After a successful test run, Shake Shack is broadening a program that gives managers a shorter workweek.

By Mike Pomranz
November 05, 2019

Shake Shack's entire existence is predicated on the idea of taking its own unique approach to the tried-and-true fast food burger chain format—whether that's sourcing better ingredients or paying employees better wages. Now, that commitment to doing things differently even extends to the workweek. After a successful test run, Shake Shack is reportedly expanding a program that lets managers work just four days a week.

Originally launched in Las Vegas, the program—which still gives managers 40 hours at their normal pay and full benefits, but spreads the time out over fewer days—was then expanded to Los Angeles, Dallas, San Antonio, and Detroit, eventually being used at about a third of Shake Shack's locations, according to Nation's Restaurant News. Though CEO Randy Garutti told the site these unconventional schedules aren't going nationwide just yet, the program will continue to be expanded. "This is not something you take lightly or rollout too quickly," he was quoted as saying. "We are cautious about it. We are excited about it. We're looking to learn."

Scott Olson/Getty Images

Shake Shack is known for treating its workers well, but it's important to note that this change to a shortened week isn't completely out of the kindness of the company's heart. The burger chain is continuing to grow its number of locations at a relatively rapid clip, and all these new positions need to be filled—preferably with the best possible candidates. Being able to offer three days off hopefully gets more people interested. "There's never been a greater need to invest in recruitment, retention and leadership development," Garutti told NRN. "The recruiting possibilities are huge."

Meanwhile, yes, managers get benefits, too. Beyond more leisure time, only working four-day weeks can save money on things like childcare. "We've dreamed of doing this for so long," Garutti was quoted as saying. Hey, who hasn't?

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