Shake Shack, restaurateur Danny Meyer's (Union Square Hospitality Group, NYC) chain of fast-casual burger restaurants, goes public today. As the Wall Street Journal reports, Shake Shack's IPO has been priced far higher than initial estimates: Earlier this week analysts expected the price per share to land between $14 and $19. In fact, Shake Shack begins trading today at $21 per share.
After an initial raise of $105 million, Shake Shack is now worth $745.5 million.
Wall Street just got a whole lot tastier: presenting the New York SHACK Exchange @nyse pic.twitter.com/nytNgt9uXF— SHAKE SHACK (@shakeshack) January 30, 2015
Given the company's prospects for growth, analysts say investors and eaters are excited about SHAK. To celebrate the IPO, Shake Shack is giving away free burgers today.
Back in 2008, Meyer told the New York Sun about his slow-and-steady approach to growing a business: "This is the first time we've done anything for a second time after 23 years of trying to do one thing well once. I am not generally the greatest engine of growth in our company, because I really believe in honing and refining and working at something."
CEO Randy Garutti echoed Meyer's sentiment in an interview with Eater in 2013:
We never set out to have an international company. And then when the second one opened on the Upper West Side and it was as busy as the first, we said, "Whoa, wait a second. People are really resonating with this idea that we've created." It took another two years really to start opening a couple. And we've only done four Shake Shacks a year... When people come into my office, there are two things on the wall. One thing is the original Danny Meyer back of the napkin where he wrote down what he wanted Shake Shack to be. And every time we make a decision, I point to that and I say, "Would it fit that? Do we act like we only have one restaurant?" And then the second thing is, "The bigger we get, the smaller we need to act." That's how we make decisions.
Clearly, it's a strategy that has paid off.