Steak ‘n Shake Moving to Self Service

By Benjamin Cox on March 4, 2021 at 3:53pm

An Illinois fast food chain is changing the way they serve their customers. Steak ‘n Shake announced in its annual message to shareholders that their service model for in-door dining will change when dining rooms reopen.

CEO of Biglari Holdings who owns the Steak ‘n Shake chain, Sardar Biglari, said in his annual message today that self-serve kiosks instead of servers will be coming to the chain.

Biglari said labor costs had been running at 38.5% of net sales before the pandemic, putting the chain at a 6 to 8 point competitive disadvantage to its competitors.

Biglari said the changes will be phased in by prioritizing locations that possess exemplary leadership. In the annual message, the company says that it will cost between $100,000 to $200,000 each to implement the change in all of its 556 locations.

The Jacksonville location, which is owned by regional franchise Stuller, Inc. based in Springfield, switched to a counter-top service in August last year amid the height of COVID-19. The switch in format last year called for renovations to buildings and eliminated several popular menu items including salads, baked beans, and chicken sandwiches among others.

Steak ‘n Shake was founded in Normal, Illinois by Gus Belt in 1934. The Jacksonville location has been in operation for over 40 years.