Could Shake Shack’s Connecticut outpost be a prototype for Meyer company’s future?

October 28, 2011 02:47PM

Westport Shake Shack and Danny Meyer

Shake Shack newest branch in Westport, Conn., is not just the burger joint’s latest expansion, it is the Union Square Hospitality Group’s first suburban restaurant. The burger and custard join has expanded in New York — most recently with plans in Grand Central — and constitutes “almost a third” of Union Square Hospitality Group’s profits. The company’s head,
Danny Meyer
has been careful about the company’s growth, Fortune reported; he waited four years before opening a second Shake Shack in New York on the Upper West Side and built his first international Shake Shack in the Middle East, where he said the U.S. audiences wouldn’t notice any growing pains. If successful, Fortune argued, the suburban outlet of the Shack could become a lucrative prototype. Still, managers of Shake Shacks typically work in one of the more upmarket restaurants in the Union Square Hospitality Group before heading to the burger chain, which makes quick expansion difficult, and becoming a franchise is “just not in our DNA,” he said. [Fortune]