Ten years ago, I lived in Manhattan near the intersection of Fifth Avenue at Broadway and 23rd Street, an area known as The Flatiron District because of the iconic Flatiron building that dominates the area. One day I noticed a lengthy line of at least a hundred peaceful and patient people, stemming from a literal shack in Madison Square Park, a New York landmark. Confused, I asked a patron, “Excuse me, what are you waiting for?” She cheerfully responded, “This is the line for Shake Shack, the best hamburger in the world!”
Out of curiosity I got in line. What ended up being a thirty-minute detour in the New York City sun was ultimately well worth the wait. I remember every detail about the experience. All the workers were happy, pleasant and excited to serve. (Later I found out that Shake Shake pays all it’s workers above minimum wage). The menu was extensive but not overbearing. Thick milkshakes, custard cones, crinkle fries made from real potatoes, flat top hot dogs, hormone and antibiotic-free burgers, along with a “shroom burger” made from portobello mushrooms for vegetarians- MY favorite!!! It felt like an old school burger joint with a 21st century spin. That day I sat in the park and enjoyed my first taste of Shake Shack. I was hooked!
Shake Shake is the brainchild of New York restaurateur Daniel Meyer. All New Yorkers know his signature restaurants which include: Blue Smoke, Gramercy Tavern and Union Square Cafe. Shake Shack now has 63 restaurants, with more than half outside of the United States, the most being in the Middle East. Its plans are to open 10 company operated restaurants each year until reaching its maximum goal of 450 around the globe.
Shake Shack is back in the spotlight after going public on January 30th of this year. Its shares hit $52.49 from an initial offering of $21, up 150% in the first few minutes of trading.
The company is now valued at $2 billion dollars.
This shows what could happen when a fast food restaurant produces a healthy, tasty product with quality ingredients and a well-paid and cheerful staff of people to serve it up.   For more info check out