Shake Shack finds success after humble beginnings


Grace Tramack, Features Editor

Most well-known for their burgers and, of course, milkshakes, Shake Shack is one of the most popular fast food chains in the United States. However, their burgers have not always been the star entre?e on their menu.

Shake Shack was originally a hot dog cart in New York City’s Madison Square Park. As a part of the area’s redevelopment, restaurateur Denny Meyer wanted a hot dog cart in a section of the park, which was opened by his Director of Operations Randy Garutti in 2001. The cart remained open for three years until it became part of a new system of kiosk-style restaurants that the city began in the park in 2004. During this transition to a full stand in Madison Square Park, the menu moved away from just hot dogs and toward the likes of hamburgers, french fries and milkshakes that have made the restaurant so popular to this day. The chain’s first location outside of New York City was opened in June 2010 at the Lincoln Road Mall in Miami, Florida. Additionally, in July of the same year, a restaurant was opened in the Theatre District and Upper East Side of New York City, which assisted in reviving a deteriorating urban shopping district.

While originally founded on the East Coast, Shake Shack has expanded to 27 states, including western states such as Arizona, California, Colorado, Nevada and Washington. The chain has also opened locations in 12 other countries besides the United States. By October 2017, 136 international restaurants had opened.

Shake Shack has expanded its menus and selections as well. Since starting as a hot dog cart, menu items now include various types of burgers, french fries, milkshakes, chicken sandwiches, frozen custards, drinks, alcoholic beverages and even food for dogs. The chain has also widened their market in terms of merchandise. People can now buy Shack Swag, items with the company logo on them, which include t-shirts, sweatshirts and sunglasses. On their website, fans of the food can also purchase the new cookbook, “Shake Shack: Recipes and Stories ” written by Garutti and Culinary Director Mike Rosati.

As one of the fastest growing and highest valued fast food chains in the world, Shake Shack has now opened over 160 locations in the United States and is still growing. Now, Bay Area locals can finally get a taste of the East Coast and join the Shake Shack craze at the new location in Stanford Shopping Center set to open at the end of 2018.