facebook pixal

Shake Shack pledges that 50% of its leaders will be people of color by 2025

The fast-casual burger chain also vowed to achieve gender parity in its leadership ranks by 2025.
Photograph: Shutterstock

Shake Shack on Thursday laid out new targets to boost the diversity in its workforce by 2025.

Among the fast casual’s stated goals:

  • 50% of the chain’s leaders will be people of color (currently 34.7%)
  • 30% of those in the corporate office will be people of color (currently 19.6%)
  • Gender parity among chain leaders (currently 23.7% are women at the store-level and 49% at the corporate level)


Currently, more than 75% of Shake Shack’s workforce are people of color, while 58.5% of those in management are nonwhite. Women make up 53% of the chain’s total workforce.

Shake Shack said it is developing new partnerships with minority- and women-focused organizations to add to its workforce pipeline.

The New York City-based operator, which has 205 locations in 30 states and Washington, D.C., created a development program for entry-level managers called Shift Up. The program, created in partnership with the nonprofit Food Education Fund, gives selected managers training to improve their skill set and boost their confidence, Shake Shack said. The program includes classroom-based instruction, experiential learning and networking to help participants develop skills in communication, finances, leadership and more.

Three-quarters of those in the inaugural Shift Up program are women and people of color. The next session launches this summer.

Shake Shack joins a number of chains that have pledged to improve diversity and inclusion in recent months.

In March, Chipotle Mexican Grill announced that 10% of its executive compensation would be directly tied to meeting ongoing diversity and sustainability goals.

Union Square Hospitality Group, which is helmed by Shake Shack founder Danny Meyer, pledged to provide quarterly updates on its progress toward meeting its hiring goals. The operator said its goal is to have 60% of its corporate office workforce made up of people of color. Currently 76% of the workers there are white.

And McDonald’s in February said it would tie executive bonuses to the hiring of women and people from underrepresented groups, with the goal of increasing the percentage of underrepresented groups in leadership roles to 35%, from 29%, by 2025.



Want breaking news at your fingertips?

Get today’s need-to-know restaurant industry intelligence. Sign up to receive texts from Restaurant Business on news and insights that matter to your brand.


More from our partners