Shake Shack is working with chefs at independent restaurants in different communities where the fast-casual burger chain operates to create local limited-time offers.
Called “Now Serving: A Collab Series by Shake Shack,” the promotion will start in Houston with a menu item prepared with Shake Shack’s culinary team and Chris Shepherd, owner of Underbelly Hospitality. The limited-time item, Southern Smoke Chicken, is a fried chicken breast sandwich with Shepherd’s spicy bacon jam, pickled jalapeño mustard, cherry peppers and shredded lettuce. It is slated to launch March 4 for $7.39, of which a portion of the profits will be contributed to the Southern Smoke Foundation, a crisis relief organization for people in the food & beverage industry co-founded by Shepherd.
That limited-time offer will be followed by the introduction on April 8 of an item developed with Pinky Cole of Slutty Vegan in Atlanta, then one on May 8 by Junghyun Park of Atoboy and Atomix in New York City, then the June 17 launch of an item with Sarah Grueneberg of Monteverde Restaurant & Pastificio in Chicago. That will be followed by the July 22 introduction of an item with Dominique Crenn of Atelier Crenn in San Francisco, and then, on September 23, an item with JJ Johnson of Fieldtrip back in Shake Shack’s hometown of New York. Those future items are still in development, according to Shake Shack culinary director Mark Rosati, and will be available only in their chefs’ respective cities, except for Pinky Cole’s item, which will be available in New York as well as Atlanta. Part of the profits will go to a charity of the chef’s choosing. Rosati said the LTOs will include takes on burgers and chicken sandwiches as well as vegetable and seafood options.
“We wanted to spread out the collaborations to surprise and delight Shake Shack guests across the country throughout the year,” Rosati said in an email.
Shake Shack, which has around 310 locations in the United States and 120 restaurants abroad, has collaborated with independent chefs in the past, including Cronut inventor Dominique Ansel, first for a Cronut Hole Frozen Custard Concrete in 2013 and later with an egg katsu sandwich and maple latte that was offered in 2019 for breakfast at the chain’s location in New York City’s West Village.
Last year it offered chef Gabriel Stulman’s Bar Sardine Burger at the original Shake Shack location in Madison Square Park, proceeds of which went to ROAR, an organization that offers relief for New York restaurant workers.
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