Shake Shack in China, 3D Baking and A&W Goes Back to its ‘Root’

We start the week off with a serving of MRM’s Daily Bite featuring more international expansion for Shake Shack, a renovated gas station turned restaurant and a partnership designed to reshape the culinary landscape via 3D technology.

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Shake Shack Shanghai Surprise

After announcing in July that the first-ever Hong Kong location will open in 2018, plans are now underway for Shake Shack Inc. and its licensee, Maxim’s Caterers Limited, to open the first restaurant in mainland China by 2019.

Maxim’s Caterers Limited has more than 60 years of experience in food and retail as a diversified operator of full-service and quick-service restaurants, bakeries, and coffee shops in Asia. Shake Shack is partnering with Maxim’s Caterers Limited to open 25 total Shacks in Shanghai and East China through 2028.

“There’s incredible opportunity in China and I couldn’t think of a better place to begin this chapter of our story than Shanghai, a city that understands great brands, appreciates premium ingredients, and ultimately loves food,” said Randy Garutti, CEO of Shake Shack. “The city’s streets overflow with vibrant flavors and energy every day and we can’t wait to join Shanghai’s thriving food community.”

“I was first introduced to Chairman and Managing Director Michael Wu and Maxim’s in 2014, and as our relationship grew I became confident that they were the ideal partner to lead our expansion into Shanghai, a market that is key to the growth of our global brand,” said Michael Kark, Vice President of Shake Shack Global Licensing. “I couldn’t be more proud to take this first step in our journey to bring Shake Shack from NYC to Shanghai.”

The menu will feature Shake Shack’s signature items and, in keeping with its mission to Stand For Something Good®, Shake Shack intends to work with local purveyors and producers to create a one-of-a-kind Shack for the Shanghai community.

“We are extremely excited to partner with Shake Shack and introduce the brand to Shanghai and East China, following the announcement of taking the brand to Hong Kong,” said Michael Wu, Chairman and Managing Director, Maxim’s Caterers Limited. “Our common value of providing a quality and lively dining experience through a dynamic team fuels our passion to serve the Shanghai community that appreciates great food and style.”

GRUB Durham Debuts

Durham, North Carolina’s newest eatery, GRUB Durham, recently opened late July 2017. Nestled in the revitalized West End District of Durham, Local restaurant entrepreneurs, Wendy Woods and Stacey Poston, have brought their fourth restaurant concept to the neighborhood they have called home for the last 20 years.


It was their vision to renovate a 1950’s Pure gas station into a neighborhood watering hole with the help of local architect, Ellen Cassilly, Durham’s Gateway Construction and Atlanta-based Bunker Design Collaborative.

While the restaurant still has the industrial feel of its past, the atmosphere is very much a nod to the West End District of Durham and pays homage to its blue-collar roots. Recycled building materials can be found throughout the property, highlighting Durham’s historic tobacco warehouses, while still keeping the vibe modern and fresh. Wallpaper in the bathrooms, printed by local firm Spoonflower Designs, features images of the West End, particularly the historic Pauli Murray house, as well as nearby Duke University.

The restaurant boasts inside and outdoor dining, as well as a rooftop patio and bar with view of the Durham skyline. Woods and Poston have a wood fired grill, a luxury they have not had since their restaurant days in Atlanta, and in-house smoker where house-cured pastrami, grilled angus burgers and smoked beef brisket and pork dishes appear throughout breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Other menu highlights are fresh pastries like cinnamon rolls and donuts made in house daily, family recipes passed down for generations such as Mama’s bread and butter pickles, Lemon pound cake and Brunswick Stew and new twists on old favorites such as Deviled Egg Salad and pulled pork sandwiches made with a local Cheerwine Barbeque sauce.

A&W Restaurants Goes Back in Time

In a testament to its original craft beverage roots, freshly made root beer is now being served at all A&W restaurant locations across the globe, including 630 in the U.S. The beverage is created through a mixture of the brand’s top-secret blend of spices, real cane sugar and water to create the signature A&W taste. This summer the last U.S. restaurants pouring root beer made from a pre-mixed bag switched to mixing it fresh.

“Our commitment to serve made-fresh root beer in all of our restaurants signifies a return to our company roots, when our founders Roy Allen and Frank Wright introduced it at a parade honoring World War I veterans. This beverage has been the cornerstone of our brand identity for almost 100 years, and we are proud to once again make it in each restaurant and serve it fresh,” said Sarah Blasi, vice president of Marketing. “Consumers today clearly prefer fresh, hand-crafted food and beverages. The move to making root beer fresh in each and every one of our locations is a key part of our strategy to continuously improve the quality of everything on our menu.”

The switch to bagged concentrate was a cost- and space-saving move made back in the early 2000s by previous ownership. At the time, large kettles and paddles were required to make the beverage from scratch. The kettles took up needed space and required constant mixing from employees. A&W found a solution in a new auto-mixer, which is smaller, requires far less labor and makes root beer from scratch in much less time.

“Our root beer, like our brand, is iconic, and we want to treat our signature beverage with as much love as we can,” Blasi said. “Now that A&W’s root beer is again made fresh in-house in 100 percent of our restaurants, it can rightfully assume its position as an original, all American craft beverage.”

Culinary Goes 3D

CSM Bakery Solutions, which manufactues bakery ingredients, products and services, and 3D Systems Corporation, the originator of 3D printing and solutions, will collaborate in the development, sale, and distribution of 3D printers, products and materials for the food industry.

The global agreement allows the two industry leaders to join forces to bring innovative and creative 3D printed culinary products to the market, top photo. CSM will support the development of and have exclusive rights to utilize 3D Systems’ ChefJet Pro 3D printer for high-resolution, colorful food products for the professional culinary environment.

CSM Bakery Solutions and 3D Systems Corporation have joined forces to develop 3D printer products and materials for the food industry. Shown here is a cake decoration printed from sugar by a 3D Systems machine.

“We are very excited about what this opportunity can mean for the food industry,” said CSM’s President and CEO, Marianne Kirkegaard. “Our agreement with 3D Systems has the potential to re-shape the food industry. Across a number of industries, 3D printing has helped transform industries and there’s every reason to think the same can be true for the food industry. We are excited to partner and continue to expand capabilities and culinary opportunities with their platform.”

Vyomesh Joshi, 3D Systems President and CEO, expressed similar optimism about the agreement.

“Our extensive and versatile portfolio of materials addresses the widest range of applications and performance in 3D printing – from culinary to industrial,” he said. “As we continue to drive innovation and explore strategic partnerships with industry leaders, our partnership with CSM is a perfect fit to leverage our technology and capabilities to expand applications and materials.”

Shown here are decorations printed from sugar by a 3D Systems machine.

The partnership enables collaborative R&D, engineering, design, and printer development focused on specific sourcing, food product development and go-to-market plans. After careful analysis and extensive discussions, planning, and market research, CSM and 3D Systems have formalized this agreement and are beginning the work to bring prototypes to the market.

CSM serves more than 45,000 customers in 100-plus countries and offers a broad portfolio of  brands providing specialized ingredients (dry mixes, fillings, icings, glazes, mélange, toppings, batter, frozen dough and more) and finished products (cakes, donuts, muffins, brownies, cookies, specialty bread, viennoiserie and more). CSM’s mosaic of heritage bakery brands includes: Brill, Henry & Henry, MeisterMarken, Multifoods, and Waldkorn, among others.

Getting the Edge at Workstations

Slippery floors are a serious threat for chefs and other professionals in restaurant kitchens. To help combat the threat, Durable Corporation recently introduced the Workstation Edge, a lightweight wet area floor mat designed for spaces where water or grease may be present.

These specialty wet area mats are made with a raised surface that helps kitchen workers keep their feet dry. The open, circular design allows moisture to drain through and flow underneath while providing plenty of traction, These 3’ x 5’ mats have a 1.5” ramped, beveled edge to add extra stability and prevent workers from tripping. 

The Workstation Edge is available in a general purpose black or a grease-resistant red rubber compound. It’s lightweight allows for easy pick up and cleaning. For additional information, click here.