Shake Shack

The Project

How An Iconic Hamburger Joint Rolled Out a Meatless Option with Mass Appeal.


The fastest-growing burger concept in the country wanted to roll out a MEATLESS burger???

The Challenge

Test new concept with consumers to ensure the product was everything leadership believed it to be – and seed the ground for an unexpected new revenue stream.

What We Found.

  • Even non-meat eaters crave a classic burger experience.
  • Vegetarians want to have the same experiences as their meat-eating counterparts, “I don’t want my friends to have to choose a different restaurant just because I don’t eat meat.”
  • Shake Shack customers have high standards for the brand – whatever they launch needs to stand apart from competitors in how it looks, how it tastes, even how it’s described on the menu.
  • Customers have strong feelings about the type of menu items Shake Shack should offer – “They’re good at burgers, shakes and fries, don’t deviate from that tri-fecta.”
  • While the winning sandwich (by taste) was the cauliflower reuban there was a huge disconnect between this menu option and the brand. While respondents loved the flavor they would never select this menu item at Shake Shack, “That’s not what I come to Shake Shack for.”


  • Due to a combination of flavor, visual appeal, texture and being “on-brand,” WMH recommended rolling out the beet burger.
  • Roll-out the new sandwich in top vegetarian markets to obtain feedback and refine the offering (LA + Austin).


Successful rollout of beet burger in test markets in 2018 resulted in nation-wide rollout (in select markets) in 2019.