CEO Randy Garutti of Shake Shack Inc (NYSE: SHAK) said in an interview with CNBC on Thursday that the burger chain is planning a regional expansion drive in Asia, starting with new outlets in South China and Macao.
The chief executive attributed the expansion drive to robust demand in 2020 and expressed confidence that Asia will become one of the most important markets for Shake Shack in the next five years. Garutti said:
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“Our business has been incredibly resilient in Asia. We’ve opened in Shanghai. Even last year, through the pandemic, in August, we opened in Beijing. We’ve got our sights now on Macao and in the south, starting in Shenzhen.”
The American fast-casual restaurant chain is also set to open its new location in downtown Santa Monica on Sunday.
Shake Shack wants to open up to 40 new outlets globally in 2021
Shake Shack is set to open new locations in Guangzhou, Shenzhen, and The Londoner (Macao’s casino resort) in the upcoming months. As per the company’s website, Beijing and Singapore are also in line to open new Shake Shack restaurants.
In total, the New York-headquartered burger chain wants to open up to 40 new outlets globally this year. Another 45 to 50, as per Garutti, will be added in 2022. The CEO, however, refrained from divulging the exact number of these that will be based in Asia.
Including the Philippines, South Korea, and Japan, Shake Shack already has a broad network in Asia, with at least 48 restaurants. Garutti also highlighted plans of continued collaboration with Hong Kong’s Maxim’s Caterers, which he said, will come in handy to launch new locations in Greater China.
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Shake Shack to feature speciality shakes in a few of its new locations
Shake Shack will stick to its classic taste, but some new locations in Macao and Shenzhen will also test the public response on speciality shakes. Garutti commented:
“People want us to be Shake Shack from New York. They don’t want us to change the menu. But what we find ways to do is have these little cameos.”
Shake Shack shares that you can learn to buy online here opened at £84.55 per share on Thursday and are currently trading at a per-share price of £86.48. In comparison, the NYSE-listed company had started the year 2021 at a much lower £59.80 per share. At the time of writing, Shake Shack is valued at £3.60 billion.