Is Habit Burger becoming a QSR chain?

Brand adding more drive-thru locations; leaders address closure of Orlando units


Nancy Luna, Nation's Restaurant News

Oct 31, 2019


The parent company of better burger brand, Habit Burger Grill, is increasingly adding more drive-thru restaurants as the quick-service format has proven to add another level of convenience for customers.


Leaders of The Habit Restaurants Inc., which experienced is sixth consecutive quarter of positive same-store sales growth, said the fast-casual chain is also equipping new restaurants with kiosks, increasing digital ordering channels and adding a new delivery partner.


“We continued to make progress on our mission to be a total access brand to our customers in this ever-changing consumer environment,” CEO Russ Bendel told investors during the company’s third quarter earnings call.


For the quarter ended Sept. 24, the Irvine, Calif.-based company opened four restaurants with drive-thrus, bringing its overall total to 51. That’s about 20% of the company’s store base. The company said locations equipped with drive-thru lanes generate 45% of total sales from the car lanes. Traditional QSR restaurants typically generate 65% of sales at the drive-thru.


“Drive-thrus will continue to account for at least half of our development schedule going forward as well,” Bendel said.


Besides adding more drive-thru locations, the Habit is also expanding in-house and off-premise ordering solutions for customers. Kiosks are now installed in 20 of the chain’s 265 restaurants.


“On average, we're finding that over 8% of our sales are coming through the kiosks at these locations,” Bendel said. “Going forward, all new stores and all remodels will have self-order kiosks in the store.”


In July, the company also rolled out an enhanced mobile app...