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Wingstop & Shake Shack Continue Growing Their Reach 

by 
Shira Petrack
 on 
April 22, 2024
Wingstop & Shake Shack Continue Growing Their Reach 

Wingstop and Shake Shack are on a roll. We dove into recent location intelligence data to understand what is driving success at these two dining leaders. 

Key Insights: 

  • Wingstop and Shake Shack are consistently outperforming the Fast Casual segment, with some of the visit increases driven by the chains’ aggressive expansion. 
  • Visits to Wingstop and Shake Shack tend to be more leisurely than visits to the wider Fast Casual segments, which may be contributing to the chains’ strong performances. 

Wingstop and Shake Shack Stay Ahead of the Curve 

Texas-based Wingstop and New York-based Shake Shack are growing fast. Over the past twelve months, both chains outperformed the fast casual segment and posted impressive traffic increases – in March 2024, visits to Wingstop and Shake Shack were up 25.6% and 32.6%, respectively, compared to March 2023. 

Some of the visit strength is likely driven by the chains’ recent expansion. Last year, Wingstop opened around 200 of its almost 2000 U.S. locations, while Shake Shack opened around 40 new restaurants domestically for a total of more than 300 locations in December 2023. 

Wingstop & Shake Shack Diners Seek Leisurely Dining Experience  

A rapidly expanding footprint is not the only factor driving success for these fast casual leaders. Location intelligence suggests that both chains attract visitors looking for a more leisurely dining experience, which could be helping Wingstop and Shake Shack stay ahead of the competition. 

Compared to the average fast-casual dining venue, Wingstop and Shake Shack receive fewer visits during the lunch rush (12:00 to 2:59 PM) when diners are looking for a quick bite to eat before returning to work. Instead, the two chains attract a larger share of visits in the evening hours (between 7:00 and 9:59 PM) – when guests tend to have more time to savor their meals. Both chains also receive a relatively sizable portion of their visits on weekends, when patrons have more time to linger on premises. 

And the data indicates that Shake Shack and Wingstop visitors do indeed linger longer than the average fast casual patron: Over half of visits to Wingstop and almost two-thirds of Shake Shack visits last longer than 15 minutes, compared to just 48.2% of visits lasting 15+ minutes for the wider fast casual segment.

It seems, then, that consumers are not just visiting Shake Shack or Wingstop for a burger and shake combo or a platter of steaming wings. The data suggests that many guests are also visiting these chains during more leisurely times when they can focus on the dining experience and take in the chains’ atmosphere.

As the companies continue to expand into new markets and deepen their reach in existing ones, the willingness of consumers to dedicate evenings and weekends to eating at Shake Shack and Wingstop bodes well for these chains in 2024 – and beyond. 

For more data-driven dining insights, visit placer.ai/blog

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