Even though we’re seemingly living in a golden era of Chicken Fries and avocado-topped fast-food delicacies, analysts now say there’s little room left for chains to grow, in the U.S. at least. Because the news that we’ve maybe hit peak hamburger coincides with word of renewed fast-food-worker protests and Burger King’s moving-to-Canada announcement, it’s all the more interesting that Shake Shack’s rumored IPO has been valued as high as $1 billion.
Triumphant return of its lowbrow, frozen crinkle-cut fries aside, Danny Meyer’s ever-expanding hamburger chain isn’t really fast food, though, or at least fast food as we know it, even as it continues to siphon away customers from from much bigger chains. Shake Shack now counts 50 locations worldwide, and it seems as if a new one opens every other week. Its U.S. sales totaled $62.3 million last year, so a big more forward seems like a logical next step, and a forthcoming IPO would no doubt give Shake Shack its most generous kickstart yet toward total world domination, not to mention a lot more Shack Burgers. Perhaps those limited-edition black-truffle-topped burgers were just a sign of things to come.