Updated 3.27pm, 26.07.2019 — with comment from Shake Shack
One of America’s favourite burger chains, Shake Shack, has announced it will open its eleventh U.K. site in south London’s Gatwick Airport this autumn. MCA reports that the brand, which opened its first U.K. site in Covent Garden in 2013, will open a concession in the airport’s north terminal in October.
Shake Shack, a well-oiled corporate machine, which carefully manages its messaging, neither confirmed nor denied the opening, saying through a spokesperson that: “We are always looking for new places to open Shacks, but we cannot confirm anything at this time.”
But MCA reports that Shake Shack at Gatwick will be operated by The Restaurant Group (TRG) Concessions, a white label travel hub hospitality specialist, known principally for running the likes of Costa coffee bars, Frankie and Benny’s diners, and Comptoir Libanais, but which also last year announced a surprising collaboration with an independent, Russell Norman’s NYC-Venetian dive bar, Spuntino.
Shake Shack’s opening in a London airport had always seemed a matter of when, not if, given its success in JFK, New York City’s biggest airport, and London’s record for lamentable food and drink options in its main travel hubs. What’s more, in the U.K., Shake Shack won’t even have to compete with McDonald’s, whose wider absence from the country’s airports some stans are unable to comprehend. It’s another sign, too, that fast food 2.0 is creeping into the territory once dominated by its forebears.