Shake Shack Prepares to Invade London

Fast-casual restaurant chains are exploding in popularity, and Shake Shack has risen to become one of the most recent successes combining the fresh ingredients and trendiness of the fast-casual restaurant with the reinvigorated popularity of the gourmet burger chain. Now Shake Shack is preparing to open its 19th location, 3,500 miles east of where it started.

Shake Shack opened its first location in downtown Manhattan less than a decade ago, and their new location in London shows just how far the chain has gone in a short period of time. Shake Shack owner Danny Meyer recently confirmed in a press release that Shake Shack will open a London location in mid-2013 in the London neighborhood of Covent Garden inside the historic Market Building.

Shake Shack has actually opened two overseas locations already in the Persian Gulf, but local operators there handle most of the brand’s logistics. Therefore the world will be watching the new London location to see whether Meyer will be able to maintain consistent quality across the globe and replicate his success in the United States.

“For years an enormous number of friends in London have asked us when we would bring our first restaurant to their home,” Meyer said in the press release. “We’ve looked high and wide for just the right time and spot, and at last we’ve found it. We’re positively in love with London’s thriving food culture, and are humbled and excited to bring Shake Shack to the UK.”

Similar restaurants like Chipotle and Five Guys have been very successful since expanding into London, and Shake Shack is expecting no less. The burger and fries chain should fit into the UK’s food scene with ease, especially since McDonald’s, Subway and Starbucks have all revealed plans to open hundreds of new stores in the UK over the next few years. At this rate, Shake Shack of growth we’re expecting Shake Shack to become a global brand sooner rather than later.

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Customers Receive Lifetime Restaurant Ban for Eating too Much

A Mongolian all-you-can-eat buffet in London recently banned two of its customers for eating too much food. The restaurant is called Gobi, and advertises a buffet deal for 20 pounds (roughly $20) with the promise of “The finest meats, seafood and fresh vegetable” stir-fried for you “as many times as you wish”.

However this advertising slogan did not apply to George Dalmon, 26, and Andy Miles, 25, who were banned from Gobi after the manager called the duo “a couple of pigs” according to the British press. Dalmon and Miles were regulars at Gobi, and regularly ate approximately five bowls of stir-fry each every time they dined.

“Basically they just come in and pig out,” said the manager who asked not to be publicly identified. “We have put up with them for two years but I’ve had enough.”

According to the manager, in two years neither of the customers tipped their waiters of purchased anything on the menu aside from water and the buffet. The manager claims that banning these customers is based on the restaurant’s livelihood as a business. “We are not a charity, we’re a business. It’s our restaurant and we can tell people not to come back if we don’t want them to.”

Gobi is not unprecedented in its refusal to serve certain customers. A new website called collects complaints from small businesses about customers or other businesses that abuse their services, to provide them with rights and act as a warning to other businesses that may have dealt with the same consumers.

Dalmon and Miles feel they have done nothing wrong and believe that Gobi should not have the authority to kick them out. According to Dalmon, “They’ve only got small bowls and you can’t get enough in there so we always go back for more.”

While it’s hard to confirm or deny the manager’s or the customers’ version of events, it is not unusual to hold back at tipping at a buffet-style restaurant, where the waiter does not perform any direct service to the customers. The larger problem here seems to be the restaurants advertising slogan which tells customers can eat stir-fry “as many times as you wish.” Perhaps gobi would be better off changing it to “stir-fried for you, up to four bowls and no more than that.”

DailyFoodtoEat is the official blog of FoodtoEat, a sustainable online food ordering and concierge catering service featuring your favorite restaurants, food trucks and caterers. Check out the deliciousness here:


London Assembly Seeks to Ban McDonald’s and Coca Cola at the Onset of the Olympics

McDonald’s is poised to open its new location in London, set to be the largest location in the world with a staff of 500 and seating for 1,500 people. This move is in conjunction with its longtime sponsorship of the Olympics, and the location will be dismantled after the conclusion of the Olympic Games. However, opponents of McDonald’s and fellow Olympic sponsor Coca Cola are calling for a ban of these brands at 2012’s Olympic Games.

Less than a month before the Olympics begin, the London Assembly has voted to call for a ban on both sponsors. They feel that because the Olympics represent the world’s best athletes, two companies that contribute to obesity and provide high-calorie food should not be the event’s primary sponsors. The London Assembly is an elected group of officials that monitors the activities of the Mayor of London and may amend the mayor’s annual budget. The Assembly urges the International Olympic Committee to adopt strict criteria in choosing sponsors of the Games, excluding companies that contribute to poor health like McDonald’s and Coca Cola.

Coca Cola however is the Olympic Games’ longest-running sponsor, supporting the event since 1928. McDonald’s has also sponsored the Olympic Games since 1976, and the two companies have developed a mutually beneficial relationship with the athletic event. These sponsors are crucial to the continued success of the Olympic Games, which relies on these commercial partnerships to continue. In fact, sponsors account for over 40% of Olympic revenues, and McDonald’s and Coca Cola have been two of the largest contributors for many years.

Though UK doctors claims that the Olympic sponsorships of these two companies sends the wrong message in a country facing high obesity rates, their sponsorship is necessary for the continuation of the Olympic Games. According to McDonald’s UK’s chief executive however, some of these accusations are unfounded given the company’s recent attempts to improve the nutritional content of their menu. “We do offer a breadth of menu. You can see on the menu here we have grilled chicken wraps, we have salads, fruit smoothies as well as the more indulgent recipes that people know and love.”

DailyFoodtoEat is the official blog of FoodtoEat, a sustainable online food ordering and concierge catering service featuring your favorite restaurants, food trucks and caterers. Check out the deliciousness here: