Shake Shack food chain opens branch in Taguig

Published May 9, 2019, 12:00 AM

by manilabulletin_admin

By Madelaine B. Miraflor

Fine casual food chain Shake Shack is set to formally open today its first ever branch in the Philippines. This also marks the end of the New York-based company’s first phase of expansion in Asia which began four years ago.

To be exact, Shake Shack, which is known globally for its 100 percent all-natural Angus beef burgers, will make its debut in Manila today through the opening of a branch in Central Square Mall in Taguig City.

Randy Garutti, chief operating officer of Shake Shack, said that after such opening, the company will shift its focus closer to home, which is Mexico.
“No plans [to expand] anywhere else in Southeast Asia. This is the last stop so far. We also want to concentrate here [in Manila],” Garutti, who flew to Manila for the Central Square branch opening, said in an interview.

“Our next international market is Mexico which will open this year. In the US, we will continue to grow all throughout in California, New York, Texas,” he added.

Shake Shack’s Central Square branch is the company’s 225th branch in the world, Garutti said. Right now, the company is present in 200 locations in 26 states in the US as well as 70 international locations across Asia and Europe.

It was in 2015 when Shake Shack opened its first store in Asia, which is located in Japan. This was followed by the opening of another branch in South Korea a year later. Then in 2017, Shake Shack opened in Hong Kong.

So far for this year, aside from the Philippines, the company likewise opened its first stores in China and Singapore.

Garutti said all Shake Shack’s existing stores in Asia are all performing well, but if there are plans to add more stores in the same aforementioned markets, he said the company is taking it slowly and just like how their restaurants would prepare their food, they are keeping it “one burger at a time.”

In terms of sales, he also expects the Manila branch to outpace the performance of the existing Asian stores on the back of strong demand and impressive level of anticipation expressed by Filipino customers.

Shake Shack was brought to the Philippines by Specialty Food Retailers, Inc. (SFRI) through an exclusive franchise deal. SFRI is a member of the listed specialty retailer SSI Group, the same company who bought international coffee chain Starbucks here.

When asked about Shake Shack’s expansion here, SSI Group President Anton Huang said the company will first concentrate on the Central Square branch but even as early as now, the company is already looking for the next possible location for “store number two and store number three”.