Following the announcement in July, one of America’s favourite burger chains, Shake Shack, has now opened its eleventh U.K. site at south London’s Gatwick Airport, airside — a concession, which the Danny Meyer-owned brand has launched in partnership with white label travel hub hospitality specialist, TRG Concessions. It opened in the last week of October and will soon be the only U.K. location to serve Shake Shack’s breakfast, described, in 2013 by Eater New York’s Ryan Sutton as “the future of fast food breakfast.”
Shake Shack Mansion House in the City of London has been serving Shake Shack’s breakfast, somewhat under the radar, but will cease doing so on the 12 November. (Curiously, there was no official announcement of the site’s breakfast offering when it was introduced.)
The breakfast menu includes three items: the sausage (patty), bacon, egg, and cheese; bacon, egg, and cheese; and simply the egg and cheese — all are served on a toasted Martin’s potato roll. In other words, Shake Shack has chosen a model that works for McDonald’s, just as it has with hamburgers.
Gatwick marks the first of a series of planned openings in partnership with TRG Concessions at travel hubs across the U.K. “TRG Concessions...will be looking to open a number of locations across the UK,” a statement confirmed.
“We are very excited to be working with a brand like Shake Shack and are looking forward to collaboratively opening our first shack at Gatwick Airport,” said Nick Ayerst, Managing Director of TRG Concessions.
TRG Concessions runs Costa coffee bars, Frankie and Benny’s diners, and Comptoir Libanais, and, less obviously perhaps, Russell Norman’s NYC-Venetian dive bar, Spuntino. It is apparently both a financial fillip and a brand coup for the company, such is Shake Shack’s commercial clout and also cult-like international following.
“We are incredibly proud to be a part of the U.K.’s thriving food scene and are continually humbled by the support of our U.K. fanbase,” said Michael Kark, Shake Shack’s Chief Global Licensing Officer. “We look forward to expanding upon that connection in U.K. airports.”
There are two main reasons why Shake Shack’s opening in a London airport had always been a matter of when, not if: Firstly, it has been a huge success across American travel hubs, in the likes of JFK, New York City’s biggest airport, while, secondly, London — indeed the U.K. more widely — has a desperate record for food and drink options in its main travel hubs.
Whether any breakfast enthusiasts will pay to get through security after 12 November is another thing entirely.