The company plans to open its first Northern California outpost this fall in Palo Alto at the Stanford Shopping Center. A second location is scheduled for Larkspur, though the lease agreement is still being worked out.
Finally, most likely by 2019, a location will open in San Francisco. Shake Shack CEO Randy Garutti told The Chronicle he’s eyeing the Marina district, a place he says has appeal as a community gathering space.
“Without a doubt, San Francisco has been one of, if not my favorite city to eat in,” Garutti said. “We have a profound respect for the city and its chefs. We were just wanting to find the right time to come here.”
Shake Shack’s roots go back to 2004 to a hot dog cart in Madison Square Park. Though hot dogs have remained on the menu, it’s the brand’s burgers that have elevated its status over the years beyond a hyper-regional East Coast chain.
Shake Shack currently has 160 locations, 100 of which are in the United States. Seven of those U.S. restaurants are in California, but they’re in the Los Angeles and San Diego areas.
The Bay Area Shake Shacks will feature the chain’s classics: the Shackburger, crinkle-cut fries and hand-spun shakes. There could also be a regional special, Garutti said. (In Los Angeles, for example, the chain added a Roadside Double — two patties topped with Swiss cheese, Dijon mustard and onions that have been cooked in bacon and beer.)
As for why San Francisco hasn’t gotten a Shake Shack sooner, Garutti said the brand was taking a calculated approach. He said both he and Danny Meyer, the company’s founder, have spent a lot of time in San Francisco exploring the city’s eclectic restaurant landscape. Upon its Bay Area area debut, Shake Shack will join a competitive market, with a number of local gourmet burger chains, such as Super Duper (11 locations), Gott’s Roadside (six locations) and Roam (four locations).
Garutti said finding the right location in San Francisco was more important than rapid growth. Plus, even at 100 locations in the U.S., Shake Shack still operates with a mini-chain mind-set, he said.
“We’re not that big of a company yet. When we decide to go, it’s kind of a big deal,” he said. “We wanted to get it right.”
On – 17 Jan, 2018 By Justin Phillips