Founder: Danny Meyer
And Also: It's a Publicly Traded Company
Back when there was only one Shake Shack, meat-adorers from around the city gladly stood an for hour in Madison Square Park, waiting for cheap, perfect cheeseburgers. Today, they still wait that hour, despite there being nine other locations with (comparably) regular-length lines in New York City alone (plus the Abu Dhabi spot, but that’s a little far). Seems like Shake Shack's doing something right.
Like those burgers, obviously. The thin patties, in a time of ever-escalating NYC burger warfare leveraging funky blends and aging and consuming hype, are from a simpler age -- when “basic” didn’t imply you wore Hunter boots, and it wasn’t mutually exclusive with “fantastic”. They have wildly innovative things like “bacon” on them. The secret Shack Sauce might be the ketchup and mayo you whipped together as a kid (plus, like, some other stuff), and that couldn't be more ideal. The Martin’s potato buns, like everything else, are understatement perfected. And then of course, you’ve got the shakes, and the almost-literal Concretes, and the all-beef, split hot dogs that started the damn whole thing.