Current Issue
This Month's Print Issue

Follow Fast Company

We’ll come to you.

1 minute read

Bottom Line

Shake Shack's CEO On The Hardest Decision He's Ever Had To Make (Hint: It Has To Do With French Fries)

Randy Garutti tells us why if you're in it for the long term, unpopular decisions will always be necessary for success.

As the CEO of wildly popular burger chain Shake Shack, Randy Garutti knows not to mess with people's french fries.

And for the last nine years, at least, he didn't. But as Shake Shack sought to align its practices with ethical standpoints, Garutti had to make a touch decision—one that would not be popular.

"We've never made a more polarizing decision than the decision to go from frozen to fresh fries, but the bigger we get the smaller we need to act." Garutti says. "Even though we loved our crinkle cut fries for nine years, they were frozen and it was time to change."

Randy Garutti

Garutti says the move communicated what is important to Shake Shack's brand, even if the decision "alienated some of our biggest fans."

"There are moments when you know that decisions that you make are going to upset some customers," he says. "When we look ourselves in the mirror and know that we can be better at something, we can't ignore that feeling and we're going to go after making it better."