In the last 12 months, Shake Shack has expanded beyond its popular Madison Square Park original, opening a larger outpost on the Upper West Side, followed by a wildly popular Citi Field location. The small scale expansion has proved that the Shack model is scalable, so the question is what should be done with it? While rumors of Chicago and Tokyo has been floated, we have heard that Meyer and his Union Square Hospitality Group have much bigger plans. And according to a Little Birdy, Meyer and his team have lined up a sponsor with a proven track record at a national and global expansion. Our Little Birdy tells us:
I was just walking down the street near the UWS Shake Shack next to a Shack employee walking to work and talking on his cellphone. He was telling whoever he was talking to that they are seriously entertaining discussions with Howard Schultz to be the main bankroller for a large scale expansion. He said Danny Meyer has spent a lot of time with him lately and that Schultz has been in the shop a bunch of times checking it out.
An operator only has a certain window to strike big, and with rumors of competitors trying to replicate the concept, Meyer has to move before every US city has it's own Shack. Here comes Schultz to help provide the financing and know how in growing a small, local business into a behemoth. Wherever this is headed, it's sure to be juicy.