Shake Shack has finally arrived in the Bay Area, but will it be able to compete with so many other quality hamburger restaurants? Shake Shack’s very first location was in Madison Square Park, New York City. Originally a hot dog stand, Shake Shack grew from there into the sizeable burger chain it is today. As the restaurant grew in popularity, California residents began to grow jealous of East Coast residents because the restaurant only had locations on the East Coast of the United States. But now, Shake Shack has finally opened up its first location in the Bay Area, located in Stanford Shopping Center, with future restaurants in San Francisco and Marin coming later in 2019.
Walking up to Shake Shack in Stanford Shopping Center, the very first thing I noticed was the massive line that stretched far out the door and wrapped around the building. The wait until I was at the front of the line was about 40 minutes, but even though this sounds like an incredibly long time to wait for a burger, it was definitely worth it. First of all, Shake Shack eliminated the job of restaurant workers that take your order. Instead, it is all digital, with huge iPad pros taking orders and a couple restaurant workers that hang around the iPads to help. The interface of the ordering app on the iPad is very user friendly, making it very convenient to order and pay. After ordering a shackburger, fries, and a cookies and cream milkshake, I entered my phone number so they could text me when my food was ready.
Ordering Process: B+
Inside the restaurant, there was a little bit of a shortage of tables, but for some reason, it was not hard to find a seat. I’m guessing that most people order “to-go,” instead of eating inside. Another fascinating aspect of Shake Shack is how cozy the inside of the restaurant felt. There were lights strung all over the ceiling, and a big wall that divides the kitchen from the rest of the restaurant. This wall makes it so restaurant attendees do not have to stare into the kitchen and watch the cooks make the food, which ties the whole restaurant together.
After a short five minutes of waiting, my food came out. I only took one bite of my burger before deciding it was one of the best burgers I have had in my life. Between the soft bun, fresh tomato and lettuce, juicy burger with melted cheese, and shacksauce, everything just perfectly blended together. As for the fries, they are the perfect size and have ridges on them making them fun to eat. Finally, the shake was super thick, and just bursted with flavor. The combination of the three foods were so delicious together, and every bite I took of each complimented the next.
There is no doubt that Shake Shack is similar to In-N-Out in terms of the taste of their food. Both of the burgers and shakes are equally delicious. In my opinion though, Shake Shack jumps ahead of In-N-Out with their ordering process and their fries. Not only does Shake Shack have a modern, efficient ordering process, but they also have well-salted fries, while In-N-Out still uses the regular ordering process with undersalted, thin fries.
Shake Shack’s food and ambience made the 40 minute wait completely worth it. Considering that Shake Shack has already done remarkably well on the East Coast, there is no doubt in my mind that it will be bustling with people and great food for years to come in the Bay Area.