Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Maybe Shake Shack Is Coming To Philadelphia...

shake shack madison square park
Shake Shack is looking to expand up and down the East Coast | Photo via Shake Shack

An article in today's New York Times takes a look at Shake Shack and its expansion plans, which could include 20 Shake Shack locations within five years, "mostly up and down the East Coast."

Philadelphia is on the East Coast. So look out.
Mr. Meyer’s accidental empire began with a hot dog cart in 2001, part of an art installation in Madison Square Park. “To our astonishment, every day, a line would form,” Mr. Meyer said. The cart expanded into a burger stand, “and none of us had any idea that that could be a success.”
The popularity of the Shake Shacks has been wildly beyond expectations, partly due to their humble order average of $13, “perfect for this economy,” Mr. Swinghamer said.

Remarkably, with more than $4 million in yearly sales, each of the Manhattan Shacks outdistances both premium and mass-market burger chains. McDonald’s, for example, has an average of $2.29 million in yearly revenues from each of its 13,958 outlets, according to Technomic, a Chicago-based restaurant consultant. The Shacks also outdo a premium-burger legend, the Virginia-based Five Guys Burgers and Fries; its 535 stores each average $1.03 million in sales.
So how fast and how far can the Hospitality Group take this? Five Guys began franchising only in 2003, and has now ballooned to 535 stores. "Our focus is not on how many you do," Mr. Swinghamer said bluntly. "If we can't do it right? We won’t do it."

Mr. Meyer commented that "we will grow as broadly as we can, without losing the quality, the hospitality, the community. And the sense of humor."
Quality article. Give it a read.

Meanwhile, Eater is even holding a contest, in which entries are submissions for where the next Shake Shack should be and why...

The Accidental Empire of Fast Food - Union Square Cafe's Danny Meyer Makes a Fast-Food Chain [ New York Times ]
Will the 'Shacking of America' Make a Pitstop in America's Birthplace? [ Grub Street Philadelphia ]
Make Your Case for Shake Shack #9, Win $50 of Burgers [ Eater New York ]

Friends Of Rittenhouse Square Looking At Ways To Monetize Park; A Permanent Food Concession (A La Square Burger/Shake Shack) Is One Potential Outcome

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