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Shake Shack Files for IPO


Shake Shack is ready to bring quality burgers worldwide in a major way.

Sean Pavone |
Shake Shack in Madison Square Park

On Monday, the "modern day 'roadside' burger stand" filed for an initial public offering with a $100 million placeholder. Shake Shack currently has 63 restaurants in nine countries and 34 cities.

"One of the things that may get lost among all the hubbub when a company is 'going public' is that the business can now be owned, in part, by its greatest fans," founder and CEO Danny Meyer wrote in a letter to prospective stockholders. "We have always been so incredibly grateful for the enormous number of people from all walks of life who genuinely love Shake Shack, and who already feel as if it's theirs. And we're excited that now it actually can be."

The company applied to be listed under the symbol 'SHAK' on the New York Stock Exchange.

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While Shake Shack is now a well-established chain, the filing emphasized Meyer's desire to maintain the restaurant's high-quality, "fine-casual" roots, building on the principle "The Bigger We Get, The Smaller We Need To Act." For Shake Shack, that means using premium and sustainable ingredients, localizing design and menu options and paying employees more than minimum wage.

Of course, the IPO also emphasizes many of the popular chain's biggest wins since opening as a hot-dog cart in New York City in 2004. Quirky victories of note include making TIME's "17 Most Influential Burgers of All Time," 139,000 Instagram followers and product placement on television shows including HBO's The Newsroom.

Last year, Shake Shack brought in $82.5 million. This year, the number is expected to be even higher, as in fiscal 2014 alone, the chain opened 10 company-owned Shake Shacks in the U.S. and 12 international licensed restaurants.

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