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Danny Meyer: Growing in a Down Economy

There's one thing that keeps restaurant mogul Danny Meyer awake at night.

"I'd say the one thing that does concern me is commodity prices," he said Wednesday on CNBC's "Fast Money."

The restaurateur behind such wildly popular spots as Shake Shack and Union Square Cafe, Meyer said that rising prices for food commodities would mean lower profit margins, which presents a challenge.

"We're not in a position, even in a growing economy, to raise our prices," he said.

Still, Meyer sounded upbeat about his prospects, announcing the opening of specialty-drink business, Creative Juice, by year's end – and not just one location, but two.

Meyer's Shake Shack, with locations in New York, Connecticut, Florida, Washington, D.C., and Pennsylvania, also revealed that his privately held Union Square Hospitality Group was planning to launch six more locations.

"It's a business that can definitely take advantage of a down economy," he said, adding that Shake Shack was launched during a downturn.

Meyer said he thought some of the bigger restaurant chains "are going to be inspired by the better burger."

As for any economic worries on his customer base, Meyer said he hasn't seen much of an effect on demand.

On Obamacare, he said that his restaurants had already offered health insurance as far back as 1985, so the new health care law would only require "a tiny bit of tweaking on our part."

"It's going to hurt us because it's going to give other restaurants a level playing field," he added.

Trader disclosure: On Dec. 12, 2012, the following stocks and commodities mentioned or intended to be mentioned on CNBC's "Fast Money" were owned by the "Fast Money" traders: Steve Grasso is long AET; Steve Grasso is long ASTM; Steve Grasso is long AUO; Steve Grasso is long BA; Steve Grasso is long F; Steve Grasso is long GDX; Steve Grasso is long GOOG; Steve Grasso is long LF; Steve Grasso is long LNG; Steve Grasso is long MHY; Steve Grasso is long P; Steve Grasso is long PXD; Steve Grasso is long NVIV; Steve Grasso is long PFE; Steve Grasso is long S; Steve Grasso is long WYNN; Steve Grasso is funds long MSFT; Steve Grasso is funds long SLB; Steve Grasso is funds long HPQ; Steve Grasso is funds long ZNGA; Steve Grasso is funds long DELL; Dan Nathan is long BAC JAN 9 X 7.5 1X2 PUT SPREAD; Dan Nathan is long WFC JAN 36 CALL SPREAD; Dan Nathan is long RIMM DEC 14TH/DEC22 12 PUT SPREAD; Dan Nathan is long MSFT JAN 26/24 PUT SPREAD; Dan Nathan is long JOY DEC/JAN 62.5 CALL SPREAD; Dan Nathan is long SPY DEC 14 PUTS; Dan Nathan is long QQQ DEC 64 PUTS; Brian Kelly is long GLD; Brian Kelly is long SLV; Brian Kelly is long XLB; Brian Kelly is long TIP; Brian Kelly is long EWI; Brian Kelly is long EWP; Brian Kelly is short XHB; Brian Kelly is short XLF; Karen Finerman is long AAPL PLTS; Karen Finerman is long BAC; Karen Finerman is long JPM; Karen Finerman is long JPM CALLS; Karen Finerman is long WMT; Karen Finerman is long TGT; Karen Finerman is long MSFT; Karen Finerman is long GOOG; Karen Finerman is long FNL; Karen Finerman is long M; Karen Finerman is short SPY.

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