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article imageShake Shack restaurants plan to make it everywhere

By Nathan Salant     Aug 16, 2014 in Food
New York City - Having already made it in New York and a dozen other places, the Shake Shack restaurant chain is said to be planning an initial public offering of its stock.
The 10-year-old chain, which grew from a single hotdog cart in a Manhattan park to an international company with $20 million in annual earnings, has been conferring with investment banks about the timing of such an offering, according to the Reuters news service.
Officials from Shake Shack and its majority owner, Union Square Hospitality Group LLC of New York, declined to comment on the IPO report, Reuters said.
But sources told Reuters that the restaurant chain, which already owns and operates locations in six U.S. states and eight foreign countries, could begin selling stock as early as the end of this year.
The sources asked not to be identified because company deliberations are a private matter, Reuters said.
Shake Shack sells a specialty burger, the Shackburger, which has developed a nearly cult following, hot dogs and shakes.
Industry observers say the market appears to have a good appetite for casual dining restaurants, given that El Pollo Loco, Zoe's Kitchen and Papa Murphy's have already had successful IPOs this year, Reuters said.
Union Square Hospitality Group was founded in 1985 by noted restaurateur Danny Meyer, who runs a number of New York restaurants including Gramercy Tavern, Union Square Cafe and Blue Smoke.
A private equity company, Leonard Green & Partners LP, acquired 39.5 percent of Union Square Hospitality in 2012 at an undisclosed price, Reuters said.
Shake Shack's U.S. locations are in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Florida, Massachusetts and Washington, D.C., and its international locations include London, Istanbul, Moscow and Dubai.
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