Shake Shack is coming to Canada

Toronto –

Canadians craving Shake Shack’s juicy burgers and hand-spun milkshakes won’t have to cross the border to satisfy their cravings.

Toronto-based private investment firms Osmington and Harlo Entertainment announced Wednesday plans to bring the American fast food giant to Canada.

Shake Shack’s Canadian debut will begin with its flagship store in Toronto, scheduled to open in 2024, with 35 locations planned nationwide by 2035.

The New York-based fast-food brand, which began with a hot dog cart in Madison Square Park in 2001 and now has 440 locations worldwide, has had its eye on Canada for “a long time,” says the company’s top global Licensing Officer Michael Kark said: statement.

He promised that the Canadian location would offer “custom-made Canadian exclusives” in addition to Shake Shack staples such as burgers, chicken sandwiches, crinkle-cut fries, frozen custard, beer and wine.

Kark described Osmington and Harlo as “extraordinary” partners for the company’s expansion.

Osmington is involved in the relocation of the Atlanta Thrashers to Winnipeg and the retail redevelopment of Toronto’s Union Station, while Harlo is involved in restaurants such as Mimi Chinese, Casa Moto and Planta.

“Shake Shack has long been a brand we look up to,” Osmington CEO Lawrence Zucker said in a statement.

“Their focus on community building, thoughtful hospitality and exceptional food quality aligns with our values ​​and we are thrilled to bring them to Canada.”

Shake Shack’s long-awaited entry into the Canadian market comes amid a wave of US fast food brands expanding into Canada over the past decade.

Five Guys, Carl’s Jr., Wahlburgers and Blaze Pizza have all flocked to Canada, with Chick-fil-A and Dave’s Hot Chicken heading north in recent years.

Recent entrants have relied heavily on poultry, a category growing in popularity as some consumers become more health conscious and shift their diet away from red meat.

According to data released by research firm NPD Group, 7.3% of all restaurant orders in Canada in 2020 included chicken sandwiches. This equates to 386.4 million servings for him.

Nearly 17.6 million barbecue chicken sandwiches were ordered in Canada in 2020, a 40% year-over-year increase. Meanwhile, 228 million breaded chicken sandwiches were down 3% year-over-year.

However, burgers still reign supreme as the star of Shake Shack’s menu. It was included in his 9.6% of all Canadian restaurant orders in 2020, equivalent to his 739.3 million servings of burgers.

Canadian companies have responded to the onslaught of American competitors by expanding their own fast food offerings. Tim Hortons has teamed up with pop superstar Justin Bieber to launch his three new Timbit his flavors called Tim Bibs and try his flatbread pizza.

But after inflation hit nearly 40-year highs last year, it has become even harder to attract customers, making it harder for consumers to put up with the cost of eating out.

The cost of food purchased at takeout restaurants has increased 8.6% since February last year, according to the latest data from Statistics Canada.

Visits to Canadian fast food restaurants will grow 9% in 2022, just below the 11% increase seen in 2021, according to NPD Group research.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published on March 22, 2023.

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