Why Shake Shack Will Never Be McDonald’s


Shake Shack and McDonald’s are both in the burger business. But their differences far outweigh their similarities.

“Pride in our product makes us hard to beat” sounds like something a Shake Shack executive would say today about the quality of the fast-casual concept’s food. But those comments were attributed to McDonald’s [fortune-stock symbol=”MCD”] then-senior chairman in a Fortune magazine story published in late 1979.

Sound familiar? It should. This is what Shake Shack [fortune-stock symbol=”SHAK”] CEO Randy Garutti told analysts yesterday: “Shake Shack is for people who want to understand where their food is from, and have a higher expectation of when they go out to eat a burger, where they want to get it, and are willing to pay a little more for it.” Garutti was touting the New York burger chain’s stellar first quarter, the second results issued by the company since it went public in early 2015.

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