What does Shake Shack's ChickenStack mean to restaurant menus?

  1. The cornerstone of the contemporary burger scene broke the internet with the launch of a chicken sandwich. Seriously. The Shake Shack chicken sandwich started trending on Twitter within minutes of the first chicken dip in the fryer. And that says something for the burger-only (mostly) establishment that kicked the stock market in the pants with an opening day initial offering that doubled, making a lot of burger investors very happy. So what does that mean for a burger-centric chain that looks to gobble some of the chicken market? Is it a sell-out for, say, KFC to start selling burgers?
    Shake Shack’s sandwich is constructed with the same attention to detail and quality as everything we expect from restaurant kingpin and Shack king, Danny Meyer. The Chicken Shack is stacked with lettuce, pickles and buttermilk-herb mayo. Of course it is an antibiotic and natural chicken. Initial reception has been warm and cuddly. Available in and around Brooklyn, for the time being, the sandwich may pop up in Philly, Dubai or Chicago? Probably so.


    As quick serve menus diversify, are we going to see ChickFilA run with a sausage sandwich? Panera is already in the noodle bowl business, a hard-left from the staple bread-based business we used to see. What does that mean for chefs in Italian restaurants that want to build in a little more Greek? Or your menu? Does the relaxed atmosphere of taking on elements beyond the initial mission of the menu open doors to new experiences?

    Talk back: Twitter.com/cheftalkjim

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  1. colleens
    Great piece.  Do you mean the chicken is antibiotic free?  It is a slippery slope for other restaurants. KFC now has the chicken crusted pizza - the Chizza, and also the Double Down Dog - a hot dog wrapped in a fried chicken "bun."  Starbucks has the beef brisket sandwich. What next? 
  2. allanmcpherson
    I must say that sounds like a good sandwich. From my pov the industry take away ought to be:

    A) you don't need stunt toppings or going over the top in calories in get market impact
    B) the price of beef has shot up so high, so fast, (and with the wild fire situation out west, the predicted "correction" will likely be slower than expected). Smart restaurant owners will be looking for other proteins to off set that hit. The public has been trained to expect cheap burgers, etc, and will likely not bring themselves to spend the money to keep beef based QSR profitable.