|Traded as||NYSE: SHAK|
New York City, New York, U.S.
|Headquarters||New York City, New York, United States|
Number of locations
|North America, Europe, Middle East, Australasia, Asia|
Shake Shack is an American fast casual restaurant chain based in New York City. It started out as a food cart inside Madison Square Park in 2004, and its popularity steadily grew. It eventually moved to a stand within the park, expanding its menu from New York-style hotdogs to one with hamburgers, hotdogs, fries and its namesake milkshakes. The company prides itself and emphasizes its use of all-natural 100% angus beef only and that its meat is completely free of hormones and antibiotics.
Since its founding it has been one of the fastest-growing food chains eventually becoming a public company filing for an initial public offering of stock in late 2014. Initial price of its shares was at $21 immediately rising by 123% to $47 on their first day of trading.
In 2000, New York City began the rebuilding of Madison Square Park, which had fallen into a state of disrepair and misuse. As part of the redevelopment, restaurateur Danny Meyer helped spearhead the creation of the Madison Square Park Conservancy to help redevelop it. One of the first things the Conservancy did in its goal to turn the park around was to host an art exhibit, called "I <3 Taxi," inside of the park to raise awareness of the renewal effort. Meyer's Director of operations, Randy Garutti, established a hot dog cart which was run out of the kitchen of Eleven Madison, one of Meyer's Union Square Hospitality Group (USHG) operations. Over time the cart became extremely successful, and remained in operation for nearly three years.
In 2004, the city began taking bids to operate a new kiosk-style restaurant within the park; Meyer outlined his idea for the space, and opened the first Shake Shack in July 2004. From its beginning the restaurant was not designed to be a chain, intended to be a single shop location designed specifically for New York City. However, as the original location's sales continued to grow, the group realized that there was a market for expansion.
Since its opening, Shake Shack has grown to be the largest part of the USHG's portfolio. Its average store performance of US$4 million is more than twice that of McDonald's average store performance within the United States. Its popularity is such that in the summer at its original location, the wait in line for service can stretch to over an hour, especially on weekends when the weather is pleasant. A webcam on the restaurant's web page shows the current line in real time.
In August 2014 reports surfaced that the company was preparing to go public with an IPO and was discussing an underwriting with a number of investment banks, including J.P. Morgan, Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs.
On January 29, 2015 Shake Shack priced its IPO at $21 per share. On the morning of January 30, 2015 it began trading on the NYSE at $47 per share under the ticker symbol SHAK. In April of 2015, shares hit prices of $72, and hit a high of about $90 in May of 2015.
Shake Shack's eponymous products are its milk shakes, which have been reviewed as some of the best in the industry. As it has grown, the company has also added wine and bottled beers to its beverage menu. In each new location the beverage menu is customized to the local flavors of the city it is operating in.
When the company first began to expand, it became famous for its burgers which are made from Angus beef. Despite this popularity, there were initial problems with the consistency of its sandwiches.
The company originally used pre-made, frozen crinkle-cut french fries because its original location was only 400 sq ft (37 m2) in size, and the limited area disallowed any other style of fry product. As the chain grew, it was praised in multiple reviews for its high quality hamburgers, but its fries were routinely criticized as not being on par with its other products. In response, the company developed a new, fresh cut french fry product in 2013. However, consumers preferred the frozen, crinkle-cut fries and the company reverted to those in the fall of 2014.
In 2015, Shake Shack filed for a trademark for the term "chicken shack" leading to speculation that the company would serve chicken sandwiches. The company temporarily introduced chicken sandwiches to its Brooklyn locations during the summer of 2015. In January of 2016, Shake Shack introduced chicken sandwiches across locations in the United States, having previously started serving them in locations such as Charleston, SC, Chicago, and Austin, TX.
Shake Shack has collaborated with other food and design companies, as well as chefs to create products to serve at their restaurants. Foods and beverages include a chocolate bar with Mast Brothers, a coffee stout with La Colombe and Yards Brewing Company, and limited edition burgers with Atlanta chef Ford Fry and Philadelphia chef Marc Vetri. The company has also collaborated with Staple Design to create Shake Shack t-shirts.
In 2010, Shake Shack restaurants were opened in the Theater District and the Upper East Side. The Upper East Side location's opening was significant because it "lifted" East 86th Street, an urban shopping district which had fallen on hard times; the location had been vacant, and even when occupied it was described by a neighbor as "never anything good there...dingy and dilapidated...almost an eyesore."
In July 2011 it was announced that Shake Shack had reached a deal with the MTA to open a location in the lower level of Grand Central Terminal. This project was delayed because the tenant occupying the space Shake Shack was to take over, Mexican eatery Zócalo, refused to vacate after the expiration of their lease and filed suit, arguing that the "bidding process (for retail space in Grand Central) is corrupted." The suit was dismissed and Zócalo appealed. In October 2012 Zócalo filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. In early May 2013, Zócalo vacated the space, and the new outlet opened for business on October 5, 2013.
In 2010, Shake Shack opened its first restaurant outside of New York City in Miami Beach's South Beach neighborhood. By August 2014, Shake Shack outlets had begun operating in Connecticut, Washington, DC, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Nevada, Pennsylvania and Texas. Shake Shack Plans to open a restaurant in Lexington, KY  and St. Louis, MO in 2017, and Houston, TX will see locations open in The Galleria and Rice Village. There are also locations in Phoenix and Scottsdale, AZ as well as one in West Hollywood, CA, the only West Coast location.
In August 2016, the company celebrated the opening of its 100th location in Boston, serving free burgers to its customers that day to celebrate the occasion.
Shake Shack has outlets in a number of international cities including Seoul, Tokyo, London, Cardiff, Istanbul, Moscow, Muscat, Beirut, Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Doha, Kuwait City, Riyadh, Manama and Jeddah. 
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