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Is Shake Shack's B line normally slow?

Miss Needle Aug 10, 2009 03:01 PM

I've always wanted to try the salted caramel frozen custard and had some time this afternoon. Damn! The line looked really short on the B line -- about eight people ahead of me. But I waited 30 MINUTES to get to the front and place my order (not fun in this sweltering heat). People who were behind of me ended up going on the regular line and ended up with their food way before I did. People who were at the end of the A line (that was kind of long) ended up getting their food before I did. As I've never been on the B line I didn't know what to expect. Is it normally that freakin' slow? I thought the whole purpose of having a B line was to speed things along for people who just wanted things like custard or drinks.

  1. ellenost Aug 11, 2009 08:27 AM

    Big question: so how was the salted caramel frozen custard. I've been wanting to try it (that and the corn flavored custard on Thursday).

    9 Replies
    1. re: ellenost
      Miss Needle Aug 11, 2009 09:33 AM

      Oh, it was really good! Good texture (though it was melting awfully fast in the heat), and the salted caramel flavor was great. I remember kobetobiko saying how much she loved the salted caramel at Shake Shack because the salt was more pronounced. But I also remember her saying that she liked the soft serves at Milk Bar (which I wasn't a fan of because they were so heavy-handed with the salt). So I was a bit apprehensive that it would have been to salty for me. But I thought the level of salt and sweetness was perfect at Shake Shack.

      1. re: Miss Needle
        ellenost Aug 11, 2009 09:44 AM

        Silly question, but can you order the custard from the "A" line, or do you have to order the custard from the "B" line?

        1. re: ellenost
          kelea Aug 11, 2009 09:50 AM

          Of course you can. The Regular line is for everything and the other if just for desserts.

          I'm curious but are the lines called different things between UWS and MSP? I've only seen "C-line" on the UWS, no A or B

          1. re: kelea
            Miss Needle Aug 11, 2009 10:35 AM

            Kelea, looks like we posted at the same time. There was actually a poster on this board who thought we were the same person! Guess this proves otherwise. : )

            1. re: kelea
              k
              kathryn Aug 11, 2009 11:52 AM

              Yes, the lines are called different things between UWS and MSP...

              MSP
              A-line: everything
              B-line: custard,, concretes, drinks but NOT milkshakes or any hot food

              UWS:
              regular line: everything
              C-line: custard, concretes, *milkshakes* drinks, all cold drinks, hence the "C" but no hot food

              I think they switched up the letters since you can get milkshakes in the secondary line at the UWS location.

              1. re: kathryn
                w
                whitneybee Aug 11, 2009 04:45 PM

                Any idea why you can't get milkshakes on the B-line at MSP?

                1. re: whitneybee
                  k
                  kathryn Aug 11, 2009 05:11 PM

                  Space reasons, they say. They added shakes to the secondary line at the UWS location because the kitchen is quite large in comparison.

                2. re: kathryn
                  kelea Aug 11, 2009 07:25 PM

                  Ahh....soo much clearer! Thanks!

                  And miss needle!! i remember!! :)

              2. re: ellenost
                Miss Needle Aug 11, 2009 09:50 AM

                Not a silly question at all. I hope other people who's had experience ordering custard from the A line can weigh in. As I saw people on my line switch over to the B line, I would think yes. But I didn't check to see what the B liners who switched to A ended up ordering.

          2. Spends Rent on Food Aug 11, 2009 05:32 AM

            The B line moves much much slower... I assume it's because:
            1. the usually the person manning the "B" line is also responsible for manning the phones. I don't think the shack takes phone orders anymore, but when I was in the B line last week there seemed to be a lot of phone calls coming through.
            2. The people manning the A line are just taking orders and payments, whereas the people in the B line are actually filling orders, and the concretes can take a few minutes each depending on how many combos.

            1 Reply
            1. re: Spends Rent on Food
              Miss Needle Aug 11, 2009 09:30 AM

              I didn't realize that the B line person dealt with the phones. That's insane!

              Yeah, I realized that the B line were taking orders and filling them, but it still didn't explain why the B line moved that much slower than the A line. Literally, I think they served 10+ customers on the A line for every B line customer. It was pretty frustrating to watch the people at the end of the really long line get their food before I did. But yesterday (at least when I got my custard), a woman took my order and somebody else filled it. So I'm really perplexed as to why they couldn't get their act together.

            2. i
              itryalot Aug 11, 2009 04:03 AM

              They have an "A" line and a "B" line; why?

              5 Replies
              1. re: itryalot
                Miss Needle Aug 11, 2009 05:06 AM

                The B line is for drink orders and frozen custard (no shakes, though). It was theoretically set up so that people who just wanted to order drinks and frozen custard wouldn't have to wait on the long A line (where you can get burgers, hot dogs, etc.). But I would have been much better off going on the long A line yesterday.

                1. re: Miss Needle
                  w
                  whitneybee Aug 11, 2009 04:43 PM

                  I've gotten shakes on the B line at the UWS location. Is it not the same for Madison Square Park?

                  1. re: whitneybee
                    k
                    kathryn Aug 11, 2009 05:11 PM

                    You cannot get shakes at the B-line in Madison Square Park.

                    1. re: whitneybee
                      meatme Aug 11, 2009 06:01 PM

                      Nope, which is why it's called the C line uptown.

                      1. re: meatme
                        w
                        whitneybee Aug 12, 2009 10:31 AM

                        Good to know, thanks!

                2. k
                  kathryn Aug 10, 2009 07:04 PM

                  It's usually faster than the normal line but sometimes the B line is really really really slow and I can't figure out why.

                  Maybe they're training new employees? Or they're backed up with many combination drink orders? I've often waited a long time only to find that they were assembling an order of a bunch of wine and beer. You silly people with beers, I want my custard!

                  Oh, and sometimes they have to finish making a new batch of custard, and that can take a while.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: kathryn
                    Miss Needle Aug 11, 2009 05:04 AM

                    Thanks, kathryn. I was getting pretty antsy waiting because it was way too hot with all the people surrounding me and no breeze in sight. I was wondering if one of the machines was broken with the heat and they were fixing it. But it seemed that there was a delay with everybody's order on the B line -- those who went on the A line got their stuff pretty quickly. I was watching to see if there were large orders going out. The largest order I saw was three drinks. So I do have a feeling they were probably training new people. Ugh! I think I've got bad Madison Park Shake Shack karma (haven't had an issue on the UWS). Every time I go there, the line seems to go extra-slow -- it even took 15 minutes for my order to be taken when I went there BEFORE opening time.

                    btw, for those of you guys who like Shake Shack concretes, Spoon City on 5th Ave between 33rd and 34th uses the same stuff as Shake Shack -- though they don't have the flavors like salted caramel (yum!) and sweet corn. No line.

                  2. r
                    Recursion Aug 10, 2009 06:19 PM

                    Im only go to SS in the winter, since I refuse to wait on lines out of the park. But I have yet to see anybody use the B line. Thogh when I have been the like has never been more than 10 people deep.

                    1. Slob Aug 10, 2009 03:12 PM

                      I've been twice and didn't see anyone in the B line either time.

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