Shake Shack takes Wall St.


New York, NEW YORK--In celebration of its debut on the New York Stock Exchange, Shake Shack set up shop on Wall Street as the New York SHACK Exchange. From students to stock brokers, New Yorkers braved the 30 degree weather in hopes of snatching a coveted Shack Burger free of charge.

Shake Shack began as a simple Madison Square Park burger stand in 2004 and has since expanded from New York to Dubai. As a part of Danny Meyer’s Union Square Hospitality Group, the restaurant burger chain has found tremendous success and a large fan base. Today, lines stretched down Broad Street beginning at 9 a.m. when the burger giveaway began.

Shake Shack’s Director of Marketing and Communications, Edwin Bragg, spoke with the Empire State Tribune during the lunch time rush. At that time, there were no exact estimates of the total number of burgers given away, but according to Bragg's team the line was 200-300 people strong at times throughout the day.

Hundreds of New Yorkers lined up outside the NYSE throughout the day to receive free burgers. Photo by Michael Martinez.

Dozens of King’s students and staff took advantage of the offer, and the smell of burgers overwhelmed the first-floor lobby. Abena Anim-Somuah, a freshman in the House of Truth, went to the line immediately after her 10:30 a.m. class ended. After waiting 45 minutes, she said the burger was “definitely worth it."

"It tastes better when it’s free for some reason," Anim-Somuah said. "Shake Shack is high on my burger list.”

Natia, another New Yorker, was willing to wait her entire lunch break for a free burger, and noted that there was no other burger that she would wait for. "It has to be Shake Shack," she said.

If the long lines are any indicator, the company should do well in the public market. CNN Money reported that the public shares opened at $21, and rose to $47.21 later in the day.

"It was the best 30-minute wait ever," said King's Administrative Director of Student Development, Megan Phelps.