SSI to open first Shake Shack burger joint in PHL in 2019

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(Source: Business Mirror| July 18, 2018)

Retailer SSI Group Inc. on Wednesday said it is bringing Shake Shack burger joint to the Philippines, as the company digs deeper into the restaurant business.

The company said it entered a development and license agreement with US firm Shake Shack Inc. to open its burger joints in the Philippines, opening its first store by next year. The launch will mark Shake Shack’s first entry into Southeast Asia.

The brand is known for its roadside burger joint that offers Angus beef burgers, chicken sandwiches and Vienna beef hot dogs, craft beer and wine, among others. Shake Shack has a cult following overseas as it claims to use only real, premium ingredients on its meals and what it called “caring hiring practices.”

“Shake Shack is proud to partner with the SSI Group, known for its retail expertise and culture of hospitality, to bring Shake Shack to the Philippines,” Michael Kark, Shake Shack’s vice president for global licensing, said.

“Manila is an incredible city; its heart beats with a distinct warmth and hospitality. We are excited to begin the search for our first site in Metro Manila and look forward to becoming part of this community,” he said.

“It has been a mission of the SSI Group to provide complete lifestyle offerings through global partnerships that cater to the eclectic tastes of Filipino consumers. We are excited to bring Shake Shack, one of the world’s best burger joints, to Manila’s young and vibrant consumer scene. We believe that Filipinos will embrace the unique experience and its mission to Stand for Something Good,” SSI President Anton T. Huang said.

The two firms said they intend to work with local producers to create a one-of-a-kind burger joint for the Manila community.

The local menu will feature the burger joint’s signature items including its burgers, hot dogs, classic crinkle-cut fries, beer, wine and frozen custard ice cream.

Since the original burger joint opened in 2004 in Madison Square Park in New York, the company has expanded to more than 170 locations in the US and more than 60 international locations including London, Hong Kong, Istanbul, Dubai, Tokyo, Moscow, Seoul, among others.

SSI, which stands for Stores Specialists Inc., has been expanding its restaurants business after opening SaladStop in 2015.

The company has been shutting down a number of its stores, mainly of clothing items and other luxury goods.

As of the first quarter of the year, the company’s gross selling space fell by 7 percent to 126,575 square meters from the previous year’s 136,665 square meters.

Net income for the three-month period fell to P133 million from the previous year’s P135 million.

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