Shake Shack Makes Up For Gift Card Confusion, Keeps The Burgers Coming

Steve’s boss gave him a $250 gift card to restaurants owned by the Union Square Hospitality Group, a company that operates a number of four-star restaurants in New York City, and… the corporate parent of Shake Shack. He happily bought burgers with it for a while, until one terrible day when his card was rejected. He couldn’t use the remaining $80 at Shake Shack, he was told. He was sad. He sent a quick e-mail. Then he got on with his life.

I’m a huge fan of Shake Shack burgers – it’s a pretty quickly growing chain in the north east. I like to go sorta frequently, despite the infamously long lines for what’s called the ‘best burger in America’.

My old boss gave me a $250 gift card for Union Square Hospitality Group (USHG), the owners of the Shake Shack chain. You could use this giftcard at any of their four star restaurants – or Shake Shack. I had used it once a month or so over the course of a year, until earlier this month, when it was rejected outright – despite having something like $80 left on the card.

The reason for this was that they had switched to a new gift card system at the beginning of the month, leaving me and this $$ out in the cold. They offered me my meal free and said that I could use that USHG card for a 15% discount, but that I was essentially out of luck with the rest of that balance.

I was quite upset and shot off an email and a tweet to Shake Shack, not expecting any response. I figured, I’d be paying for my burgers from now on without my gift card. To be honest, I was still able to use this gift card at other USHG restaurants and expected that I’d be ringing up the balance of the card with a big meal at one of the other restaurants, begrudgingly.

However, despite a wait of a few days, they responded very kindly, apologizing for the mixup and instead, making good by not only sending me a brand new Shake Shack gift card but also a t-shirt to make up for the mixup.

In a world where fast food is often equated with spitting on burgers and awful service, I have to say, I am very impressed. Not only is their food basically thebomb.com but their attention to issues is second to none.

Keep me posted if y’all have any questions – I’d love to talk a bit more about what happened!

Comments

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  1. Blueskylaw says:

    If only BIG business could respond so quickly and with such satisfaction.
    Damn, does that burger look good right about now.

  2. JMK from CT says:

    Obvioulsy its the OPS fault for….umm…a new card AND a T-Shirt? Dayum! Two thumbs up for Shake Shack!

  3. CrazyEyed says:

    Got a new gift card and was able to still keep the old one? Kudos to the OP and Union Square Hospitality Group for getting and giving a good experience.

    Never heard of Shake Shack before today. Any company that goes above and beyond like that to appease it’s customers deserves my busines.

    • Supes says:

      If you’re ever in NYC, it’s definitely worth a trip. Don’t let the long lines deter you (it’s pretty bad at every location). Very delicious burgers. They’ve only been around for about 10(or so?) years, but expanding quickly, and deservedly so.

      • chiieddy says:

        They’re also in CT (and FL and DC). We went to the one in Westport on our way to visit my family in NJ. So gooood. They just announced they’re opening in Chestnut Hill, MA too.

  4. Cat says:

    Shake Shack.
    It’s fried, grilled, doused in fats and none of it is organic, grass-fed, free range. The beef has been stuffed with corn and antibiotics. Any moron who has bothered to look into “healthy eating” knows that Shake Shack along with most other restaurants and nearly all “fast food” is garbage. So yeah, Shake Shack is a blight on society, a cancer that is spreading and should be boycotted by anyone who wants to be healthy.

    • nicless says:

      Well, thank God they do business in America. Nobody here does that.

    • CrazyEyed says:

      If you are eating at Shake Shack, obviously weight and cholesterol are the least of your concerns. Eating one unhealthy meal on the grand scale of things will have little to no impact on your overall well-being if you are a person who eats healthy 89 of the 90 times in a month. There’s nothing wrong with a once a month indulgence as the OP describes.

    • raydee wandered off on a tangent and got lost says:

      America doesn’t want to be healthy.

      America wants to load up on fake food and preservatives in the hopes that we will through them be preserved.

      Or something like that.

      I now want jam.

    • Bob says:

      Riiiiight, because no one in society is capable of exercising any self control, huh? People who want to be healthy and eat right and work out can’t, on occasion, just want to splurge on a burger, huh? Or that same person might not want to, on a rare occasion, say the heck with it and splurge on a 32 oz soda, huh? Nope, can’t have that. Can’t even let someone make that choice on their own. People left to their own devices will eat Shake Shack 3 meals a day, every day. Better get rid of ‘em now. Burn them all!

    • Stickdude says:

      Cat, I see right through that ruse…

      You’re just trying to shorten the lines so you don’t have to wait as long.

    • Taylor Rolyat says:

      sarc alert

    • RedOryx says:

      Apparently a few people here missed yesterday’s McDonalds post.

      • Taylor Rolyat says:

        So now I have to dislike the superior awesomness that is the Shake Shack burger because of some high fallutin’ arrogant foodie nonsense about the cows supposedly not eating grass? It either tastes good or it doesn’t and the Shake Shack burger is better than any other burger in the city. If you don’t eat with tasty burgers, then don’t comment on this page.

        • RedOryx says:

          Thank you for proving my point.

          Cat’s post is almost entirely cut-and-paste from a comment somebody made regarding McDonalds food. Only Cat’s has the added benefit of snark behind it, which a few people seemed to have missed.

        • Duke_Newcombe-Making children and adults as fat as pigs says:

          I’ll see your Shake Shack, and raise you a J.G. Melon. Game. Set. Match.

      • Duke_Newcombe-Making children and adults as fat as pigs says:

        …and are keeping it alive forever.

      • Bob says:

        Uh huh, because some of us have lives and don’t live and breathe off of every single blog post, day in and day out. If someone is secretly referencing a blog post from yesterday for the amusement of a select few, fine. I didn’t realize this is now the “cool kids with the inside jokes” forum.

    • Difdi says:

      I saw an article today that noted a correlation between people hung up on healthy eating and people who are jerks. Apparently it’s accurate.

    • kierzandax says:

      “100% all-natural Angus beef. No hormones and no antibiotics ever.”

      Their blend is made by Pat LaFrieda Meat Purveyors in New York.

      You’re a twatwaffle with a Tofu anus.

  5. RandomHookup says:

    Seems to be the least they could do. Gift cards are like cash, covered by a lot of state consumer protection laws and a company can’t just stop accepting it because they changed things on their side.

  6. MikeTastic says:

    I love Shake Shack. I was with the OP right up until this…

    “Not only is their food basically thebomb.com…”

    thebomb.com? Unforgivable.

  7. dolemite says:

    That burger…is calling out to me.

  8. Awesome McAwesomeness says:

    Steve lost me at his use of thebomb.com. Is he by chance a nine-year-old, b/c no one cool actually says that anymore, and adults should never ever say it, period.

  9. ColoradoShark says:

    I blame the OP’s boss for buying the gift card at Sears.

  10. Vox Republica says:

    Shake Shack offers premium food at fairly premium prices for being little more than a burger stand with A+ real estate—but oh my sweet griddled god do you get what you pay for. Everybody working there is at least superficially friendly and competent, and the food… oh, the food…

  11. djdanska says:

    I went to shake shack cause they offered vienna beef hot dogs in nyc. Got the chicago dog and was extremely dissapointed. WAAAAY overpriced. I can get a chicago hot dog, fries and a pepsi back home in chicago for as low as $3.00, There? a LOT more.
    Not going back.

  12. ferozadh says:

    Shake Shack is awesome. It’s like a human zoo that I get to walk by everyday to and from work.

  13. ZenListener says:

    I am taking this burger very seriously.

  14. crackblind says:

    Actually Union Square Hospitality Group (USHG) is famous for this kind of thing. They also own Blue Smoke, Union Square Cafe & Gramercy Tavern. Their restaurants are usually among the top rated for the food and they are almost always number one in NYC for service (particularly Gramercy). Danny Meyer, the head of USHG, is a real stickler for pushing high quality service from his staff.

    Gramercy Tavern tends to be our go to special occasion restaurant. We can only afford to go to the main room once or twice a year. The front room is much more reasonable so we eat there a few times more. A few years back, we had a horrendous incident with a waitress in the front room and emailed in a complaint to which we got a sincere apology and that was it. However the next time we went to the main room with a reservation, we were given several free glasses of wine and Champagne. Nothing was said but they had to have had our information in their system and when it popped up, they made more than good on the complaint.

    Also, tangentially, they are incredibly generous supporters to local public schools. Each of the different restaurants in the group have donated a lot to a number of schools in the city.

    No, I don’t work for them or have any affiliation at all, just am glad to see USHG get some good press for acting no where near out of the ordinary for them. All of their places are highly recommended (though tend to be on the pricey side).

    • Vox Republica says:

      I’ve been lucky enough to have the tasting menu at Gramercy Tavern once. Wow. Simply wow. The staff were attentive and wonderful, the dining room itself was charming, and the food… oh, the food… I still fantasize about those rabbit dumplings.

  15. crackblind says:

    Actually Union Square Hospitality Group (USHG) is famous for this kind of thing. They also own Blue Smoke, Union Square Cafe & Gramercy Tavern. Their restaurants are usually among the top rated for the food and they are almost always number one in NYC for service (particularly Gramercy). Danny Meyer, the head of USHG, is a real stickler for pushing high quality service from his staff.

    Gramercy Tavern tends to be our go to special occasion restaurant. We can only afford to go to the main room once or twice a year. The front room is much more reasonable so we eat there a few times more. A few years back, we had a horrendous incident with a waitress in the front room and emailed in a complaint to which we got a sincere apology and that was it. However the next time we went to the main room with a reservation, we were given several free glasses of wine and Champagne. Nothing was said but they had to have had our information in their system and when it popped up, they made more than good on the complaint.

    Also, tangentially, they are incredibly generous supporters to local public schools. Each of the different restaurants in the group have donated a lot to a number of schools in the city.

    No, I don’t work for them or have any affiliation at all, just am glad to see USHG get some good press for acting no where near out of the ordinary for them. All of their places are highly recommended (though tend to be on the pricey side).