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The exterior of a Shake Shack restaurant

Shake Shack takes on Chick-fil-A in chicken sandwich giveaway on Sundays in April

The burger chain also touts its antibiotic-free poultry

Shake Shack is giving away Chicken Shack sandwiches every Sunday in April in a clear jab at the nation’s largest chicken sandwich chain, Chick-fil-A.

The New York City-based chain of around 520 restaurants has gotten into the habit of giving free food to customers who order through its digital channels, including its web site, app, and in-restaurant kiosks, and it’s doing it again with the current deal, which requires a purchase of $10 or more via those channels and the promo code CHICKENSUNDAY.

Shake Shack headlined its blog post announcing the offer with “Eat more antibiotic-free chicken,” a variation on Chick-fil-A’s famous “Eat Mor Chikin” ads featuring cows with limited spelling skills.

Atlanta-based Chick-fil-A, whose nearly 3,000 restaurants are closed on Sundays, recently dialed back its commitment to offering chicken that has never been treated with antibiotics.

Shake Shack has long touted its use of all-natural beef and chicken treated without antibiotics.

“Here at Shake Shack, we pride ourselves on our Chicken Shack which is available 7 days a week. With crispy, white-meat chicken breast over lettuce, pickles, and buttermilk herb mayo on a toasted potato bun, this sandwich outshines its competition. And what makes our Chicken Shack even better, is that it’s made with antibiotic-free chicken, something not everyone can say these days...,” it said in the blog post.

The offer is limited to one free sandwich per order and excludes licensed locations in airports, stadiums, arenas, travel plazas, and museums.

Shake Shack also has a free shake promotion underway through June 26 for guests who order via its own digital channels between 2 p.m. and 5 p.m. with a purchase of $10 and use the code FAVESHAKE.

The chain responded quickly to a 4.8-magnitude earthquake with an epicenter in New Jersey that occurred at around 10:20 Friday morning.

“Our Shacks Really did Shake” it told its app users in New York, New Jersey, and Philadelphia at around 11:30 and promoted the shake giveaway.

Shake Shack gave free SmokeShack burgers under similar conditions the week after the Academy Awards, although that time it gamified it a little by promising the SmokeShack if the Oscars awards ceremony ran less than three hours and 31 minutes and a Chicken Shack sandwich if it ran over (it ran under).

The promotions appear to be part of an effort not only to engage with its customers but also to encourage use of Shake Shack’s own digital channels rather than third-party apps. The chain has reported that in-house ordering not only is more profitable, since they don’t require paying fees to the third-party companies, but also increase average checks. Chains across the country report similar results.

To that end, Shake Shack has rolled out kiosks at nearly all company-owned locations. In its latest earnings call outgoing CEO Randy Garutti said kiosk orders resulted in average check increases in the high single digits.

Garutti is retiring and will be replaced by former Papa John’s CEO Rob Lynch in May.

Contact Bret Thorn at [email protected] 

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