Danny Meyer is a legend in the culinary world.
The founder of Shake Shack, the fast-casual burger maker, was just 27-years old when he opened his first restaurant, Union Square Cafe in Manhattan.
UBS recently hosted a lunch with Meyer to discuss his perspective on several trends in the hyper-competitive fast-casual industry.
Shake Shack is one of the industry’s success stories, with a market cap of around $840 million. It added 30 new locations in 2016.
According to a note out to clients penned by analysts Dennis Geiger and Lauren Silberman, Meyer outlined the three secrets to succeed in the crowded fast-casual industry.
“With heightened fast casual competition showing no signs of easing anytime soon, Meyer noted culture, taste, and ability to create a ‘tribe’ as three key factors to help identify winners,” the bank said.
“Culture was highlighted as the most important factor, addressing employees, customers, the community, etc,” the note added.
According to Meyer, firms that establish a tribe-like community around their brand, in which customers feel like they belong, are the best positioned for success.