The Anti-chain Strategy of Shake Shack

The Anti-chain Strategy of Shake Shack
Case Code: BSTR456
Case Length: 18 Pages
Period: 2001 - 2014
Pub Date: 2014
Teaching Note: Not Available
Price: Rs.500
Organization: Shake Shack
Industry: Fast Food Industry
Countries: US,Global
Themes: Brand Management, Business Strategy
The Anti-chain Strategy of Shake Shack
Abstract Case Intro 1 Case Intro 2 Excerpts

Background Note

Union Square Hospitality Group LLC (USHG) was set up by Meyer in 1985. Over the years, USHG set up and operated some of New York's best fine-dining restaurants. In 2001, Meyer along with some others, helped create a Conservancy and raised money to save Madison Square Park in Manhattan, New York. At that time, the Park was in a state of disrepair and was a place where drug dealings were conducted, apart from being inhabited by homeless people.

As part of the Conservancy's first renewal project, an art exhibition was held. One of the exhibits created was called "I ❤❤ Taxi" and it was a hot dog cart designed to look like a taxi. The creator of the exhibit asked for somebody to operate the cart and Meyer offered to do it. Meyer used the kitchen of the USHG-owned fine-dining restaurant, 'Eleven Madison Park Restaurant' (Eleven Madison) to supply materials for making hot dogs for the cart.

Meyer decided to apply the principles of quality consciousness and hospitality to the hot dog cart. He went against the generally held notions about fast foods, which held that the food had to be precooked or cooked quickly. Instead of providing the standard 'dirty-water dogs' offered at most of New York's hot dog carts, Meyer offered the more elaborate 'Chicago-style hot dogs' that none of the other hot dog carts served. The cart offered a choice of eight toppings for its hot dogs, and lemonade, beet-stained potato chips, and Rice Krispies treats. Moreover, the hot dog cart had four people working on it to cook for customers on order. However, the hot dog cart turned out to be a loss maker in its initial year...

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