As reported last week, the much-loved U.S. burger giant Shake Shack will launch its eighth London restaurant and its first in the City this summer. In a call with Eater, the brand’s culinary food director, Mark Rosati, revealed more details ahead of the opening, including the news that he will oversee the introduction of Shake Shack’s first breakfast menu at a U.K. site. He said they had “high hopes” and moving into the “City-proper” has been something the brand had wanted to do for a long time.
Shack Shack’s operators are nothing if not savvy; that the new site will open at 7am will come not as a surprise given the location is in the heart of one of London’s financial centres, where (during the week at least) early morning footfall is unrivalled.
So what to expect from the breakfast menu? In the way that, for example, the Shack burger imitates (and seeks to elevate) the best of fast food’s time-honoured creations, breakfast sandwiches apparently take inspiration from the likes of McDonald’s sausage and egg McMuffin. “Classics,” Rosati calls the sandwiches. In other words: If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it; just use free-range sausage meat from Jimmy’s Farm and free-range Wiltshire-cured bacon from Aubrey Allen butchers. Oh, and stick it inside the Martin’s potato bread roll that the brand has made its own (in the U.K., at least.)
The menu will debut the following items (as well as continuing to serve old and new burgers, hot dogs and milk shakes): Sausage, egg n’ cheese; bacon, egg n’ cheese; and egg n’ cheese. All three sandwiches include griddled eggs, and are topped with American cheese on the toasted bun. Eater New York restaurant critic Ryan Sutton gave the sandwiches a thumbs up in 2016, calling the morning service “the future of fast food breakfast.”
The opening of the Canon Street site will also coincide with Shake Shack’s fifth anniversary in the U.K., so Rosati said the brand “has some ideas for that.” He wasn’t willing to share details of any planned collaborations, but did say that they would be working with the award-winning illustrator Cajsa Holgersson on the designs for the facade of the new location.
As well as talking up the new morning move from Shake Shack U.K., when asked about the reported acquisition of a tenth U.K. site in Wembley’s forthcoming Boxpark development, Rosati stated it was not a done deal. “There are always lots of rumours, [Wembley] is a location we’ve had our eye on a long time, we’re always looking, but there is nothing to report on that yet. It isn’t confirmed.”
A spokesperson added: “Shake Shack are currently in negotiations and will hopefully have something to share soon. It’s a great opportunity for Shake Shack and Boxpark.”
Eater asked representatives of Boxpark why the announcement had included Shake Shack as a confirmed tenant at the new development. Their reply contradicts that from the burger giant: “[We] can confirm that Shake Shack have agreed terms for taking a unit at Boxpark’s new site in Wembley Park.”
Roger Wade, Boxpark’s CEO clarified the position, saying: “At present we have agreed terms with Shake Shack and proceeding with lease contracts. We’re looking forward to opening the biggest Boxpark to date in late 2018.”
Maybe that’s sufficient for the two separate readings of the word “confirmed.” Nonetheless, one is forced to wonder whether Shake Shack, meticulous as it is with planning a launch, does not want two messages going out at once.