atlanta) and in 2019, locally-based Gusto! added a drive-thru unit in Chamblee with plans to open another in East Cobb later this year.  Chipotle Mexican Grill has also gotten in on the drive-thru movement, with the advent of the "Chipotlane," a call-ahead option that is not a traditional drive-thru, but does speed up the ordering process by having customers' food ready to go upon their arrival at the lane.  

Rendering of a Shake Shack with triple drive-thru

The Alpharetta Shake Shack, located just off Old Milton Parkway about a mile from Avalon, provides the burger business a great drive-thru enabled building within an existing trade area and good access.  The center is anchored by Urban Hardware, a independent hardware store, and is also home to Bagel Boys CafĂ© and Salons by JC, among others.  Starbucks, a current inline tenant in Alpharetta Crossing, will soon relocate to a newly built two-suite outparcel at the opposite end of the center, where it will have a drive-thru.  

ToNeTo Atlanta attempted on multiple occasions to obtain comment from Shake Shack's local regional marketing manager relating to the Alpharetta opening, but never received a response.  Shake Shack was no doubt attracted to the former Burger King given it will provide the company with an existing drive-thru.  The company is likely to make significant modifications to the building to suit their needs and to disguise its former use, but should open by the end of the year.  

Are you excited for the opening of Shake Shack in Alpharetta?  What is your favorite quick-serve burger joint?  Where would you like to see Shake Shack open next?

Please share your thoughts below. 

3 comments:

the Brand Whiz said...

Renderings of the proposed design are on the City of Alpharetta'web site as it will be on the agenda for the February 2021 DRB meeting.

Anonymous said...

Shake Shack is so overrated! I wish they would open a In-N-Out Burger or Whataburger around here. I would love to see The Kolache Factory open back up in Georgia

Michael Campbell said...

A Shake Shack closer to us than Perimeter will be great. As a Milton resident, even closer than BurgerFi, which (IMO) is about the same.

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