Shake Shack's biggest advantage has nothing to do with the food

Shake Shack is leading the charge of “better burger” chains taking over America.

Customers famously wait in long lines for its burgers. It’s reported that a single Shake Shack location is worth $US50 million. And shares are soaring on strong sales results.

The company’s customer service is what primarily sets it apart from competitors, according to Rob Brunner at Fast Company.

CEO Randy Garutti recently told workers in Boston that he wanted them to “put us out of business.”

What does he mean by that?

“Put us out of business because you are so damn generous with what you give the people who walk in this door. If there’s a kid crying, who’s going to walk over with a free cup of custard? I challenge you to put us out of business with how generous you are. Go do it. Give away free stuff,” Garutti told his staff.

The New York Times calls Shake Shack the “anti-chain chain,” saying that its dedication to quality and customer service bucked stereotypes of traditional fast food.

Shake Shack spends barely any money on marketing, focusing instead on the quality of food. This message has helped Shake Shack stay popular in an era when diners prefer Chipotle to McDonald’s.

Shake shack workersShake ShackShake Shack teaches workers to trust customers.

Shake Shack “disposed of the notion that fast food had to be precooked or even prepared quickly in favour of quality ingredients and customer experience,” QSR Magazine writes.

“Unlike the workers at most fast-food outlets, Shake Shack employees give the impression that they truly like their customers,” The Times’ Wells writes.

Shake Shack pays workers an average hourly wage of $US10.70, and it offers health benefits and paid time off.

Company executives say these policies help them attract better talent, and turnover is lower than industry averages.

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