WIG: Shake Shack

by general

Around a month ago, I encountered a burger joint in Buenos Aires that had replicated Shake Shack almost exactly, from the interior decorations and color schemes to the foods offered on the menu. This got me thinking about what really makes Shake Shack so popular; clearly, this Argentinian restaurant was trying to take more from Shake Shack’s example than just the quality of their food. I realized that though the interior decor of Shake Shack never particularly stood out to me, it is in fact rather distinct from almost all other burger chains. The reason it never crossed my mind that Shake Shack was doing something different is because in the context of trendy restaurants, it actually isn’t. Its warehouse feel and heavy use of wood and stainless steel are persistent themes in many spaces popular with millennials. And in fact, I think this is one of Shake Shack’s greatest appeals. It’s a fast-food chain that appeals to the tastes of a new generation and separates itself from the historic chains that this demographic is not particularly fond of. Shake Shack’s commitment to fostering this divergent reputation is evident in everything they do: choosing a color scheme that, unlike McDonalds or Burger King, has only one bright color, using buzzers that give a sense of tech savviness, as well as offering a menu with a more appealing vegetarian option, more varied tastes, and healthier ingredients. That I had never consciously noted the intentional nature of these characteristics before speaks to just how well Shake Shack has inserted itself into the trends of today.

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