MANILA—The Filipino businessman who brought Shake Shack to the Philippines said it was not easy convincing the "fine casual dining" restaurant to set up shop here.
Anton Huang, president of the SSI Group, said he wanted to bring Shake Shack to the Philippines, as early as 6 years ago after dining in one of its restaurants in New York.
The SSI Group, he said, was on the lookout for a new concept that would click in the country and Shake Shack impressed him.
"This would be something that I think, I felt would resonate very well with the Filipino consumer," Huang said in an interview with ANC.
But Huang said the people behind Shake Shack needed convincing.
"I looked them up and only to find out that there were others who had already contacted them and made their pitches," said Huang.
In the end, Shake Shack went with the SSI Group, said CEO Randy Garutt,i who added that the two companies shared the same ethos and values.
"Building a sustainable partnership that lasts decades only happens when you have mutual respect," Garutti said.
Shake Shack opened its first local store on Friday, May 10, at the Bonifacio Global City in Taguig.