Fast food icon White Castle is doing something completely new

In New York and a handful of other densely populated cities, you can sit in a Starbucks (SBUX) – Get the Starbucks Corporation report, look out the window and see another Starbucks. It’s an odd sight, but it makes sense in an area where the occupants of a single office building could occupy a cafe all day.

Starbucks – more than any other chain – has embraced the idea that one of the solutions to busy stores is simply to open more stores. The coffee company has done this in major cities, adding mobile-order-only stores alongside its traditional cafes.

Starbucks fully embraces the idea that people will only wait so long, and sometimes the way to be efficient is simply to have more locations.

Chipotle (GCM) – Get the report from Chipotle Mexican Grill, Inc. solved the same problem in a different way. It added a so-called manufacturing line in all of its stores to handle digital orders. This doubles the capacity of its restaurants and also improves the in-person customer experience.

Now another iconic fast-food brand, White Castle, has a problem with one of its restaurants being too busy, and it’s borrowing the Starbucks solution.

The Double White Castle

White Castle, famous for its sliders, small burgers that people buy by the bag, opened its largest location, in Orlando, in 2021.

This restaurant quickly became a meteoric success and would sell over five million burgers in its first year. Demand on the site has been huge, it is open from 7 a.m. to 4 a.m. and plans to go 24 hours a day this summer.

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“We had so many loyal fans in Central Florida who were eagerly awaiting White Castle’s arrival, but the response last year far exceeded our expectations,” said Jamie Richardson, vice president of White Castle. , in a report.

That’s more demand than the store can handle, and White Castle has a solution to solve the problem. Because it’s already pushing its Orlando kitchen to the brink, White Castle plans to open a take-out location next to its existing Orlando Castle.

“The investment in this new space allows us to offer a delivery and pickup option for on-the-go customers looking for convenience,” said White Castle Vice President Jamie Richardson. Orlando Sentinel.

It’s a simple fix, but it’s also a bold bet because it assumes that demand for White Castle in Orlando isn’t driven by novelty. It’s the chain’s bet that having a location in a city that attracts huge numbers of tourists will continue to pay off.

White Castle continues its comeback

At a time when burgers have become more upscale at chains like Five Guys, White Castle has leaned into nostalgia. The chain’s Original Sliders are a throwback to a simpler time when fast food was all about being fast and delicious (and nothing else).

That’s not to say the company hasn’t moved with the times. In addition to its classic burgers, it also offers a fish slider, a chicken and waffle slider, and a plant-based Impossible slider.

The Columbus, Ohio chain operates more than 375 restaurants in 14 states. It also “sells its famous dishes in retail stores nationwide, in a growing number of international locations, and on military exchanges around the world,” according to the company.

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