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What makes Shake Shack and Blue Bottle popular in Korea?

Shake Shack

When American franchises Shake Shack and Blue Bottle first opened their first stores in Korea in 2016 and 2019, respectively, enthusiastic visitors formed long queues, waiting three to four hours to try new burger meals and coffee drinks.

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Opinions were divided over such phenomenon as some called it “absurd” and others “interesting.”

Though Shake Shack and Blue Bottle do have some unique menu items, the main selling point seems to be the customer experience.

According to SPC Group, operator of American fast food chain Shake Shack in Korea, the franchise pioneered the new category of “fine casual” in the burger market here.

“Fine casual is an experience of both fine and casual dining that we provide at Shake Shack restaurants in Korea. We provide fresh experiences to our customers by offering a number of unique menu items at each restaurant and offer burger meals made in collaboration with famous chefs here. It has been three years since we opened our first restaurant here and we still have many customers visiting our shops. This is because we make top quality burgers using fresh ingredients,” a SPC official said.

“Also, we can say that our customers are making the trend. They can go to other burger shops but they come to Shake Shack because this is where popular people hang out and they want to be part of it,” a SPC official added.

Blue Bottle also focuses on providing a differentiated customer experience for those who visit their stores.

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“Our management philosophy is to keep the three promises to our customer. One, make good coffee. Two, make our shops a joyful place. Three, welcome customers and provide them the best quality service. If we do not treat our customers with sincerity, we could lose them at any time,” a Blue Bottle Korea official said.

(Source: Korea Times)