Who doesn’t love Shake Shack? If not the best burger chain in America, there’s certainly none better.
The great thing is, it didn’t start life out as a chain, but as a humble little hotdog cart in Madison Square Park 2001, then as a kiosk in the same park in 2004, with lines soon round the block, the rest is history. They’re now one of the fastest-growing chains out there.
Like Jiro Ono (the top, most awarded sushi chef in the world), they really don’t have any big technical secrets. They just focus on quality and assume the customer will notice. Yummy burgers, dogs, fries, and custard, mostly.
Shake Shack was the brainchild of Danny Meyer, the CEO of Union Square Hospitality Group. As they said in Inc.com:
“Meyer rose to prominence as the founder and CEO of Union Square Hospitality Group, which comprises more than a dozen restaurants and other businesses, including New York City’s Union Square Cafe, which he opened when he was just 27. He also launched fast-casual chain Shake Shack, which went public in 2015.”
But it’s not just food quality, there’s something else going on. Union Square Hospitality Group (USHG for short) is built on this “brand purpose” they call “Radical Hospitality.” In other words, they do what they can to make people VERY welcome.
“Brand Purpose” is one of those icky phrases marketing types love to use, however, it’s only icky because so many brands fall short of the ideal. But USHG takes it VERY seriously, and as a result, the ethos permeates the business. You walk in, the vibe is VERY different than outer chains. It’s much classier, somehow.
What they don’t mention in the Inc. article is that “Radical Hospitality” has a long history, beginning in the Christian church and Saint Benedict.
Great minds think alike, right?
Every business needs a hill to die on. “Radical Hospitality” is Shake Shack’s. But how many businesses are lacking their own hill? We reckon, most of them.
You can’t die on a hill if you don’t know where it is…