Here are three international and local headlines involving the humble sandwich:
- Shake Shack's IPO soared above expectations, much to the approval of their fans. A company that is committed to using clean ingredients, and who are harbingers for the 'fast slow food' trend that we hope sticks around. There have been controversies, though, about the ability of any large conglomerate to execute in a solicitous manner the idea of sustainability. "Shake Shack officially opened in 2004 and now operates 63 restaurants, with 31 company-operated restaurants—including seven in Manhattan—and five domestic licensed Shake Shacks in the U.S. The rest are internationally licensed, including 20 in the Middle East", according to its prospectus.
- Juxtaposing, McDonald's CEO has been ousted, after nearly 25 years in the company. McDonald’s President and CEO Don Thompson, who led to five quarters of decline in a row, and its worst monthly sales in over 10 years, also presided while the chain suffered a tainted meat scandal in China, and who similarly oversaw one public relations disaster after another with striking fast-food workers, was stepped down this month.
- Hooters and Double D's (a new burger outlet from Maximal Concepts) are having it out, both attempting to use sex appeal for the same end goal–to sell burgers. Claiming aggressive expansion in Asia, the questionable American style bar-and-restaurant has seemingly been beaten to the game by one of Hong Kong's own. Maximal has been known for a good burger and even more decent concepts around Hong Kong, and have just launched their new site right in the middle of Central. Whether this campaign will smear them or soar them into public burger gloating glory is yet to be seen.
The battle of burgers seems to indicate a need for traditional companies, who until this point have made millions of dollars of profit cutting corners and serving unhealthy, cookie cutter meals, are seemingly in dire need for iteration. The threat of Shake Shack has McDonalds on the run, as the company has made deliberate slowness into a corporate virtue, knowing that becoming mainstream too quickly could hurt its underdog charm; signs in executives' offices say, "The bigger we get, the smaller we need to act." Even with McDonald's attempts to appeal to a new market, the positive take away is that businesses are now required to have, or at least need to be seen to be having, a core business model that values the planet, the consumer and the integrity of the product. Great news!
Image via http://thethousands.com.au/sydney/eat-drink/mcdonald-s-create-your-taste#1
To bring it back to Hong Kong, the competition this city is known for ignites to new levels, as three burger restaurants open within 1km of one another. Three outlets, by three of Hong Kong's most prominent restaurant groups, are presently serving, or will be serving (by end of this week) burgers, smack bang in the middle of Central.