The day Shake Shack opened in the Philippines in early May, 2,300 burgers were sold. The first customer had been in line from 10.30pm the night before and waited over 12 hours until the doors of the Central Square, Bonifacio High Street, location opened at 11am the following morning. This was not unexpected from the New York fine- and fast-casual burger chain, for which queues have become something of a norm at its other locations around the world — from the UK and Russia to Japan and South Korea. And this is all for a taste of the world-famous “humble cheeseburger” made with quality ingredients.
“Our burgers and hot dogs are made with 100% all-natural beef (free of hormones and antibiotics) and we use non-GMO potato buns,” says Anton Huang, president of SSI Group, which is responsible for bringing the brand to the Philippines. “[The] custard is made from real sugar and milk [is sourced from] dairy farmers who’ve pledged against using artificial growth hormones,” Anton adds.
If you’re wondering how the prices in the Philippine branch compares to elsewhere, here’s some good news: this location is the third-cheapest place in the world for people to chow down on the burger chain’s food. Here, the ShackBurger is priced at ₱250 — as compared to US$5.69 (around ₱295) in the US; £5.50 (around ₱365) in the UK; and S$9.20 (around ₱350) in Singapore.
Another thing to appreciate is the brand’s local-exclusive menu — desserts and drinks available only in the Philippines. Some items have been created in partnership with popular Filipino brands, like Wildflour Café + Bakery, Bucky’s Not a Brownie, Auro Chocolate and Engkanto Brewery. There’s even a partnership with Whole Pet Kitchen for ShackBurger dog biscuits.
Don’t miss these Filipino Specials
Frozen vanilla custard ice cream blended with ube, or purple yam — hand-spun to order (₱190)
The classic lemonade with a calamansi twist (₱130, small; ₱160, large)
Shack Attack Concrete
Chocolate custard topped with Bucky’s original brownie, Auro Chocolate chunks, fudge sauce and chocolate sprinkles (₱250 for single serving; ₱350 for double serving)
Calamansi Pie Oh My Concrete
Vanilla custard with a slice of Wildflour calamansi pie (₱250, single serving; ₱350, double serving)
Uuube-by Baby Concrete
Vanilla custard with ube, coconut marshmallow, ube cookie, toasted coconut and crispy rice pinipig, topped with leche flan (₱250 for single serving; ₱350 for double serving)
ShackMeister Ale by Engkanto Brewery
Shake Shack doesn’t normally localize its beverage menu at each international outpost, but it makes an exception for Engkanto Brewery and their outstanding craft beer (₱210 for about 473ml; ₱300 for about 710ml)
This article first appeared in the July 2019 issue of Smile magazine.