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New Shake Shack Shake Nods to the Cannabis Crowd

Is the new Wake&Shake a riff on the stoner term "wake-and-bake"?

Morning can mean different wakeup times for different people and Shake Shack  (SHAK) - Get Shake Shack, Inc. Class A Report alludes to how marijuana enthusiasts may not get up at the crack of dawn with the name of one of its new shakes.

The New York City-based burger and frozen custard joint started off the year by releasing two new shake flavors. The Chocolate Pie Shake is a combination of frozen chocolate custard, croissant crumble and ganache toasted oat pie from Four & Twenty Blackbirds while the Wake&Shake is a vanilla custard-based concoction mixed with Red Bay coffee, maple syrup, and orange zest.

While not directly referencing marijuana, the name "Wake And Shake" can be seen as a riff on the cannabis community's term "wake and bake" — smoking marijuana first thing in the morning.  The two shakes, which replace seasonal offerings Sugar Plum Fairy Shake and Christmas Cookie Shake, will be available throughout the spring and on the annual marijuana celebration day of April 20.

The Public Is Having It

The new releases were first announced by Candy Hunting on Instagram and was immediately met with excitement online — some YouTube food bloggers have already been reviewing the different shakes online.

"If I were a betting man: wake and shake will be amazing," an Instagram user under the name /rednecksnack wrote. "Chocolate pie will literally be their chocolate shake remarketed as something new for the millionth time."

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Known for slow cooking methods and locally-sourced ingredients, Shake Shack went public through an IPO in 2015 and has been moving to expand beyond its initial market — nearly half of its 250 locations are in its home state of New York. 

Lower Shares But Big Plans

While the burger company does have some locations in California and other western states, it is still considered to be the East Coast competitor of the In-N-Out burger. The Baldwin Park, California-based company has chosen a different strategy by not going public and staying somewhat local with locations limited to California, Nevada, Arizona, Utah, Texas and Oregon.

While its shares are down more than 25% in the last six months, Shake Shack has been on a rapid expansion plan — in December, CEO Randy Garutti announced plans to open 45-50 restaurants in the U.S. and 20-25 units outside the country in 2022.

As the pandemic brought with it demand for faster pick-up and delivery options, the company has also recently experimented with restaurants only offering drive-thru. In the last reported earnings call, Shake Shack reported revenue growth of 34% to $203.3 million in the fourth quarter compared to $151.4 million in the same period in 2019.

"One of the exciting things we did this quarter, for the first time ever, we launched and opened our first ever Shake Shack drive-thru, one in Minnesota and one in Lee's Summit in Missouri, and this has been a game-changer for us," Garutti said at the time. "We're going to open up to 10 of those this year and we're going to continue to drive into different formats."