Workers Detail What It's Really Like To Work At Shake Shack

The story of Shake Shack is a unique one and a true testament of the American dream. The company that now has 377 locations was once just a hot dog stand in New York City's Madison Square Park (via Investopedia). The cart was converted into a small fast-food restaurant in 2004 and began serving hamburgers, fries, and milkshakes. It expanded to numerous places throughout the city in 2010 and opened its first out-of-state location in 2011 in South Beach, Miami. As of September 2022, the company is worth $2.07 billion, per Macrotrends.

With more than 7,000 workers worldwide, it's worth wondering how Shake Shack employees feel about their jobs, and what type of secrets are hidden behind the scenes. Because the National Restaurant Association placed food service turnover rates at 72.6% as of 2016 (via DailyPay), Shake Shack says it understands the importance of valuing its employees. "Our commitment to taking care of our team may cause us to incur higher labor costs compared to other restaurant companies," a Shake Shack spokesperson told QSR. The establishment claims to make employees happy, but how do the workers themselves feel about the job?

An unlikely use for paint scrapers

On the surface, Shake Shack seems like a great place to work. According to QSR, it's among the Best Place[s] to Work for LGBTQ Equality, scoring 100% on the Human Rights Campaign 2019 Corporate Equality index. Chief Executive Randy Garutti also says that he cares about the company's workers: "It's critical for us to continue investing in our teams and ensure Shake Shack remains a great place to work and grow" (per Bloomberg). Glassdoor, a website where employees can review their place of work, is flooded with comments about the fast-food joint. One review remarks that it's easy to "move up in the company" and work at other locations if needed. Another person said it's "[A] friendly atmosphere and a great work environment."

However, some people don't feel the same way. One comment claimed that you'll only receive decent pay if you "overwork yourself." Another review read, "Upper management are awful and rude," and claimed that they were targeted by HR.

Additionally, some employees have revealed behind the scenes secrets (per Buzzfeed), claiming burgers are removed from the griddle with paint scrapers, and to cook, the patties are flattened onto the grill before flipping. Employees say there is also a secret menu consisting of grilled cheese, a peanut butter bacon burger, chili cheese fries, and a "Shack-ago" burger topped with relish. All in all, it seems like a pretty good company, and who could turn down those milkshakes?