Shake Shack has ‘big plans for Asia’ as it expands in China, Macao

The New York burger chain Shake Shack has “big plans for Asia,” said the CEO as the company embarks on a regional expansion drive.

Southern China and Macau are top priority for new branches – with locations in Shenzhen, Guangzhou and Macau’s casino resort The Londoner Randy Garutti, set to open in the coming months, told CNBC on Thursday.

Singapore and Beijing are also preparing for new store openings, according to the company’s website.

Our business in Asia has been incredibly robust.

Randy Garutti

CEO, Shake Shack

The CEO said the rollout responds to strong demand over the past year and will cement Asia as “one of the most important positions” in the company.

“Our business in Asia has been incredibly robust,” Garutti told Street Signs.

“We opened in Shanghai. Even last year, due to the pandemic, we opened in Beijing in August. We now have Macau and the south in our sights, starting in Shenzhen.”

Overall, the company plans to open 35 to 40 new locations worldwide in the 2021 financial year. Another 45 to 50 new openings will be added in 2022. Garutti didn’t say how many of them would be in Asia.

An order of fast food meal (hamburgers, fries and soft drink) in a Shake Shack restaurant in Sanitun on August 13, 2020 in Beijing, China.

VCG | Visual China Group | Getty Images

Shake Shack already has at least 48 locations in Asia, including Japan, South Korea and the Philippines.

Garutti said the brand will continue to work with Maxim’s Caterers in Hong Kong to facilitate its rollout in Greater China.

He insisted that customers would continue to enjoy the classic taste of Shake Shack, but added that specialty shakes, such as Shenzhen and Macau, as well as localized artwork would be offered in some new locations.

“People want us to be Shake Shack from New York,” Garutti said. “They don’t want us to change the menu. But we’re finding ways to have these little cameos.”

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