Shake Shack Raised Its Prices So It Can Pay Workers More


Minimum wage in the food industry has been under the microscope in North America for the last few years – remember this,  this, and this. But this week, there’s some good news for those working in the fast food industry as Shake Shack continued to lead the way with how they compensate and care for their employees.


A Little Goes a Long Way

Shake Shack increased the prices on some of their best selling food products, the extra income of which will be going directly into the pockets of their employees. This bold step is not the first for Shake Shack, which is known in the industry as a company that takes care of its employees. In NYC, they already pay their workers $.50 above the minimum wage required by law ($12). They also offer health-care benefits for full-time employees and a 401(k) matching program. Because Shake Shack does not franchise their stores, the brand is also able to work towards keeping their employees long-term with additional incentives. “We’re incredibly proud of the hard work of our team and believe deeply in a compensation package that rewards their effort” Shake Shack’s CEO Randy Garutti told Huffington Post.


Fast Food Choices

In the US and Canada, fast food choices are a-plenty. McDonalds, Burger King, Wendy’s, Harveys, A&W are just some options available to consumers, with most hovering around the same price point for the quick meal of a hot sandwich, fries and a drink. By taking the approach of better caring for their employees, Shake Shack’s price point moves higher than their competitors, however they explain the bump in price not only includes better treatment of employees, but also better quality ingredients and better atmosphere in their restaurants.

Fast food is not renowned for its service or ingredients, so buyers can feel good knowing that when they purchase Shake Shacks food, they are receiving better food as well as participating in a business model that treats the employees with respect.


Old to New

As a model of change in the fast food industry, Shake Shack moves into a league that leaves behind legacy restaurants. Smash Burger and Five Guy are part of this group that believes fast food restaurants can come without a side of guilt. This new approach benefits all parties; customers, employees and the company’s bottom line.

Time will ultimately tell how the newer fast food mainstays will influence older restaurants.