MANILA - While other restaurant brands are raring to expand and add one branch after another, Shake Shack saw things differently.
The restaurant, which began as a hotdog cart in New York before evolving into a global food phenomenon, took six years to set up its branch in the Philippines.
CEO Randy Garutti said this was because they didn't want to compromise on the quality of their product and were looking for just the right partner to carry their name.
"We don't move very fast as a company. We take our time. We want to do things the right way," said Garutti in an interview with ANC.
As Shake Shack prepares to open its first restaurant on Friday, Garutti said their main challenge had been ensuring the quality of Shake Shack's burgers, hotdogs and other items on the main menu.
"The real work of our team is the supply chain--getting the food right, make it taste exactly as it tastes in New York, importing many of our key products," Garutti said.
This was not easy as Shake Shack was committed to delivering burgers and hot dogs that use 100 percent all-natural beef, free of hormones and antibiotics.
The restaurant also serves non-GMO potato buns, custard made from real sugar instead of corn syrup, and milk from dairy farmers who pledge not to use artificial growth hormones.
Garutti said Shake Shack was grateful for partnering with the SSI Group.
But even as Shake Shack keeps the integrity of its core menu, its extended menu adopts local elements and ingredients by "working with cool local artisanal Filipino business," said Garutti.
The restaurant serves Ube Shake, which is vanilla ice cream blended with ube, Calamansi Limeade or its local version of lemonade, among others. Craft beer will also be available from local breweries Engkanto Brewery and Monkey Eagle.
Garutti said he was surprised at the reception they are getting from Filipinos.
"To this day, when we announced that were coming to the Philippines on our Instagram [it remains] the no.1 liked Instagram post that we've ever had," he said.
Shake Shack's first store in the Philippines will open on May 10, 11 a.m. at Central Square in Bonifacio High Street at Bonifacio Global City.
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