Food & Drink

“I’m getting paid to do this”: Shake Shack devotees on how long they waited for a burger—and why

By Rebecca Tucker| Photography by Giordano Ciampini

On Wednesday, burger fanatics lined up around the block (and down the street) from Momofuku Daishō, where Shake Shack popped up for one afternoon only. The New York-based mini-empire was serving its signature ShackBurgers and crinkle-cut fries, with $1 from every purchase going to the SickKids Foundation. It was a first-come, first-served scenario, meaning burger hopefuls lined up as early as 9:30 a.m.—three hours before the pop-up opened—to sink their teeth into a limited-time-only patty with lettuce, tomato, cheese and ShackSauce. We asked a few people what time they showed up, and why.

Jason Chan

Office worker
Arrived at: 9:30 (first in line) “I was surprised that when I showed up there weren’t more people in line. I’ve never had Shake Shack before, but I’ve heard very good things.”    

Austin Luc, Kevin Wong, Sam Prima, Jensen Wong

All culinary students
Arrived at: 9:30 Kevin: “I went to Vegas once with my parents. They had Shake Shack there, but there was a gas leak, so we couldn’t try it.”    

Gavin Hertogh

Arrived at: 10 a.m. “I will not be eating a burger. I’m actually holding a spot in line for someone. I’m getting paid to do this.”    

Emily Hunter, Sean Hunter, Mark Hunter

Arrived at: 10:30 Emily: “We’ve had Shake Shack, in New York. I really like their burgers.”    

Sandra Latcham

Food industry worker
Arrived at: 10:50 a.m. “I’ve had Shake Shack in Boston, New York and Vegas. I actually own shares in the company. I love burgers!"    

Tenika Bennett, Fiona Laviolette

Virgin Mobile employees
Arrived at: “Almost 11 a.m.” Fiona: “We have the best boss in the world. They know we’re here—they let us come!" Tenika: “I like the novelty of this. They’re not going to be here again, so you might as well do it.”    

Louise Mangalino

Office worker and burger blogger
Arrived at: 11 a.m. “I’ve never had Shake Shack before. Everyone tells me how amazing it is.”    

Katie Dargie

Bank worker
Arrived at: 11:50 a.m. “I’m on my lunch break. I’m worried I’m not going to get a burger, and I wonder how quickly this line is going to go, because I do have a meeting to get to.”


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