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Shake Shack Will Operate Pop-Up Food Truck at SXSW Festival

Shake Shack Will Operate Pop-Up Food Truck at SXSW Festival


Now SXSW festival-goers will have something else to cheer about besides their favorite musical act. In collaboration with NBC’s Late Night with Seth Meyers, Shake Shack has announced that it will be serving their infamous burgers and fries, along with bottled water for free, from food trucks in two “pop –up” locations during the annual SXSW festival in Austin, Texas, running from March 8th through the 14th.

The food truck will be located at the intersection of 6th Street and Red River Street for the first three nights, and then move to 907 E. 6th St. and Brushy St. for the last three nights of the festival. At both locations, the truck will be doling out burgers and fries to hungry music fans from 8 p.m. to 1 a.m.

Even though this food truck is temporary, Texas is gearing up for its first-ever Shake Shack locations in the Lone Star State coming late this year. Austin’s first permanent location will be located on the corner of South Lamar and Treadwell Streets.

“Austin embraces all of the important things in life — food, music, community, and culture,” said Shake Shack CEO Randy Garutti. “We’re excited to be on South Lamar. That puts us in the heart of it all.”


11 Reasons People Are Obsessed With Shake Shack

Shake Shack is the hottest burger chain in America right now.

The fast-expanding company is preparing an initial public offering that could be worth up to $1 billion.

Shake Shack is known for long lines at its 34 locations in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Florida, and Massachusetts. The brand has also been expanding internationally.

Here's why people are so obsessed with the burger chain.

1. Gourmet Burgers

Shake Shack's burgers are more elevated than the offerings at the typical fast food burger chain, thanks to the 100% antibiotic-free Angus beef and buttered buns. Toppings include Applewood-smoked bacon and cherry peppers. This experience aligns with the values of modern consumers, who are demanding better food quality.

2. ShackSauce

Many of Shake Shack's burgers are topped with the signature sauce, which USA Today describes as "a slightly spicy, sweet and sour blend of mayo, ketchup, mustard and spices." Some copycat recipes online also call for blended dill pickles. Regardless of the ingredients, the sauce adds to the unique Shake Shack experience.

3. Crinkle Fries

Shake Shack controversially changed its fries from crinkle cut to traditional hand-cut last year, leading to many customer complaints. Last month, CEO Randy Garutti announced that the brand was going to stick to crinkle fries, which are more popular and easier to prepare.

Many Yelp reviewers recommend adding Shake Shack's homemade cheese sauce to your fries.

4. "Anti-Chain Chain" Image

The New York Times calls Shake Shack the "anti-chain chain," saying that its dedication to quality and customer service bucked stereotypes of traditional fast food.

Shake Shack spends barely any money on marketing, instead focusing on the quality of food. This message has helped Shake Shack stay popular in an era where diners prefer Chipotle to McDonald's.

Shake Shack "disposed of the notion that fast food had to be precooked or even prepared quickly in favor of quality ingredients and customer experience," writes QSR Magazine.

5. Delicious Milkshakes

Shake Shack's signature custard is the base for these frozen treats. Flavors include chocolate, vanilla, peanut butter, strawberry, and some creative specials like Nutella.

Gothamist ranks the black-and-white shake, a combination of chocolate and vanilla, among the best in New York City.

6. Flat-Top Hot Dogs

Shake Shack began as a hot dog stand in New York's Madison Square Park. Many food writers say the hot dogs, which are made of 100% hormone and antibiotic-free beef, are an underrated treat.

"I was never let down by the hot dogs, bought from Chicago’s irreplaceable Vienna Beef, which were split down the middle, griddled and laid in a toasted potato bun with or without the classic Chicago garnishes," writes Pete Wells at The New York Times. "Better yet is the Bird Dog, a smoked chicken and apple bratwurst from Usinger’s of Milwaukee."

7. Regional Specialties

In addition to its classic menu, Shake Shack also offers special frozen dessert items at different locations.

The chain serves a "Liberty Shell" custard at its Philadelphia location featuring a cannoli shell, strawberry puree, and lemon ricotta. The New Haven location serves a "Skull and Cones Concrete," which is a similar consistency to a Dairy Queen Blizzard with peanut butter, ice cream cone, and chocolate truffle cookie dough blended in.

8. Secret Menu

Shake Shack has a secret menu, which Thrillist successfully tested. Items include a burger topped with bacon and peanut butter, and a grilled cheese made from buns.

Love the Peanut butter bacon burger from @shakeshack secret menu. Awesome! pic.twitter.com/XvkiJFrPJP

— Mike (@MikeCips) August 22, 2014

9. Vegetarian Options

Founder Danny Meyer said the chain was discriminating about its meat-free options.

"It’s only going to go on the menu if you would crave it even if you were not a vegetarian," he told Bon Appetit.

Shake Shack is renowned for its 'Shroom burger, a portobello mushroom stuffed with cheese.

10. Beer and Wine

Shake Shack sells beer and wine, meaning that it can double as a Happy Hour destination.

Selling alcohol is becoming popular among fast-casual chains who want to find another way to draw in consumers.

The beer is aimed toward craft enthusiasts and includes a special collaboration with the Brooklyn Brewery.

11. Customer Service

" Unlike the workers at most fast-food outlets, Shake Shack employees give the impression that they truly like their customers," writes Wells at The New York Times.

Shake Shack pays workers a average hourly wage of $10.70, and it offers health benefits and paid time off.

Company executives say these policies help them attract better talent, and turnover is lower than industry averages.

Bonus — waiting in line makes them feel cool.

Waiting in Shake Shack's long line might seem like a deterrent. But many people actually like the gratification of waiting in long lines for hot products, many consumer experts told Business Insider.

"There are people in the world whose identity is tied up with being a consumer of such items and who derive satisfaction from going the extra mile, or five miles, to demonstrate their dedication," David Gibson, professor of sociology at the University of Notre Dame, said.


Disrupting Food

It was another late night last fall at the LivingSocial office in Washington, D.C., and Alan Clifford and Ian Costello were hungry. As vice presidents of customer relationship management and product development, respectively, the two were often burning the midnight oil and coming upon the same dilemma: They wanted high-quality food, but fast.

Fast-forward to last November, when the two founded premium delivery concept Galley, which began taking orders in D.C. at the beginning of the year.

“It drove us nuts that every night we were making this tradeoff decision between convenience and high-quality food,” says Clifford, who worked at the D.C.-based digital coupon startup for six years. “We just always thought that somebody was going to do something in this realm, and so as we were getting ready to leave LivingSocial, we were trying to decide what was next. This was the problem that we just kept coming back to.”

Clifford and Costello aren’t the only entrepreneurs using the tech industry’s philosophy of disruption to shake up the restaurant space. Many other tech veterans are closing in on foodservice as the next industry due for disruption.

The idea of disruption is a core tenet in the tech industry. In the past few decades, technology has embedded itself in our daily lives by transforming industries like communication, entertainment, finance, and more. Now several veterans of the technology industry are poised to disrupt a longstanding holdout: food.

Technology, of course, is already a mainstay in the restaurant industry. Social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook have helped operators engage with customers, while tools such as digital menuboards have improved efficiency. Nevertheless, the foodservice system as a whole has remained largely unaltered.

Where new tools can expedite or improve existing processes, disruption seeks to overhaul the entire system and rebuild it from the ground up. Just as pagers, mobile phones, and smartphones indelibly changed the way people communicate on a daily basis, a foodservice overhaul, experts say, would change the fundamentals, such as how consumers order food and how operators interact with the rest of the supply chain.

“All the sectors across the food industry are pretty antiquated, so it’s one of the last frontiers for disruption,” says Danielle Gould, founder and CEO of Food+Tech Connect.

Gould started blogging about the intersection of food and technology five years ago. At the time, she says, there was little tech activity in the foodservice space, with only about 50 organizations that were even thinking about food, data, and technology and how the three could intersect in a positive way. Since then, Food+Tech Connect has grown into a company that organizes in-person meet-ups and events and offers online resources for aspiring food entrepreneurs.

Gould has seen an explosion of innovation between food and technology in the last two years. “We’ve had this food renaissance where … chefs are the new rock stars,” she says. “You’re starting to see a lot of people that are coming with a technology background—be it investors or entrepreneurs or developers.”

Steve Case sees technology’s push into food as part of a natural evolution. Case, who was cofounder, CEO, and chairman of AOL before founding the investment firm Revolution LLC, has parlayed his tech and business savvy into the food space. In addition to D.C.-based fast casual Sweetgreen, he has invested in OrderUp—a food delivery startup that services secondary and tertiary markets that have not been targeted by existing companies like GrubHub—and Revolution Foods, which was founded by two mothers looking to bring healthy, affordable school lunches to K–12 schools.

Case says the fast-casual segment has already started to disrupt fast food. At the same time, consumer demand for healthier, “real” food and increased convenience are further driving a need for disruption in the restaurant industry.

“Our sense is technology will reshape how every aspect of food—the production of it, the distribution of it, the consumption of it—will evolve, with technology being a driver, as well as some demographic trends and some lifestyle trends that are favoring different options,” Case says. “In some respects, because of the ubiquitousness of the Internet, every company needs to be a tech company.”

When it comes to attracting tech alums and investors, the food industry’s potential for growth is an obvious incentive the potential market for food is 100 percent, because, as Case points out, everybody eats, with Americans eating 4.9 times per day on average.

“Food startups will be using technology and tech startups will increasingly be targeting a $5 trillion food industry, but the lines will blur a little bit,” Case says. He adds that Revolution now receives more inbound calls from investors regarding Sweetgreen than any of the other couple of dozen investments in the firm’s portfolio.

The new face of innovation

As the borders between food and technology fade, the two sides have the opportunity to learn from each other and exchange diverse perspectives. In an effort to innovate and disrupt, tech companies often focus on optimizing their operations by continually breaking from routines and experimenting with new tactics.

Like many foodservice providers, Clifford and Costello tested recipes, hired fine dining–trained chefs, and worked with local food producers to position Galley for success. They broke from tradition by building kitchen automation software to predict consumer demand and inform ingredient volume. The cofounders also created a similar system to determine delivery routes.

“Instead of having the normal … hub-and-spoke system that exists with all food delivery businesses, where the driver’s constantly going back and forth to the restaurant, we send all of our drivers out with chilled bags at the beginning of the night, but with an optimized route that they’re going to hit everyone’s delivery window,” Clifford says. “We got really good at building algorithms to allow us to make that a very efficient process and a very affordable process for us.”

Like many entrepreneurs, tech leaders focus their efforts where they see a problem. Clifford and Costello started Galley because they experienced a dinnertime dilemma Case invested in Sweetgreen because he saw an unmet demand for premium, healthy food in a fast-casual environment.

Ryan Salts, director of outreach and engagement for entrepreneur research center Café Commerce in San Antonio, Texas, says the limited-service sector could be especially ripe for innovation, given the challenges that operators face.

“Where food and tech will initially meet will be on the biggest pain points, because it makes the most sense for an entrepreneur to follow the pain. A lot of those pain points happen to be in waiting and idle time,” Salts says. “The pain points in quick service are more obvious because of the short amount of time that you have to get everything out.”

While the tech industry is well-versed in the art of disruption, foodservice is an exceptional undertaking. Tech experts might have experience in a fast-paced work environment, but it is hardly the same as running a kitchen and delivering a perishable product meant for consumption.

Clifford says that although his LivingSocial background did help guide him in running a business, Galley has proved more challenging. “If we have a problem in the kitchen and we’re slightly off on a recipe that day, you either throw out the entire batch or you get ready to hear a lot of customer complaints,” Clifford says. “It’s definitely a more difficult business because we have two very tough operational problems—delivery and food prep—but we think the technology enables us to make those problems a little easier to solve every day.”

Echoing this sentiment, Case says technology is a useful tool for innovation, but it should not overshadow other important factors like food quality and unit location.

“I think it requires a balance and a meeting of the minds and a partnership mentality,” Case says. “In the case of the [quick-service] space, obviously the food is the main event. Technology is increasingly important, but people aren’t eating the technology they’re eating the food.”

Foodservice also stands to teach the tech industry and its workers about sharing. While brands strive to differentiate themselves from the competition, operators are not allergic to experimenting within the same category as competitors the way tech companies can be.

Salts says aspiring tech professionals could learn from the restaurant industry by not being deterred by competitors and rather viewing them as a means of bettering themselves. Just as food-truck gatherings and restaurant clusters capitalize on being part of a community, so too should tech companies.

“The communities of tech and communities of food work a hell of a lot better than islands. You’ll learn more,” Salts says. He adds that the modern tech community is a bit more receptive to collaboration than its forbears.

Similarities between food and tech workers also make for better partnership potential. “A programmer is almost like a chef: They’re both really good at their craft and there’s, to some degree, an artistry behind how you can create code,” Salts says. “But [it’s] also similar to if you were to make a soufflé: There’s not too many ways you can do that and make sure it doesn’t fall flat.”

The food-tech intersection

As the intersection of food and tech becomes more pronounced, a plethora of companies have emerged to guide operators and aspiring foodservice entrepreneurs through the nascent space. South by Southwest (SXSW), the annual Austin, Texas, music festival, has evolved to include film, tech, and, more recently, food.

In 2014, SXSW launched SouthBites under its “Interactive” category with the mission of jumpstarting innovation and bridging the gap between food enthusiasts and tech innovators. While this past March was only its second year, SouthBites boasted 30 panels over its three-day run, featuring culinary giants like David Chang, as well as Food+Tech Connect’s Gould.

“Interactive has always covered food programming in one regard or another … but within the last four years, we’ve really started seeing an acceleration of topic submissions that had even more of a common thread,” says Sarah Garcia, the senior festival programmer who leads SouthBites. In SouthBites’ first year alone, she says, food and tech individuals who were previously unfamiliar with each other’s work met for the first time and began talking about new projects and ways to change the food space. “We were all having conversations with each other about this [theme] starting to bubble up and there being a real opportunity for us to create a space that was maybe a little different from some of the already existing [technology] events.”

Garcia says that being able to bring in notable speakers from the Austin community and beyond was encouraging for the future of SouthBites. SXSW’s “Interactive” category also touts an accelerator program in which startups can apply to pitch their concept before a group of judges selected by SXSW Garcia hints that as SouthBites grows, it could become a category within that accelerator program.

Salts sat on a SouthBites panel to discuss Café Commerce, which launched last July. Created as a partnership between the city of San Antonio and micro-fund nonprofit LiftFund, Café Commerce was designed as a business incubator program. Its culinary accelerator program, Break Fast & Launch, is the first of its kind in the U.S., Salts says, specifically targeting food-related ventures.

“When we saw that this was a consistent need … we thought it would be a good way to mimic what we’ve learned from the tech community,” Salts says.

The three-month programs are not classrooms, but rather hands-on learning with expert guidance, Salts says. With most accelerators, attendees come from around the country and then take their skills back home. Since food laws vary by state, the process is a little more complicated for Break Fast & Launch.

“Because food is so geographically centric, especially with regulations … we’re specifically [geared toward] starting a restaurant in San Antonio regulation-wise. It might not be the exact same set of rules for Seattle,” Salts says, adding that a lot of the business fundamentals are still transferrable.

In New York City, Food+Tech Connect recently launched Food+Tech Ed, which offers online and in-person business courses ranging from “Fundamentals of User Research” to “Crowdfunding for Food Entrepreneurs,” and even a full-day branding boot camp.

The company also does an annual “hackathon” that brings together developers, designers, and entrepreneurs to tackle big challenges—such as overhauling the meat industry to be more sustainable and profitable—and create viable solutions over the course of three days. Similar to the tech space, these hackathons emphasize rapid prototyping and iteration. Last year’s event, Hack//Dining NYC, partnered with Chipotle, Google, and Mario Batali’s Batali & Bastianich Hospitality Group, among others. Each company presented a unique problem for the hackers to solve. For example, Google queried how corporate foodservice might use technology to encourage people to make better food choices.

“There’s never been more interest in disrupting food, but the food industry is so complicated, and just because you eat food doesn’t mean that you understand the intricacies and the complications,” Gould says. “We think that the best solutions come from when you bring everyone to the table to work together.”

Gould recommends that current and would-be operators interested in a more synergized approach to food and technology attend events designed around the two industries’ intersection. Those events are increasing in number in September, Food+Tech Connect, along with Union Square Hospitality Group and American Express, will host a conference called Tech Table.

“It’s high-tech for ‘high-touch,’ so it’s all about tech for the hospitality industry and how we get the technology industry together with the hospitality industry in order to create better products and create a dialogue,” Gould says.

Millennials have been early adopters of technology, and Case says these “digital natives” will hasten the food-tech crossover, given their foodie orientation, adventurous palate, and drive for convenience.

Regardless of whether an aspiring foodservice operator comes from the food or technology side, Case says, they shouldn’t venture into the industry alone.

“Everybody trying to do everything themselves is likely going to be difficult,” Case says. “How do you surround yourself with people who understand this? Some of it is hiring younger people who are generally more in touch with what’s happening here. But [it’s] also partnering with the entrepreneurs to figure out ways to engage with the startups there and not just focus on the business as it is today, but focus on where it’s going.”

Back at Galley, Clifford and Costello are working to incorporate lessons learned from their tech background into the new business. That means Galley will aspire to increase convenience, serve a higher-quality product, and operate more efficiently.

At press time, the business had only been in service a few months, but was already receiving hundreds of orders a day, with requests to extend into Bethesda, Maryland, and Northern Virginia. At the current pace—“We’re growing ridiculously fast,” Clifford says—the pair expect orders will be into the thousands soon enough.

Despite the demand, Clifford says, they want to make sure they’ve got it right in D.C. before expanding they want to retain ownership over the whole Galley ecosystem in a way that few operators have been able to accomplish until now.

“There are either food people who’ve been trying to change the food preparation side or there are tech people that have been trying to build software to make the overall restaurant process easier,” he says. “But there have been very few people that are owning the entire value chain. When you look at technology and all the tech businesses, food is one of the last areas that there just hasn’t been enough done.”


2 From bloggers to influencers

In 2002, Julie Powell began the “Julie and Julia Project” where she documented her attempts to cook every recipe in Julia Child’s Mastering the Art of French Cooking via the new Blogger platform. Three years later it had generated a bestselling book and by 2009 a movie starring Meryl Streep and Stanley Tucci.

Another gamechanging platform, Twitter, launched in 2006 and quickly became particularly favoured by food journalists and the restaurant industry. After Instagram arrived four years later, a “grammable” dish became a vital feature on every menu and photos of dinner the currency of hospitality marketing and newly democratised restaurant criticism.

Food media has undergone terrific upheaval. Today, having a large online audience or being an “influencer” is an indicator of celebrity that sits alongside and is increasingly interwoven with being a successful chef, TV star or restaurateur. Traditional fame clearly has its uses though. One of the biggest food faces on this year’s most powerful social platform, TikTok, is Gordon Ramsay.

Ella Mills, a leader of the first wave of UK influencers Photograph: Amelia Troubridge/The Observer


The Coolest Food Trucks To Pimp Your Party

Hog roasts, beer and loud music: indisputably three of summer's best things. Combining this holiest of trinities are pals Jacob Read and Will Walker (a graphic designer and a photographer), who are such fans of the music and munch mash-up, they created 'Pig&Rig,' a truck that cooks up a whole pig to the sound of indie and reggae pumped through top-quality speakers.

Using a fancy La Caja China roasting oven, these guys crank up the flavour of our favourite oinking friend, create an extra-crunchy crackling and have it ready to serve to 100 people in less than five hours.

They're willing to pack up and take their equipment anywhere in the country, and are hoping to do the festival rounds next summer &ndash catch them on their Facebook page while they wait for their new website to be ready to fly.

2 | The Laughing Stock

Already making a name for themselves by commandeering tents everywhere from Glastonbury to the Hay Festivals - and getting the thumbs up from Mark Hix - this Scottish company have become the front runners in the pop-up revolution.

The menu is highly adaptable. Basically, whatever you're after, owners Jack and Amy can rustle it up.

The pair also have a great pedigree Amy has worked in kitchens from Harrods to The Fat Duck and together they've spent a year travelling Europe in a VW camper van, cooking and experimenting with local ingredients along the way.

If you're after a range of top-quality food for your party this summer, you can hire one of their fleet of mobile food stations, from The Grill Trailer (capable of serving up over 200 burgers per hour) to the Hot Dog Cart (promises "hot sausages and hunky hot dogs") and the Wrap Shack (spicy lamb, anyone?).

3 | Taco Truck

Want a taste of Mexico but don't fancy leaving your back garden? Look no further. Taco Truck is a portable kitchen that dishes up everyone's favourite Hispanic treat.

Born out of a love of authentic Mexican cuisine, the truck, which is in fact a Citroen H fire engine, can feed a whopping 300 people and serves up gems like free-range chicken marinated in fresh lime zest and oregano.

Book the truck for your next private party, barbecue, or, if you're really celebrating, wedding day. It's already graced the stage of many a music festival, including the Proms in Hyde Park.

To top it all off, this mobile Mexico even sells its own chilli sauce by the name of 'Guau' - the Spanish word for 'woof'.

4 | Pizza Pilgrims

Thom and James Elliot have been on an absolute mission to bring Britain top-notch pizza. The brothers travelled all the way to southern Italy from their London base, to discover how the Neapolitans do their national dish.

The result? An insane sourdough base, topped with proper quality ingredients, that they sell of out of their (available to hire) mobile van, as well as their thriving Soho shop.

Check out their mouth-watering website to make a booking.

Describing itself as "a space&hellipfor making cities taste better" KERB run markets, evens and workshops to help the public track down the best street food on their doorsteps.

Started by Petra Barran &ndash who first hit the streets in 2005 with the mobile food venture Choc Star &ndash KERB aims to find the best traders in each city and bring them all together under one banner &ndash making it all the easier to select the perfect food van for your party.

From Hanoi Kitchen's Vietnamese specialties, to Mama Wang's noodles and Sorbitium Ices, KERB have pretty much got your guests covered.

If you're looking for a drink to wash it all down, check out the KERB Cocktail Bar, in association with Manhattans Project. On the menu are Jungle Bird, Rose and Cardamom Margarita and Vinegared G&T (no, us neither).

Make sure to catch them at a number of locations across the capital, from the Southbank Centre to Granary Square, Kings Cross, or hire them out for a private event at their website.


Sweetgreen and Shake Shack are going all in on drive-throughs. They’re not alone

Drive-throughs are on special order at many restaurants as owners race to put customers at ease during the pandemic and prepare for a food service future increasingly ruled by convenience.

Quick-service specialists such as Sweetgreen and Shake Shack are planning their first stores with drive-through lanes, while existing operators are scrambling to build new car service portals or jerry-build temporary openings to serve customers behind the wheel.

The efforts run counter to recent urban planning thinking in which some cities seek to limit new drive-throughs to reduce auto emissions and litter, bring down obesity and improve pedestrian safety.

Drive-throughs and outdoor dining patios are rare bright spots in the restaurant industry, which has seen many businesses fold or endure a sustained battering from COVID-19 restrictions on communal dining and the reluctance of many diners to venture far from the safety of home.

Some eating places around the country have even revived carhop service, a dine-in-your-vehicle option that presumably contributes to restaurant and patron survival. (On Friday, Los Angeles County officials removed the ban on outdoor dining but imposed restrictions.)

Investors have taken note. Los Angeles retail real estate brokers at CBRE said properties with drive-throughs have jumped to 90% of their sales business from about half in the last 12 months as investors flee from strip centers and other struggling retail venues to places were customers are actively spending money.

COVID-19 anxiety has lifted sales at restaurants people can patronize by briefly rolling down their car windows, said shopping center landlord Sandy Sigal, president of NewMark Merrill Cos. The Woodland Hills landlord controls 450 restaurants in 85 U.S. centers.

“The stores that had drive-throughs during this pandemic, their business went off the charts,” Sigal said, citing data his company collected.

Drive-throughs are easy to build, he said, but not easy to operate when customers pour in.

“What’s truly hard is to make sure that line keeps moving,” he said, and hand customers their food within 10 minutes. “Who wants to spend their lunch hour sitting in a car?”

While drive-throughs have long been associated with burgers and other inexpensive fast food, more pricey competitors in the fast-casual category such as Chipotle, Shake Shack and Sweetgreen are moving into drive-throughs, according to a recent report by Credit Suisse.

Sweetgreen has been eyeing drive-throughs of its own for a decade, co-founder Nicolas Jammet said, and had been making plans in recent years to build them.

“Then COVID hit,” he said, “and we looked at our customers and said, now is the time to fast-track this and bring it to life.”

The national restaurant chain, which is based in Culver City, positions itself as a healthy-food-oriented competitor to the cheap and fast hamburger purveyors that pioneered the drive-through market and still dominate it.

During the pandemic, “a lot more customers are reluctant to come inside,” said Jammet, who is co-chief executive.

Sweetgreen has historically catered to a tech-savvy customer base, he said. Even before the pandemic, about half of the orders at Sweetgreen’s 120 restaurants were placed and paid for digitally, for pickup or delivery.

The company strives to “reduce friction” for customers and make ordering nutritious food “fast, convenient and cool,” Jammet said. Drive-throughs are part of that strategy and will become more common as Sweetgreen expands beyond city centers into the suburbs.

The first Sweetgreen with a drive-through is set to open later this year in Highlands Ranch, Colo., a neighborhood south of Denver.

Drive-through customers will be required to order ahead on the company’s phone app. Another option for the drivers will be to park in a pavilion with intercoms where they can order salads, warm bowls and other menu items to be delivered by carhops.

“We’re going to bring our food to the same kind of convenience channels that so many Americans are used to,” he said.

Upmarket New York burger joint chain Shake Shack, which has been operating on a to-go-only basis during the pandemic, announced in October that it will open its first drive-through late this year, with as many as eight by the end of 2022.

Chief Executive Randy Garutti in an earnings call described them as “a modern version of the traditional drive lane experience,” and a rendering of a prototype in trade publication QSR Magazine showed three car lanes — two for drive-through service and a third for pick-ups placed through phone apps.

Chipotle Mexican Grill introduced drive-throughs two years ago and opened its 100th “Chipotlane” in July. The Newport Beach company said such lanes will be included in 60% of its new stores, even though they require more staff than restaurants without drive-throughs.

New Chipotles with drive-throughs outperformed new Chipotles without them by 25% last year, according to Credit Suisse.

Such numbers are driving investment dollars to drive-throughs, said property broker Alex Kozakov of CBRE. “All the demand from investors has shifted to that sector” from other types of retail real estate, he said, and lenders are comfortable backing it.

Other businesses people can patronize without getting out of their cars are also prospering during the pandemic, including drive-through carwashes and rapid vehicle maintenance services such as Jiffy Lube.

Motels, long the orphans of the hospitality industry, stand to gain popularity as people hit the road again and seek to avoid interior spaces.

Investors “feel that that’s where the most security is right now,” Kozakov said. “Whether it’s today or in the future, if we have a pandemic, [drive-throughs] will be able to survive.”

One of the growing drive-through categories during the pandemic has been coffee, he said, a daily staple many are unwilling to forgo.

Starbucks is the java juggernaut, but one mom-and-pop caffeine shop in the Cypress Park district of Los Angeles has rigged up a temporary solution to compete by turning its side door for deliveries into a drive-through.

“We’ve been getting a lot of customers from the Starbucks down the street” who notice that the car line is shorter at 1802 Roasters, co-owner Christian Degracia said.

The neighborhood coffeehouse on Cypress Avenue has been open about a year and did 95% of its business through the drive-through when outdoor dining was banned by health officials, he said.

“At first we were concerned folks wouldn’t buy into it,” Degracia said. But “the response has been great. This has been working out for us so far, even with the shutdown.”

He’ll miss having car service when indoor dining returns and he needs the door again, he said. “Although the shop wasn’t built to be a drive-through, it was definitely fun operating it as one.”

The popularity of drive-throughs in a pandemic shouldn’t surprise anyone, Bay Area real estate consultant David Greensfelder said.

“People still want to eat out,” he said, “or are having a hard time shopping. It gives them another option.”


Shake Shack Will Operate Pop-Up Food Truck at SXSW Festival - Recipes

By Meera Nagarajan // September 25, 2020

Sando Shack, a new food truck specializing in Japanese-style sandwiches, opened on Friday, Sept. 25. The food truck focuses on a selection of katsu sandwiches, which is a protein cutlet (meat, fish or tofu) breaded in panko and deep-fried, served with tonkatsu sauce – a tangy, sweet and savory sauce – on white bread.

Co-owners Amy Guo and Daniel Jensen moved from Seattle two months ago to open Hello Poke, a concept inside City Foundry STL, which has postponed opening due to the pandemic, and the husband-and-wife duo found a lot of free time on their hands.

“I don’t think [City Foundry] is going to open if it’s not safe, so now that we don’t have much going on, our friend has a food truck and we thought, ‘Let’s use it,’” Guo said.

The menu will rotate between five different sandwiches. The katsu chicken sando on white bread features a boneless chicken thigh fried to a bronzed, crispy coating on the outside, topped with Bull-Dog brand tonkatsu sauce and coleslaw made with red and green cabbage, cilantro, Kewpie mayo and rice wine vinegar. The sweet and spicy katsu chicken sando is similar but with a kicked-up sauce from the addition of sambal and gochujang for more zip.

The katsu burger has a boost of flavor from a combination of ground beef with a soy- and rice wine vinegar-based marinade. It's breaded, fried and served with a house-made black garlic aioli, along with katsu sauce and coleslaw on a brioche bun.

Vegetarians can have their fun too with the multilayered egg salad sando, which combines two layers of egg salad with a soft-boiled egg in between two slices of white bread. The miso tofu sando – featuring fried tofu, with a sweet and savory miso sauce, avocado on white bread – will also be on rotation. The potato salad made with Yukon Gold potatoes, edamame, Kewpie mayonnaise and karashi, a Japanese mustard, is also vegetarian.

“We wanted to try something different from poke. Japanese sandwiches are popular now in Seattle, and we thought people here would like it,” Guo said.

Guo plans for the truck to operate on Fridays and Saturdays at various locations, along with Sundays at The District at Chesterfield Valley. Look for schedule and menu updates on Facebook and Instagram.


A Beef Festival, A Midwestern Restaurant, and More Seattle Food News You Can Use: Oct 5, 2018 Edition

OPENINGS
i5 Pho
This pho restaurant, which also has a location in Tacoma, opened a second location in Pioneer Square and had its grand opening on September 23. Popular menu items besides pho include the banh mi dip (a banh mi sandwich with a side of broth for dunking), chicken wings, and the "Bruce Lee sauce."
Pioneer Square

Petoskey's Pizza
Named for the Michigan town, this new Midwestern-themed pizzeria, which opened in Fremont and had its first Yelp review on September 27, serves a menu of reimagined Midwest classics, including Wisconsin fried cheese curds, tater-tot hot-dish (for the uninitiated, that's a Midwestern-style casserole), a Juicy Lucy (a burger with a cheese-stuffed patty), and other hearty fried comfort food—there's even a macaroni and cheese pizza that Leslie Knope would surely approve of. To drink, there's wine, beer, and themed cocktails with names like "The Superior" and the "Minnesota Martini."
Fremont

Tasty
This Chinese restaurant, which opened in U-District and had its first Yelp review on September 19, has a very Instagrammable wall proclaiming "TASTY" in floral letters on an ivy-covered background and a menu of authentic dishes like dandan noodles, hot pots, and pork belly. You get complimentary herbal soup and peanuts to snack on before your meal.
University District

CLOSURES
Ada’s Restaurant and Bar
The restaurant and bar (not to be confused with Ada's Technical Books on Capitol Hill), which closed temporarily for "technical issues" this spring, has shut down permanently and has a "for lease" sign in the window.
Phinney

Sport Restaurant and Bar
Restaurateur John Howie's sports bar across the street from the Space Needle is closing on Saturday, October 27. According to Howie, who also owns Seastar, John Howie Steakhouse, Beardslee Public House, and Wildwood Spirits Co., the place was still popular, but rising costs and the size of the establishment made the bar difficult to maintain.
Queen Anne

OTHER FOOD NEWS
Shake Shack opening delayed
The popular Danny Meyers burger chain was set to open on Saturday, October 6, in South Lake Union but has pushed back their opening. A new opening date has not yet been announced, but they say they will be open "very soon." The Seattle Times hints that a soft opening could happen any day now, so if you're in the area, it might be worth stopping by just in case.

Walrus and the Carpenter on Jeopardy!
Renee Erickson's celebrated Ballard oyster bar the Walrus and the Carpenter was briefly featured in a Jeopardy! question this week.

Renee Erickson recognized by Puget Sound Business Journal and Inc Magazine
Speaking of Erickson, she was named an honoree of the 2018 Women of Influence award by Puget Sound Business Journal and recognized in Inc Magazine's The Female Founders 100.

Edouardo Jordan continues to receive media attention
James Beard Award-winning chef Edouardo Jordan of the acclaimed JuneBaby and Salare was featured in the business section of the Root 100 (The Root's "annual list of the most influential African Americans, ages 25 to 45"), and his restaurant Junebaby made Time's list of Greatest Places in 2018.

Feed Co. Burgers in Redmond sold
Feed Co. Burgers has sold its Redmond location, which will continue to operate as a burger restaurant under a new name. Owner Scott Staples will focus on running the Central District location of Feed Co. and Uneeda Burger in Fremont.

Flying Apron coming to West Seattle
Gluten-free and vegan bakery Flying Apron plans to open a West Seattle location in the former space of the recently closed Great Harvest Baking Company, with an expanded menu featuring soups, pasta, and pizza. The new location is slated to open no later than January.

Washington breweries win awards at Great American Beer Festival
San Juan Island Brewing Co., Figurehead Brewing Co., Cloudburst Brewing, Silver City Brewing, and other Washington breweries took home awards at the Great American Beer Festival in Denver, Colorado.

Sam Choy's Poke to the Max coming to Sea-Tac
Soon you'll be able to get your raw-fish fix at the airport: the Seattle and Hillman City poke purveyors Sam Choy's Poke to the Max will open a location at SeaTac with a bar, breakfast, lunch, and dinner in January 2019. The new location will join an abundance of other local options, such as Cafe Flora's Floret and an upcoming location of Sunset Fried Chicken.

Vios Cafe and Marketplace for sale
After 15 years of business, Capitol Hill's Greek restaurant Vios Cafe and Marketplace is for sale. Owner Thomas Soukakos, who sold the Vios Cafe and Pub (now renamed Cafe Arta Bistro and Pub) inside the Ravenna Third Place Books in March, hopes to spend more time in Greece and focusing on his other restaurant Omega Ouzeri.

Salumi moving to new location
The Pioneer Square cured-meat sandwich shop with a cult following is moving into the nearby former space of the recently closed Rain Shadow Meats Squared next month. In honor of the space's previous life, Salumi will feature a Rain Shadow Meats sandwich collaboration as a special for a few months when they re-open. The new location will have more space and will feature a communal table, a retail area, and a private dining area.

Nutty Squirrel and Fainting Goat Gelato come together to offer pastries
Local gelaterias Nutty Squirrel and Fainting Goat have teamed up and enlisted former Bakery Nouveau employee Kim Nguyen to develop a line of European pastries, including tiramisu, croissants, panna cotta, and more, to be sold at all of their stores. (Nutty Squirrel is owned by Alev Seymen, the daughter of Fainting Goat owners Yalcin and Sevim Ataman, and her husband Tolga.)

Aerlume coming to Pike Place Market
Chef Jason Wilson and the El Gaucho team, who have joined forces to form a group called Fire & Vine, will open a restaurant called Aerlume (like "heirloom," as in the Washington State produce they'll serve) in Pike Place Market, with a full bar, a dining room with a live bonfire, two chef's tables, and an outdoor seating area for 50 guests, with a seasonally inspired menu by executive chef Maggie Trujillo. The restaurant is set to open for happy hour and dinner later this year, with a lunch and weekend service to come in early 2019.

Cannabis gummies soon to be prohibited
The Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board will soon prohibit cannabis-infused gummies and candies that look "especially appealing to children," a rule that will go into effect beginning January 1.

Lowrider Baking coming to Georgetown Trailer Park Mall
Baker and pastry chef Emily Allport's cookie pop-up Lowrider Baking Company will join the Georgetown Trailer Park Mall, with a grand opening currently planned for October 27. The trailer will have a cookie counter and will feature a menu of signature cookies and rotating seasonal flavors like pumpkin dark chocolate or dark chocolate walnut fig.

Grand Central Baking Company coming to Wedgwood
A new Wedgwood location of Grand Central Baking Company is set to open in Wedgwood by mid-October. The new space will have the company's full line of artisan breads as well as salads, sandwiches, and pastries in a "bright, beautiful space with clean lines, white tile and natural wood where customers can enjoy delicious food and a sense of community" and a dedicated parking lot for customers.

Mbar names new chef de cuisine
The Mediterranean-inspired New American restaurant Mbar from Mamnoon owners Wassef and Racha Haroun has named Tana Mielke, a Western Washington native who lived in Greece for two years, its new chef de cuisine.

EVENTS
FRIDAY, OCT 5
Belltown Brewing Fresh Hop IPA Release
Toast to Belltown Brewing's new Carpenter Ranches Fresh Hop IPA, an "ode to the hardworking hop growers at Carpenter Ranches, who have been an integral part of the Yakima Valley hop industry since 1868" and made with fresh Mosaic hops.

Celebrate Oktoberfest with Ayingerbrau!
Twenty dollars will get you an entire liter of Ayinger bier, and you can keep the mug.

Chocolate Book Signing & Tasting with Dr. Kristy Leissle
Dr. Kristy Leissle will talk about the "politics of cocoa" in Africa outlined in her new book, Cocoa, and she'll sign copies. After that, she'll lead a chocolate tasting of offerings that are only sold in Ghana.

Taste of Seattle Made
Seattle Made Week kicks off with Central Co-op's Taste of Seattle Made, which showcases over 40 local purveyors of everything from spicy sausage pizza to ice cream sandwiches to boozy treats.

Viking Disco & Feast
Don your horned helmet and party like it's 1066 at this Viking disco with LUSHY and DJ Jonasson. Prizes will be awarded for best costume, and dancers will be replenished with a hearty feast by Chef James Bushell.

Wine Food: New Adventures in Eating and Drinking
Portland-based natural wine bar and winery owner Dana Frank and author and stylist Andrea Slonecker partnered up to share 75 recipes that pair well with affordable wines. This dinner at the Seattle natural wine bar will offer a meal inspired by the book. The authors will be there to sign your copies.

OCT 5-6
Seattle Blind Café
Dine in the dark with the Blind Cafe, a traveling pop-up experience that hosts sensory tasting dinners in 100% darkness to raise awareness for social issues. For this event, they've partnered with Airbnb to hold the event at a secret location and will greet guests with dark chocolate and red wine by candlelight before they are engulfed in darkness for a vegetarian meal and music from Rosh & the Blind Cafe Orchestra.

OCT 5-7
Cowabunga
Lauding itself as "America's largest festival of beef," Seattle Met's Cowabunga festival presents an all-you-can-eat weekend full of cook-offs and cow meat tastings (with some attention paid to seafood, cake, and booze, too).

Dungeness Crab & Seafood Festival
Port Angeles's nationally recognized crab extravaganza, whose claim to fame is apparently having been featured in a question on Jeopardy!, offers copious crustaceans, as well as a chowder cook-off, a "grab-a-crab" derby, local beer and wine, craft vendors, live music, art, Native American activities, and more.

SATURDAY, OCT 6
3rd Annual Single Malt Saturday
Snack on appetizers and sample from the largest collection of single malts on the West Coast, with over a hundred options and a small collection of unique scotches, single malt Irish whiskey, and Japanese single malts.

Beveridge Place Pub 2nd Annual Fresh Hop Festival
The homey neighborhood alehouse will close off the parking lot for a festival with over 30 local fresh hop beers, plus outdoor games and nosh.

Bothell Underground Beer Festival
Huddle in a cozy garage to taste local brews and ciders from spots like 20 Corners Brewing, Decibel Brewing Company, and Avid Cider Co. There will also be plenty of food offerings, as well as live music from Parlor Swing, the Marina Christopher Trio, and others.

Brew Your Own Kombucha
Learn how to brew and bottle your own tart, fizzy fermented elixir with fresh fruit, ginger, herbs, and spices, and go home with your own SCOBY (Symbiotic Culture Of Bacteria and Yeast) equipped to start a new brewing habit at home.

Harvest Oyster Party
Gulp briny Hama Hama oysters and sip crisp sparkling wine and cider from around the globe as you take in live music.

“Lucy” Grape Stomp!
Channel your inner Lucille Ball (in honor of her 100th birthday) and stomp some grapes the old fashioned way. Wear your best Lucy costume for the chance to win a prize, and enjoy lots of fall activities while you're there.

SUNDAY, OCT 7
Mad Scientist Cocktail + Mocktail Lab
Get creative with your cocktails and mocktails in these workshops.

Osteria La Spiga 20th Anniversary
The Capitol Hill restaurant will celebrate 20 years of serving their delicious Northern Italian fare with a signature birthday menu and live music from local funk-jazz jammers West Seattle Soul.

Three Sacks Full Pop-Up
Driven by his curiosity to discover what a “real carrot” tasted like, chef Michael Tsai took a sabbatical to work on Green String Farm in California and eventually moved to the Snoqualmie River Valley’s Goose and Gander Farm, where he works now. He will bring that same farm-to-table sensibility to Three Sacks Full, his pop-up with sommelier and partner Matthew Curtis, who favors wine pairings from smaller producers and family-run wineries. Naturally, their menus are locally sourced, ever-changing, and hyper-seasonal. They say: "We return to this great old Rainier Ave. location just a few doors down from Columbia City Bakery. Expect to find a menu filled with late summer vegetables and maybe a touch of autumn. September and October are great produce months here in the PNW."

MONDAY, OCT 8
Author Dinner at Delancey Seattle: Let's Stay In by Ashley Rodriguez
In her debut cookbook, Date Night In, Seattle author and Not Without Salt food blogger Ashley Rodriguez shared the story of her relationship with her husband and extolled the virtues of a weekly dinner for two. (Her internet-famous salted chocolate-chip cookies, riddled with melty pools of chocolate, rank among the best I’ve ever tried.) Now she’s releasing her follow-up, Let’s Stay In, an ode to the pleasures of sharing cozy meals at home with family and friends. At this dinner brought to you by the adorable Fremont cookbook store Book Larder, Ballard wood-fired pizzeria Delancey will serve a three-course meal inspired by the book with dessert and wine, and you’ll go home with a signed copy of Rodriguez’s new book.

Booktoberfest: Bookish Happy Hour
Booze with bibliophiles at this Booktoberfest bash, where you can chat with new friends about favorite books and authors.

Lunar Harvest + Simcoe Fresh Hop Special Release
Gluten-free drinkers need not be left out of the fresh hop and fall beer fun: Ghostfish Brewing, which makes its gluten-free brews with millet, buckwheat, and brown rice, will release two special beers: Lunar Harvest—a Belgian tripel-style spiced with cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, clove, allspice, and coriander—and their second Fresh Hop Release, made with Simcoe Hops from Yakima Chief Ranches.

OCT 9-12
Fresh Hop Fiesta Grande
Head to the Pine Box to taste 20 of the freshest, hoppiest beers around from select local breweries who get their hops from Yakima Valley.


Shake Shack's Avocado Bacon Burger

Kaley Roberts/ Eat This, Not That!

I love Shake Shack, but talk about bland. The redeeming factor here is that they didn't promise anything crazy: it was simply a launch of two burger-improving toppings. As of last month, you can officially add both avocado and bacon to any Shake Shack burger.

Naturally, I added both. The chain designates their new offerings as "freshly-sliced avocado and Niman Ranch applewood-smoked bacon," and to their credit, the avocado did taste fresh. The bacon was definitely elevated. It just wasn't enough to make this burger stand out.


BTS, Travis Scott and more celebrities are providing some tasty pop to fast food menus

It’s not uncommon for music by pop superstars to appear in commercials, but these days they come with a side of fries.

Recent months have seen a string of stars from the music world entering into partnerships with fast food chains that sell burgers and help sell the musicians to a wider audience.

McDonald’s has had a string of successes with its “Famous Orders” program, collaborating with Travis Scott, J Balvin and, most recently, international superstar Korean pop group BTS. The fast food giant names a meal after the pop artist that gets promoted on social media.

These promotions transcend boundaries to reach new audiences, according to Richard T. Rodriguez, who is an associate professor of media and cultural studies at UC Riverside with lots of students who listen to BTS.

“It has a different kind of reach that a toy in a Happy Meal doesn’t,” he said in a phone interview.

The promotions are energizing, according to Mark Rosati, culinary director of Shake Shack, who a few weeks ago found himself in a restaurant kitchen making burgers with record producer and musician Benny Blanco.

Bonding over burgers

Rosati, who is a friend of Blanco’s, teamed with the recording artist on a special nacho burger to celebrate the release of Blanco’s album “Friends Keep Secrets 2.”

The burger was available one day in late March at one location, a Shake Shack in West Hollywood, and Blanco and Rosati were there to promote it.

“We connected and bonded over the world of hamburgers and food in general. Benny knows so much about all these different types of cuisine. He has friends in the industry. His passions are so powerful,” Rosati said in a phone interview.

They met in a Shake Shack kitchen to work out the recipe for the nacho burger, which featured the chain’s ranch dressing laced with crumbled Cool Ranch Doritos and scallions, plus a condiment created by Blanco.

“Benny has this really amazing salsa verde that he makes at home. He said ‘Let me bring it in.’”

Although Shake Shack did a Valentine’s Day promotion with DoorDash on a Boyz II Men milkshake, Rosati said collaborations like he had with Blanco are unusual.

“I haven’t really seen too many artists who will release an album at the same time want to create a menu item at a large restaurant,” he said.

The promotion gave Shake Shack the chance to raise its profile in Southern California, where it has only had a presence since 2016. Even though it was local it netted national exposure. Blanco was a guest on “The Late Late Show with James Corden” the night before his burger went on sale and told its story as well as performed his music.

Quarter Pounders and hoodies

McDonald’s is going global with BTS, which will have its own combo meal on U.S. McDonald’s menus beginning on May 26 and more than 50 counties on six continents after that.

Shake Shack celebrated the release of Benny Blanco’s album “Friends Keep Secrets 2” with a special burger at its West Hollywood location. (Photo courtesy of Shake Shack)

Benny Blanco and singer-songwriter Gracie Abrams visit Shake Shack in West Hollywood on March 26, the day after performing on “The Late, Late Show with James Corden.” (Photo courtesy of Shake Shack)

McDonald’s released this logo for its partnership with the seven-member band BTS. (Photo courtesy of McDonald’s)

Shawn Mendes, performing at the Hollywood Bowl in 2018, partnered with Chipotle Mexican Grill on a special bowl and a fundraiser for youth. (Photo by Kelly A. Swift, Contributing Photographer)

Travis Scott surprises crew and customers at McDonald’s for the launch of the Travis Scott Meal on Sept.8 in Downey. (Photo by Jerritt Clark/Getty Images for McDonald’s)

McDonald’s new ‘Travis Scott Meal’ is in short supply at some restaurants.

Singer J Balvin, speaking at the 2020 Spotify Awards in Mexico City, partnered with McDonald’s on a special meal. (Photo by Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images for Spotify)

Maroon 5’s Adam Levine, shown performing in Febrary 2020, flies through a sky full of doughnuts in the band’s new video “Beautiful Mistakes.” (Photo by JAVIER TORRES/AFP via Getty Images)

Quinne Daniels, 11, of Manhattan Beach, rides a small ramp during a girls skateboarding session at Randy’s Donuts in Inglewood on Friday, June 21, 2019. (Scott Varley, Daily Breeze/SCNG)

In “Famous Orders,” pop stars announce how they enjoy McDonald’s foods. The offerings tweak existing items on the menu. In the case of BTS, it will be Chicken McNuggets with a sweet chili sauce “inspired by popular recipes from McDonald’s South Korea,” according to a news release.

But even if the food isn’t that special, it sells. When McDonald’s launched the program with rapper Travis Scott in September, his “Cactus Jack” combo created a sensation, helping to boost the chains sales by 4.6% and earning Scott $20 million for the endorsement and merchandise, according to Forbes. It wasn’t just the Quarter Pounder with bacon fans had an appetite for, it was the tie-in hoodies, T-shirts and other collectibles.

Another notable thing about Scott is his hip-hop persona, which is edgy for a company usually dealing in promotions like Pokemon cards.

“It’s tapping into a particular audience,” said Rodrigez. “There was some controversy around using him to advertise for McDonald’s, given the music he produces and the use of explicit and provocative language. But I think there’s a way that the marketing of these food items transcends those concerns because it taps in, again, to a particular clientele.”

Newport Beach-based Chipotle Mexican Grill announced a partnership with Shawn Mendes in January that was tied into its environmental sustainabilty campaign and included a bowl with chicken and rice, with a portion of sales going to the “wonder grants” to young activists distributed through the singer-songwriter’s foundation.

A flock of doughnuts

There’s a reasons advertisers use pop songs in commercials, according to Rodriguez.

“You hear the song repeatedly on TV, it seeps into your memory. I don’t want to psychologize this, but there’s a way in which the use of that song endlessly repeating in your head allows you to associate it with the object that’s being sold.”

Randy’s Donuts could benefit from that phenomenon.

The chain’s flagship location in Inglewood, which features a 32-foot fiberglass doughnut on the roof, is depicted in Maroon 5’s new video, “Beautiful Mistakes.”

It features lead singer Adam Levine and guest artist Megan Thee Stallion in a flying convertible soaring over landmarks in a CGI version of Southern California. When they reach Randy’s the sky around them fills with doughnuts.

“Doughnuts fly everywhere,” said Nicolette Kelegian, co-owner of Randy’s Donuts and director of brand collaborations. “We obviously think it’s super cool.”

Randy’s Donuts did a promotion at its Inglewood location to mark the debut of Maroon 5’s “Beautiful Mistakes Video” the day before Shake Shack’s promotion with Benny Blanco.

For the occasion, it created a special “Beautiful Mistakes” doughnut and sold it for one day at the Inglewood location, as Shake Shack did with the Blanco burger. The doughnut was frosted in psychedelic colors, and the doughnut chain collaborated with Maroon 5 on a psychedelic box to serve it in.

Travis Scott surprises crew and customers at McDonald’s for the launch of the Travis Scott Meal on Sept.8 in Downey. (Photo by Jerritt Clark/Getty Images for McDonald’s)

South Korean K-pop band BTS, arriving at for the 62nd annual Grammy Awards in Los Angeles in January, has entered a global partnership with McDonald’s. (Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP)

McDonald’s released this logo for its partnership with the seven-member band BTS. (Photo courtesy of McDonald’s)

Benny Blanco and singer-songwriter Gracie Abrams visit Shake Shack in West Hollywood on March 26, the day after performing on “The Late, Late Show with James Corden.” (Photo courtesy of Shake Shack)

Maroon 5’s Adam Levine, shown performing in Febrary 2020, flies through a sky full of doughnuts in the band’s new video “Beautiful Mistakes.” (Photo by JAVIER TORRES/AFP via Getty Images)

Maroon 5 reached out to Randy’s Donuts several months earlier about featuring it in the video, but the coronavirus pandemic caused the band to rethink the presentation with computer generated images, according to Kelegian.

This isn’t the first time Randy’s Donuts has been in a music video. It is featured in a clip of Justin Timberlake’s “Can’t Stop the Feeling,” from the 2016 film “Trolls.”

“When you think of L.A., you think of us, and it kind of becomes a natural progression,” said Kelegian.

Whether or not pop music collaborations continue, they’re good for the image of businesses like Randy’s Donuts, according to Kelegian.


Watch the video: Shake Shack X Massimo Bottura. The Emilia Burger collaboration at Covent Garden, London