Whenever an up-and-coming restaurant brand IPOs, the most important question to ask is whether the chain belongs to a true trend or simply a fad, one more flash-in-the-pan in a long line of cupcake shops, cereal cafés, and new takes on frozen yogurt. And in the case of Shake Shack, this question may be more important than ever: Not only is the chain part of a strong consumer movement that has already been booming for many years, but it is one of many chains looking to cash in on the same surge in demand. Fortunately, better burger competitors have history on their side, and there is plenty of reason to think that they are going to be around for many years to come.
Unlike cupcakes, which carved out an entirely new dining occasion based on giving adults permission to grab cupcakes on their way home from work, better burgers’ success hinges on a pastime that is about as traditional as it gets in American foodservice. Going out for burgers and fries is something consumers have been doing for decades, and better burger chains have given them a new—arguably better—way to experience a perennial favourite.