Shake Shack has about 189 different locations across the United States, and approximately 8,000 employees.
“On March 27, when both branches of Congress and the White House came to an agreement to provide sweeping financial assistance via the $2.2 trillion CARES Act, many of us in the restaurant industry cheered with a big sigh of relief,” Randy and Danny started out by explaining.
“This pandemic, and the consequential shut-down of an entire industry that relies upon the gathering of people – at a moment when people cannot gather- had already shown that no restaurant is unsinkable.”
They went on to say that there are not very large margins in the restaurant industry even in good times, which means restaurants have been hit exceptionally hard.
“While the program was touted as relief for small businesses, we also learned it stipulated that any restaurant business – including restaurant chains – with no more than 500 employees per location would be eligible.”
“Few, if any restaurants in America employ more than 500 people per location. That meant that Shake Shack – with roughly 45 employees per restaurant – could and should apply to protect as many of our employees’ jobs as possible.”
Randy and Danny went on to share that applying for PPP, “came with no user manual and it was extremely confusing.”
They explained that last Friday, Shake Shack received $10 million dollars as part of the PPP loan they applied for, but, “we’ve decided to immediately return the entire $10 million PPP loan we received last week to the SBA so that those restaurants who need it most can get it now.”
Randy and Danny then pointed out, “with adequate funding and some necessary tweaks, the PPP program can provide the economic spark the entire industry needs to get back in business.”
“Shake Shack, like all restaurant businesses in America, is doing the best we can to navigate these challenging times. We don’t know what the future holds.”
“Our people would benefit from a $10 million PPP loan but we’re fortunate to now have access to capital that others do not. Until every restaurant that needs it has had the same opportunity to receive assistance, we’re returning ours.”
You can read the original letter posted on LinkedIn here.
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