After a Tough Pandy, is Shake Shack Officially Back?

$SHAK just broke into a new 52-week high, hitting a peak of $97.3

Shares of Shake Shack [$SHAK] popped 2.2% on its way to a 15-month high in early trading Tuesday, after the burger chain reported a strong Q4 sales outlook. On a preliminary basis, the company’s total revenue for the quarter December 30 increased 4.0% from 2019 to $157.5 million, above the FactSet forecast of $153.2 million.

Same store sales for the quarter dropped 17.4%, but it outdid the FactSet consensus of a 19.5% drop. The company said at its suburban locations, same-Shack sales were about flat, as protracted digital capabilities helped to counterbalance difficulties from the pandy. Who Really Owns DoorDash?

On top of that, Shake Shack has come under fire with the cancel-culture after a new, limited-time “Korean-style” menu of chicken sandwiches and sides drew accusations of cultural appropriation for its loose interpretation of Korean fried chicken. The menu features a sandwich with gochujang-glazed fried chicken and a white kimchi slaw; nuggets and fries served with a gochujang sauce; and a black sugar vanilla shake. 

In response to the criticisms of cultural appropriation levied online, Rosati says that he could “definitely see how someone might think this here” with the new menu launch. “I can understand to a point but I can never fully understand it, because it’s not my culture. It’s something that we want to listen to, and understand.” — Mark Rosati, Shake Shack culinary director

Shortly after the unveiling, people bashed the company online for appearing to engage in cultural appropriation. Other social media users asserted that adding items like kimchi and a gochujang sauce to a couple of menu items and labeling it “Korean-style” fried chicken was a lazy interpretation of the beloved food. Uber Unloads Self-Driving Unit to Aurora

Going forward, Shake Shack added that it’s targeting an acceleration of new Shack restaurant development, and looks to open 35 to 40 company-operated restaurants this year and 45 to 50 restaurants in 2022. The stock, which is on track to open at the highest price seen since October 2019, has surged 27.5% over the past three months through Monday, while the S&P 500 has gained 7.5%.


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