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Thu 21 Jul 2011 05:05 PM

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Alshaya to roll Shake Shack out across Middle East

Company behind US burger chain says Middle East has ‘huge potential’ for growth

Alshaya to roll Shake Shack out across Middle East
Shake Shack

Kuwait’s M H Alshaya Co said Thursday it had opened its second Shake Shack burger outlet and plans to open up to eight more across the Middle East by the end of 2012.

The opening marks the New York burger chain’s debut in Kuwait, following the launch of a Dubai branch in April, and reflects the “huge potential” for growth in the Middle East, said

Danny Meyer, CEO of Union Square Hospitality Group, the firm behind Shake Shack.

The firm signed a franchise deal with Alshaya in 2010.

Alshaya, one of the Gulf’s largest family-owned firms, has an extensive franchise portfolio that includes a string of US household name food and beverage brands.

The company has closed franchises in the last six months for the Chicago-based chain Potbelly Sandwich Shop, and a 22-outlet deal for New-York listed chain The Cheesecake Factory.

The Kuwait retail conglomerate last month said it had signed a deal to launch American pancake chain IHOP in the Middle East. Alshaya will open 40 restaurants across the six Gulf states, Jordan, Lebanon and Egypt by 2016, marking IHOP’s first major expansion outside the US.

Alshaya operates 2,000 stores across 15 countries, and counts brands such as Starbucks, Pizza Express, American Eagle, Boots and Pottery Barn in its portfolio.

The company employs around 20,000 people and operates 2,000 stores in 15 markets.

In November, the company said it planned to open 1,250 new stores over the next five years, creating an estimated 4,000 jobs.

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Karim Fastak 8 years ago

Can someone from Shake Shack explain to us why the prices in the UAE are 38.8% higher than in New York??

The regular burger in Shake Shack New York costs 4.5$, which becomes 4.9* after tax, which is 18 dirhams.

Shake Shack Mall of the Emirates is charging us 25 dirhams for the same burger! This is 38.8% higher than what you pay in the US....Is this the right way to treat the Middle East consumers??

Karim Fastak 8 years ago

Can someone from Shake Shack explain to us why the prices in the UAE are 38.8% higher than in New York??

The regular burger in Shake Shack New York costs 4.5$, which becomes 4.9* after tax, which is 18 dirhams.

Shake Shack Mall of the Emirates is charging us 25 dirhams for the same burger! Is this the right way to treat the Middle East consumers??

Expat 8 years ago

Look at what Al Shaya charges at Starbucks!!! Al Shaya is about making da money!!!!

Intheknow 8 years ago

Because Al Shaya is air shipping all their products from the States instead of shipping them by sea. There is always additional costs with franchises regarding the shipping & storage of U.S. products which is why menu prices could be 10% to 15% more expensive than a U.S. menu. But most companies ship products by sea which is a lot less expensive than shipping by air. Relying on air shipments is a costly way to ship and adds quite a bit of expense which in this case is being passed on to the customer. I believe the new Shake Shack in Kuwait has the same pricing structure as the Dubai location. Then the question is whether the high prices are to cover air shipments or just to stick it to the customers to make them overpay? Shake Shack is good but the prices are so high I cannot say it is worth it.

Ahmed 8 years ago

Not impressed with the burgers, very very greasy. Went their once, asked them to change the burger twice as the fat was dripping from it. Will never go again.
Was wondering if this is the case with shake shack elsewhere.

Karim Fastak 8 years ago

Thanks Intheknow, I agree there must be an extra cost in air shipping some ingredient, but there must be a huge saving in other areas:
- Almost No Taxes to pay!!
- Rent must be at worst as much as New York rents
- Salaries! I am sure they don't pay their Dubai employees as much as the American ones!

So 38.8% more expensive means they must be making huge profit from us.

The main problem is the Middle East consumer that is just spending without thinking or comparing.

tony 8 years ago

Karim, I live in the middle-east and I compare prices. That is why I do most of my shopping on ebay :-)

Fee payer 8 years ago

AED.25/-!!!! Tax over taxed burger.... No one to remind us, smile we are in tax free market.... lol

Anonymous 8 years ago

Karim, Al Shaya pays the absolute lowest rent of any retailer in the Middle East because they are the biggest! 25 dirhams for a 4oz burger plus another 12 dirhams for fries and you are now paying more at Shake Shack than you would for an 8oz burger at a full service restaurant. Al Shaya will try to locate Shake Shack restaurants in busy locations hoping "suckers" are willing to pay.

Colin Occupants 8 years ago

You're not telling me they air freight their frozen fries? They seem to be the same generic frozen crinkle cut fries you can get at Carrefour for a fraction of the price Shake Shack charges for one portion!