Shake Shack Founder Expands His Empire
Anyone who was talking about the restaurant was talking about the line. A businessman known for his belief in the power of hospitality, Meyer chose to celebrate the hot spot’s accidental identity. He equated the experience of waiting half an hour in Manhattan with his childhood memories of roadside burger stands in the Midwest. "No one is forced to stand in line. They must not hate it!”
Growing up in St. Louis, Meyer hung around the parking lots of local frozen custard favorite Ted Drewes and Steak & Shake (an owned subsidiary of Biglari Holdings).
Union Square Hospitality Group launched the online Shack Cam, and Meyer began telling stories about business meetings scheduled for the time participants would spend waiting just to order. The people-like-people approach is central to Meyer's business philosophy. He prides himself on serving great food in an atmosphere that guests — diners aren’t referred to as customers will want to repeat again and again.
"We often talk about how we want great service … we want a company to do what it says it’s going to do," he says. "That’s very different from hospitality, which is that we also want our products to make us feel good."
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