LAS VEGASEarlier this week Shake Shack opened its first drive thru in Minnesota. It was an about-face for the food retailer as its CEO had said from the company’s start that it would never have a drive thru. But then about three years ago, executives began to realize drive thrus would capture a wider audience in some markets. Then came Covid, when food retailers and restaurants doubled down on this format amid the need for social distancing. 

After that, the company leaned into drive thrus, Carren Coston, ICSC trustee and vice president of real estate and development at Shake Shack Enterprises, related at the national ICSC conference here in Las Vegas. “We are opening two in the next two weeks and we have quite a few in the next year,” she said during a panel session.

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