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Burgers at This Popular Chain Will Get More Expensive Soon, Executives Say

The brand has announced a higher than usual price increase at the end of the year.

The post-pandemic recovery currently underway in the quick-service industry is burdened with inflation, supply chain issues, and labor shortages—bumps in the road which have led to price increases at some of our favorite restaurant chains. At Chipotle, you'll now spend about 30 to 40 cents more on a burrito. The price of your favorite comfort food at Cracker Barrel has gone up 4%. And the menu items at Texas Roadhouse have been incrementally getting more expensive since 2020—with another increase likely to take place in October.

The latest on the list of chains where you'll now be paying more for your go-to order is Shake Shack. The beloved burger chain will be increasing its prices to offset higher costs of commodities, construction materials, and labor, according to Restaurant Business. The price change is expected to take place at the end of the year.

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Shake Shack CFO Katherine Fogertey told analysts that customers can expect to pay as much as 3% to 3.5% more for their food, and those numbers could go up even further in 2022. The new increase will be more substantial than what's usual for the chain, she added.

"This is higher than the approximately 2% menu price we have historically taken at the end of most calendar years, and we'll be evaluating the need for further price increases that might go into effect in 2022," Fogertey said.

Shake Shack has raised its prices not once, but twice in the last year. The first increase came last December, when prices went up by 2%. Then, in February, the chain increased its delivery prices by 5% via third-party apps, and then another 10% in the spring.

Shake Shack is seeing a much slower sales recovery than its bigger competitors Wendy's and McDonald's. While those mega-chains are surpassing their 2019 numbers this year, Shake Shack is still behind by 12% in the second quarter. The chain's suburban locations are gaining post-pandemic momentum (especially in Texas), but its urban restaurants, like the iconic locations in New York City and Chicago, are struggling without their core customers: office workers and tourists.

Still, if you're an urban dweller that's been missing the Shack's grub, you're in luck. The company is reopening those high-traffic locations in major cities that have been shuttered since the beginning of the pandemic, like the restaurants in Washington, D.C.'s Union Station and New York City's Grand Central Terminal.

"We expect that they're going to take some time to recover," said CEO Randy Garutti of the recently reopened Shake Shacks. "They'll probably weigh on results in the interim, but it was important to get them reopened and operating as we head into the fall and winter."

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Mura Dominko
Mura is ETNT's Executive Editor, leading the coverage of America's favorite restaurant chains, grocery stores, and viral food moments. Read more about Mura