Bid farewell to the good old days when you could inhale a Shake Shack 'Shroom Burger with a side of fries and a Concrete without burdening yourself with the knowledge that 1,780 calories were amassing a stubborn rebel army on your ass. Until recently, Shake Shack had been exempt from a Health Department regulation requiring chain restaurants in NYC to prominently display their calorie info. But with the 15th Shake Shack now opening in Hartford Connecticut, Shake Shack has passed the DOH threshold, and a rude awakening looms.
This information hasn't exactly been top secret—it's on Shake Shack's website and we shared the fattening news with the World Wide Web last year. But now it's staring you right in your fat face when you're inside Shake Shack deciding what to order, which is exactly what the Health Department intended when it created the regulation.
For some consumers, the calorie info seems to have the desired healthy effect. The Wall Street Journal sent a reporter over to the Theater District Shake Shack, where the calorie info is now posted, and at least one couple changed their order after being confronted with the truth about the milkshakes—instead of two, they ordered just one to share. The shakes range from 640-930 calories, while the beloved 'Shroom Burger packs 570 calories, slightly more than a McDonald's Big Mac.
Shake Shack reps argue that while their addictive menu items aren't exactly diet food, it's not junk food either, because the quality of the ingredients far surpasses other fast food restaurants. The patties, for instance, come from Angus cattle raised without hormones or antibiotics. And that goddamn 'Shroom burger is like a balled up cloud plucked from Heaven by Danny Meyer himself, then lovingly rolled in cheese and meticulously fried to a crispy golden brown by congregations of angels wearing hair nets.
"We try to move the conversation toward premium ingredients and away from calories," Shake Shack CEO Randy Garutti tells the Journal. We're right there with you, Garutti.