The first Shake Shack opened in 2004 in New York’s Madison Square Park, selling burgers, chicken sandwiches, beef dogs, frozen custard and crinkle-cut fries. Popularity quickly grew, and through the past 17 years the company has expanded to more than 300 locations in 27 states, as well as more than 100 international locations including London, Hong Kong, Istanbul, Philippines, Singapore and Mexico.
“We’re a modern-day burger stand, selling fresh, high-quality food that’s served in a fun, lively atmosphere,” says Hannah Yoffa, midwest regional marketing manager.
Recently, Shake Shack opened their first Indiana location in Fishers, across from IKEA and Topgolf.
Guests appreciate the made-to-order style, and Shake Shack takes the time to get the best ingredients for all menu items.
“We are culinary-driven and offer seasonal items,” Yoffa says.
For instance, right now they offer the Avocado Bacon Burger and Mango Passionade lemonade. Featured seasonal shakes include the Strawberry Rhubarb and Chocolate Pudding shakes. Many guests don’t realize they sell a variety of beer and wine as well.
“We select local beers that are tailored to each location,” Yoffa says. “We also have red, white and rosé wine.”
The Fishers location uses the Shack Track app-thru lane, which enables guests to pre-order meals from their smartphone and select a pick-up option for inside or at the window. Users then receive a text alert when their order is ready.
“It’s super convenient,” Yoffa says. “You don’t even have to get out of your car, which is especially nice in the climate of COVID. Even when we’re not in a pandemic, though, guests appreciate the convenience of these awesome digital elements.”
To ensure they can take care of both digital and walk-in orders, the company limits app orders per day, so it’s wise to place your order on the app early in the day.
“As we get a good flow and understand our peak times, we’ll open up more time slots,” Yoffa says.
At the recent grand opening, local musician Jeffrey Bowen entertained the crowd by playing piano and singing. Indy Balloons did a balloon installation above the doorway and Shack Track app-thru pickup window. Team members gave out fun swag bags filled with bubbles and Shake Shack-branded disposable masks.
“It was so much fun,” Yoffa says. “We had our first guest in line before 9 a.m., and by the time we opened at 11 a.m. we had a line of 50 to 75 people. That’s how the entire day went.”
At the grand opening of every Shake Shack, the restaurant has historically partnered with a local charity to donate a portion of proceeds from a menu item. The company shifted and slimmed down their menu during COVID-19, and now at openings they have a meal match program. Locally they worked with Fishers Youth Assistance Program, and for every meal that was purchased on opening day, they donated a meal to the organization.
In addition, for the Fishers grand opening the franchise donated $1 from every meal to the survivors fund resulting from the FedEx shooting that took place on April 15 on the west side of Indianapolis. In 2020 alone, Shake Shack has donated more than 5,000 meals from their grand openings.
“Our motto is to stand for something good, so we’re always looking for ways to help our communities,” Yoffa says.
This approach extends to every aspect of the business, whether that’s working with vendors, hiring the right people, taking care of their teams or taking care of guests.
“We’re excited to continue to find ways to work with the community,” says Yoffa, noting that as the pandemic abates, they plan to begin participating in community events again.
“Our team members love getting out into the community for custard scoopings and golf tournaments, and just mingling with people,” Yoffa says. “That kind of mentality is so ingrained in our culture.”
Each Shake Shack design is unique to its community. The Fishers location features distinctive tile work and interior lighting, as well as a dog-friendly covered patio. They offer “pet parking” for guests who want to pick up their food and leave their pooches outside with a dog bowl and biscuits. Down the road, they may add fun programs like “Yappy Hour” during which patrons can hang out with their canines on the patio to enjoy happy-hour specials.
“The patio space lends itself to so many fun types of programming,” Yoffa says.
The next Shake Shack to open locally is a downtown Indy location, later in 2021.
Shake Shack is located at 9701 East 116th Street in Fishers. For more information, call 463-215-6946 or visit shakeshack.com.