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This New Shake Shack in China Is Like Nothing You’ve Seen Before

Chengdu’s first Shake Shack location has gone above and beyond to localize everything from its decor to its fries

6 1
Sep 13, 2022 1 mins read

The capital of China’s Sichuan province recently welcomed its first Shake Shack outlet, and the restaurant’s localization efforts are genuinely noteworthy.


Before going into lockdown on September 1 to combat a Covid-19 outbreak, Chengdu residents flocked to the fast food outlet for its unique design, exclusive dishes, limited-edition merchandise, and — drumroll please — a 1,499 RMB (216 USD) mahjong set with green-and-white tiles emblazoned with the company’s logo.


shake shack burgers mahjong set chengdu china bamboo

A branded mahjong set by Shake Shack. Image via Weibo


This isn’t the first time Shake Shack has launched a tile set for China’s most iconic table game. In 2021, the fast food chain introduced a black-and-white mahjong set and other exclusive products to its branch in Macau.

On the food front: As Chengdu is known for its spicy cuisine, the Shake Shack joint is selling ‘Chengdu Chili Fries’ in collaboration with Michelin-starred restaurant Ma Wangzi. Sichuan flavors are also evident in one of their craft beers, the peppery ‘China White,by local brewery Wild West.


The new eatery also serves three sweet treats that can’t be found elsewhere: The ‘Be Pandastic!’ vanilla soy milkshake and two flavors — ‘Give Me the Tea’ and ‘Feeling So Bashi’— of ice cream. (‘Bashi’ means comfortable in Sichuanese.)


To give back to the community, the company is donating 5% of its profits from all sales of ‘Feeling So Bashi’ to the Chengdu Giant Panda Breeding and Research Foundation.


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Shake Shack Chengdu’s new menu items. Images via Weibo


Prior to its official opening on July 31, the Shake Shack outlet was surrounded by intricate bamboo scaffolding, an installation that took 58 metric tons and 2,760 pieces of bamboo to build and was nicknamed the ‘bamboo castle’ by Hypebeast China.

The scaffolding was intentionally built out of the natural composite material, as Chengdu boasts a rich bamboo-related history and industry. (Bamboo is also the primary foodstuff of the city’s most celebrated residents — pandas.)


shake shack

The new ‘bamboo castle’ Shake Shake outlet in Chengdu. Image via Xiaohongshu


Shake Shack Chengdu is also unique in that its interior design, which features nature-themed paneling and delicate wooden details, derives inspiration from the city’s strong teahouse culture.


And while locked down Chengdu residents are currently unable to enjoy the eatery’s unique environ, netizens have expressed much joy at still being able to get Shake Shack delivered to their homes.


shake shack chengdu

Customers dining in at Shake Shack Chengdu before the city went into lockdown to combat a Covid-19 outbreak. Image via Weibo


On the topic of creative collaborations, Shake Shack has been on a roll as of late. This summer, the company also collaborated with the Museum of Ice Cream to open a pink-themed pop-up in Shanghai.


Cover image via Twitter

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