18. Shake Shack
- Year founded: 2004
- Sign of the end (or not): More than 40 new locations added from 2017 to 2018.
Despite attracting younger customers, Shake Shack failed to beat industry expectations in 2016. Growth was slower than expected. The restaurant hopes to attract diners with a new than 40 new stores added from 2017 to 2018. Chicken Shack sandwich and expanding to over 450 stores nationwide. The CEO noted that lower 2016 earnings resulted from higher starting wages for employees. They offered staff between $10.50 and $12 per hour and team leaders between $12 to $15 per hour. Some are predicting growing pains as the chain trries to expand beyond its New York base.
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Additional reporting by Ali Harrison and Megan Elliott.