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What It's Like Inside Shake Shack

A collaborative culture with shifting responsibilities is the burger brand's recipe for success.

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This story appears in the March 2020 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

In 2003, as the story goes, restaurateur scribbled some burger-based ideas on the back of a napkin. That eventually became the inaugural for Shake Shack, an outdoor food stand in Manhattan's Madison Square Park. The burger concept has now grown into an $839 million restaurant chain with 281 locations worldwide. The current menu has stayed close to Meyer's original vision (cheeseburger, mushroom burger, crinkle-cut fries) even as new items are conceived of and tested at the company's Innovation Kitchen in New York's West Village. The corporate team works just upstairs, and like the brand, their jobs are constantly evolving: A shift manager was sent to Shanghai and an art director helped out with the brand's IPO. Here's how the team creates success out of such simplicity.

Adam Friedberg

Michael Reid / Shift manager

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