10-K 1 shak-20141231_10k.htm FORM 10-K SHAK-20141231_10K
UNITED STATES
SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
Washington, D.C. 20548
 
FORM 10-K
 
(Mark One)
þ
ANNUAL REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934
For the fiscal year ended December 31, 2014
OR
o
TRANSITION REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934
For the transition period from _______ to ______
Commission file number: 001-36823
 
 
 
 
SHAKE SHACK INC.
(Exact name of registrant as specified in its charter)
 
 
 
Delaware
 
47-1941186
(State or other jurisdiction of
incorporation or organization)
 
(I.R.S. Employer
Identification No.)
24 Union Square East, 5th Floor, New York, New York
 
10003
(Address of principal
executive offices)
 
(Zip Code)
(646) 747-7200
(Registrant's telephone number, including area code)
Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(b) of the Act:
Title of each class
 
Name of exchange on which registered
Class A Common Stock, par value $0.001
 
New York Stock Exchange
Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(g) of the Act: None
 
 
 
Indicate by check mark if the registrant is a well-known seasoned issuer, as defined in Rule 405 of the Securities Act. o Yes þ No
Indicate by check mark if the registrant is not required to file reports pursuant to Section 13 or Section 15(d) of the Act. o Yes þ No
Indicate by check mark if the registrant (1) has filed all reports required to be filed by Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to file such reports), and (2) has been subject to such filing requirements for the past 90 days. o Yes þ No
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has submitted electronically and posted on its corporate Website, if any, every Interactive Data File required to be submitted and posted pursuant to Rule-405 of Regulation S-T during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to submit and post such files). þ Yes o No
Indicate by check mark if disclosure of delinquent filers pursuant to Item 405 of Regulation S-K is not contained herein, and will not be contained, to the best of the registrant’s knowledge, in definitive proxy or information statements incorporated by reference in Part III of this Form 10-K or any amendment to this Form 10-K.  o
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a large accelerated filer, an accelerated filer, a non-accelerated filer, or a smaller reporting company. See the definitions of “large accelerated filer,” “accelerated filer” and “smaller reporting company” in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act.
Large accelerated filer  
o
 
Accelerated filer  
o
Non-accelerated filer  
þ
(Do not check if a smaller reporting company)
Smaller reporting company
o
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a shell company (as defined in Rule 12b-2 of the Act). o Yes þ No
As of June 25, 2014, the last business day of the registrant's most recently completed second fiscal quarter, there was no public market for the registrant's common equity.
As of March 20, 2015, there were 12,058,147 shares of Class A common stock outstanding and 24,191,853 shares of Class B common stock outstanding.
DOCUMENTS INCORPORATED BY REFERENCE
None.



SHAKE SHACK INC.
TABLE OF CONTENTS

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 


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Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-Looking Information
This Annual Report on Form 10-K ("Form 10-K") contains forward-looking statements, within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, which are subject to risks and uncertainties. All statements other than statements of historical fact are forward-looking statements. Many of the forward-looking statements are located in Part II, Item 7 of this Form 10-K under the headings "Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations", including, but not limited to, expected financial outlook for fiscal year 2015, expected Shack openings, expected same-Shack sales growth and trends in the Company’s operations. Forward-looking statements discuss our current expectations and projections relating to our financial position, results of operations, plans, objectives, future performance and business. You can identify forward-looking statements by the fact that they do not relate strictly to historical or current facts. These statements may include words such as "aim," "anticipate," "believe," "estimate," "expect," "forecast," "outlook," "potential," "project," "projection," "plan," "intend," "seek," "may," "could," "would," "will," "should," "can," "can have," "likely," the negatives thereof and other similar expressions. All forward-looking statements are subject to known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other important factors that may cause actual results to be materially different.
While we believe that our assumptions are reasonable, it is very difficult to predict the impact of known factors, and it is impossible to anticipate all factors that could affect our actual results. All forward-looking statements are expressly qualified in their entirety by these cautionary statements. You should evaluate all forward-looking statements made in this Form 10-K in the context of the risks and uncertainties disclosed in Part I, Item 1A of this Form 10-K under the heading "Risk Factors," which are incorporated herein by reference.
The forward-looking statements included in this Form 10-K are made only as of the date hereof. We undertake no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statement as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, except as otherwise required by law. If we do update one or more forward-looking statements, no inference should be made that we will make additional updates with respect to those or other forward-looking statements. We qualify all of our forward-looking statements by these cautionary statements.

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Part I
Item 1. Business.
Shake Shack Inc. is a Delaware corporation formed on September 23, 2014. Shake Shack Inc. Class A common stock trades on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol "SHAK." Unless the context otherwise requires, references to "we," "us," "our," "Shake Shack," the "Company" and other similar references refer to Shake Shack Inc. and, unless otherwise stated, all of its subsidiaries, including SSE Holdings, LLC, which we refer to as "SSE Holdings."
INITIAL PUBLIC OFFERING AND ORGANIZATIONAL TRANSACTIONS
On February 4, 2015, we closed an initial public offering ("IPO") of 5,750,000 shares of our Class A common stock at a public offering price of $21.00 per share, which includes 750,000 shares issued pursuant to the underwriters' over-allotment option. We received $112.3 million in proceeds, net of underwriting discounts and commissions, which we used to purchase newly-issued membership interests from SSE Holdings at a price per interest equal to the initial public offering price of our Class A common stock of $21.00.
Shake Shack is a holding company with no direct operations and our principal asset is the equity interest in SSE Holdings. In connection with the IPO, we completed a series of organizational transactions including the following:
the limited liability company agreement of SSE Holdings was amended and restated (as amended, the "SSE Holdings LLC Agreement") to, among other things, (i) provide for a new single class of common membership interests in SSE Holdings ("LLC Interests"), (ii) exchange all of the then existing membership interests of the holders of SSE Holdings’ membership interests ("Original SSE Equity Owners") for LLC Interests and (iii) appoint Shake Shack as the sole managing member of SSE Holdings;
the Shake Shack certificate of incorporation was amended and restated to, among other things, (i) provide for Class B common stock with voting rights but no economic rights and (ii) issue shares of Class B common stock to the Original SSE Equity Owners on a one-to-one basis with the number of LLC Interests they own;
the acquisition, by merger, of certain members of SSE Holdings ("Former SSE Equity Owners"), for which we issued 5,968,841 shares of Class A common stock as merger consideration (the "Merger").
See Note 19 to the consolidated financial statements included in Part II, Item 8 for more information about the above-mentioned transactions as well as the other transactions completed in connection with the IPO, which we refer to collectively as the "Organizational Transactions." Following the completion of the Organizational Transactions, Shake Shack owns 33.3% of SSE Holdings. The SSE Holdings members subsequent to the Merger (the "Continuing SSE Equity Owners") own the remaining 66.7% of SSE Holdings. Although we have a minority economic interest in SSE Holdings, we have the sole voting interest in, and control the management of, SSE Holdings. As a result, we will consolidate the financial results of SSE Holdings and will report a non-controlling interest representing the LLC Interests held by the Continuing SSE Equity Owners.
OVERVIEW OF SHAKE SHACK
Shake Shack is a modern day "roadside" burger stand serving a classic American menu of premium burgers, hot dogs, crinkle-cut fries, shakes, frozen custard, beer and wine. Founded by Danny Meyer's Union Square Hospitality Group ("USHG"), Shake Shack was created leveraging USHG's expertise in community building, hospitality, fine dining, restaurant operations and the sourcing of premium ingredients. Danny's vision of Enlightened Hospitality™ guided the creation of the unique Shake Shack culture that, we believe, creates a differentiated experience for our guests across all demographics at each of our Shacks around the world. As the chairman of Shake Shack's Board of Directors and USHG's Chief Executive Officer, Danny has drawn from USHG's experience in creating and operating some of New York City's most acclaimed and popular restaurants—including Union Square Cafe, Gramercy Tavern, Blue Smoke, The Modern, Maialino and Marta—to build what we believe is a new fine casual restaurant category in Shake Shack.
Shake Shack originated from a hot dog cart that USHG established in 2001 to support the rejuvenation of New York City's Madison Square Park through its Conservancy's first art installation—"I Y Taxi." The hot dog cart was an instant hit, with lines forming daily throughout the summer months for the next three years. In response to this success, the city's Department of Parks and Recreation awarded Shake Shack a contract to create a kiosk to help fund the park's future. In 2004, Shake Shack officially opened and immediately became a community gathering place for New Yorkers and visitors from all over the world. Over the last decade, Shake Shack has become a beloved New York City institution that generates significant media attention, critical acclaim and a passionately-devoted following. We have since grown rapidly with 63 Shacks in nine countries and 34 cities, as of December 31, 2014.

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Our vision is to Stand For Something Good® in all aspects of our business, including the exceptional team we hire and train, the premium ingredients making up our menu, our community engagement and the design of our Shacks. Stand For Something Good is a call to action for all of our stakeholders—our team, guests, communities, suppliers and investors—and we actively invite them all to share in this philosophy with us. This commitment drives our integration into the local communities in which we operate and fosters a lasting connection with our guests. We continually invest in our "Shack Team," as we believe that team members who are treated and trained well will deliver Enlightened Hospitality and a superior guest experience. Through our leadership development program, The Shacksperience™, we teach our team members the principles of Enlightened Hospitality and how to live and breathe our Shack Pact™, the agreement that encompasses our value system and brand ethos. Our people make all the difference, as they embody the sense of community necessary to create the complete Shake Shack experience. This vision reflects our goal to be the best burger company in the world, for the world and for our team.
We believe Shake Shack has become a compelling lifestyle brand and has helped to pioneer the creation of a new fine casual category in restaurants. Fine casual couples the ease, value and convenience of fast casual concepts with the high standards of excellence in thoughtful ingredient sourcing, preparation, hospitality and quality grounded in fine dining. As a pioneer in this new category, we strive to maintain the culinary traditions of the classic American burger stand, while providing our guests a menu of chef-inspired food and drinks. Our signature items are our all-natural, hormone and antibiotic-free burgers, hot dogs, crinkle-cut fries, shakes and frozen custard. We cook our burgers and spin our shakes to order and strive to use the freshest premium ingredients available. This core menu is supplemented with seasonal and innovative culinary offerings such as those featured during our annual Shacktoberfest event.
MARKETS AND COMPETITION
Shake Shack is part of the burger market of the restaurant industry, which is the largest dine-out segment in the United States with more than $72 billion in 2013 sales, according to Technomic Inc. The burger industry is estimated to be twice the size of the pizza market, which is the next largest category. Given its role as the quintessential American meal, burgers have also proven to be the most portable concept internationally.
The restaurant industry is highly competitive and fragmented. We compete primarily with "better burger" restaurants and, to a lesser extent, fast casual restaurants, quick service restaurants and casual dining restaurants. Our competition in the broadest perspective includes fast casual and fine dining restaurants, convenience food stores, delicatessens, supermarkets and club stores. The number, size and strength of our competitors vary by region. Our competition includes a wide variety of locally owned restaurants and national and regional chains. Some of our competitors, including some of our "better burger" competitors, have greater financial, marketing, personnel and other resources than we do, and many of our competitors are well-established in markets in which we have existing Shacks or intend to locate new Shacks. In addition, many of our competitors have greater name recognition nationally or in some of the local markets in which we have or plan to have Shacks. However, we specifically target guests that appreciate our engaging and differentiated guest experience that includes great food, unique and thoughtful integration with local communities and high standards of excellence and hospitality. We believe that we compete primarily based on experience, product quality, restaurant concept, service, location and value perception. Our competition continues to intensify as competitors enter the burger segment and open new restaurants. Additionally, we compete with local and national restaurant concepts and other retail concepts for prime restaurant locations.
With the majority of the burger restaurant segment comprised of quick service restaurant competitors, we believe that Shake Shack is well positioned to take market share, as we believe consumers will continue to trade up to higher quality offerings given an increasing consumer focus on responsible sourcing, ingredients and preparation. Additionally, we believe that consumers will continue to move away from the added time commitment and cost of traditional casual dining. We believe that many consumers want to associate with brands whose ethos matches that of their own, and that Shake Shack's fine casual position, born and raised in Manhattan, creates a distinctly differentiated global lifestyle brand opportunity.
OUR COMPETITIVE STRENGTHS
Our Culture of Enlightened Hospitality: Taking Care of Each Other
We believe that the culture of our team is the single most important factor in our success. We aim to recruit people who are warm, friendly, motivated, caring, self-aware and intellectually curious—what we call "51%'ers." We use the term "51%" to describe the emotional skills needed to thrive at the job and "49%" to describe the technical skills needed for the job. Our 51%'ers are excited and committed to championship performance, remarkable and enriching hospitality, embodying our culture and actively growing themselves and the brand. Our team is trained to understand and practice the values of Enlightened Hospitality: caring for each other, caring for our guests, caring for our community, caring for our suppliers and caring for our investors. These principles have been championed by Danny Meyer throughout his career and are detailed in his New York Times best-selling book Setting the TableThe Transforming Power of Hospitality in Business; they are fundamental to the way Shake Shack operates its business.
Culture
Our culture is rooted in the nearly 30-year history of USHG. Our commitment to Stand For Something Good permeates throughout every Shack and every team member we hire. Expounding on the principles of USHG's Enlightened Hospitality and Stand For Something Good is our Shack Pact, which is prominently displayed in the team member areas of every Shack, on the inside cover of the Shackademics™ book (our training manual) and on the

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template for every pre-meal meeting agenda (daily Shack team meeting). It is the agreement we make with ourselves and with each other to uphold our principles and to hold each other accountable. Our Shack Pact is summarized below:
Hospitality – We stand for the following 5 Tenets of Enlightened Hospitality (Taking Care of Each Other, Our Guests, Our Community, Our Suppliers and Our Investors) to create raves through every stakeholder interaction.
Team – We stand to hire 51%'ers to create teams that are excited and committed to championship performance, remarkable and enriching hospitality, embodying our culture and actively growing themselves and the brand. 
Food & Drink – We stand to be a worldwide culinary leader in our interpretation of the classic American roadside burger stand. 
The Shack – We stand to design, build and maintain the most engaging, thoughtful, safe and clean environment for our teams to work in and our guests to gather in. 
Communication – We stand to be aligned with each other every day so that mutual understanding leads to progress.
The unity that we have built amongst our Shack teams and within the Company as a whole is a key driver of our ability to deliver a great guest experience and, therefore, continue to successfully grow our footprint. Each Shack has a "Caught Doing Right" board where team members are encouraged to post notes when they have witnessed other team members go above and beyond what is expected. At Shake Shack, we celebrate our successes, no matter how small, and this is practiced at every level of the Company. We also believe that team members will perform their best when they feel like the rest of the team is "on their side"—a belief ingrained in Shake Shack's DNA that began in the early stages of our fine dining history.
The Bigger We Get, the Smaller We Need to Act
This mantra, which was developed from our Stand For Something Good vision, is what guides our decision-making and keeps us connected to our roots. As we grow, it is our passion to continue the ethos that led to the creation of USHG and Shake Shack and to never veer too far from that original vision. We make decisions that focus on the core of who we are, staying true to the principles of Enlightened Hospitality. It is these decisions that drive us to seek out what we believe to be the finest team members, the tastiest ingredients, the best suppliers and the best community partners.
Fine Casual: Inspired Food and Drink
We embrace our fine-dining heritage and are committed to sourcing premium, sustainable ingredients, such as all-natural, hormone and antibiotic-free beef, while offering excellent value to our guests. Our core menu remains focused and is supplemented with targeted innovation inspired by the best versions of the classic American roadside burger stands. As a result of culinary creativity and excellence, we attract continued interest from partners such as award-winning chefs, talented bakers, farmers and artisanal purveyors who want to collaborate with us in different and engaging ways. We never stop looking for the best ingredients and the best culinary partners in order to exceed our guests' expectations in every aspect of their experience.
Menu
Our menu focuses on premium food and beverages, carefully crafted from a range of classic American foods at more accessible price points than full-service restaurants. Our domestic menu includes a variety of signature items, such as the ShackBurger®, SmokeShack®, Shack-cago Dog®, 'Shroom Burger™, seasonal frozen custard, hand-spun shakes, concretes, ShackMeister® Ale and Shack Red™ and Shack White™ wines. The Shake Shack concept and core menu items have not materially changed since 2004, which speaks to the timeless and universal appeal of our food offerings.
Burgers
Shake Shack uses a proprietary whole-muscle blend of all-natural, hormone and antibiotic-free beef in its hamburgers, which are ground fresh daily. Shake Shack's flagship item is the ShackBurger, which is a four-ounce cheeseburger topped with lettuce, tomato and ShackSauce™. We take great care in the preparation of our burgers, from sourcing to handling to cooking, to ensure that the quality of the burgers we serve drives new and repeat visits. The burger section of our menu also includes the SmokeShack, 'Shroom Burger™ (our vegetarian burger), Shack Stack® and Hamburger.

Fries
Our classic and passionately loved crinkle-cut fries are made from premium golden potatoes and are prepared 100% free of artificial trans fat. Guests also have the option to order Cheese Fries, which are our crinkle-cut fries topped with a proprietary blend of cheddar and American cheese sauce. We believe the tactile pleasure and emotional attachment that our guests have to the crispiness and ridges of our crinkle-cut fries is a nostalgic ode to the roadside burger stand of yesteryear.

Hot Dogs
Shake Shack was born from a hot dog cart in 2001 and we believe that our hot dog options give our guests another premium category from which to choose. Both our beef hot dogs and our chicken dogs are made from 100% all-natural, hormone and antibiotic-free beef and chicken, respectively. Our signature Shack-cago Dog is "dragged through the garden" and topped with Shack relish, onion, cucumber, pickle, tomato, sport pepper, celery salt and mustard. The ShackMeister Dog™ is topped with cheese sauce and ShackMeister Ale–marinated shallots.


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Frozen Custard
Our premium, dense, rich and creamy ice cream, spun daily on-site, is crafted from our proprietary vanilla and chocolate recipes using only real sugar—no corn syrup—and milk from dairy farmers who pledge not to use artificial growth hormones. Shakes remain our guests' favorite in this category and are scooped and spun to order. Our concretes are made by blending frozen custard at high speed with premium mix-ins. Since each Shake Shack intends to mirror its community, each Shack has signature concretes, distinct to its location, and uses locally-sourced mix-ins made by artisanal producers whenever possible. Also, each month Shake Shack unveils a specialized custard calendar with seasonally changing flavors. The flavors change every month, with favorites repeating throughout the year. Our culinary team also uses the custard menu to highlight local, seasonal and premium ingredients. Not only does the custard calendar keep the custard section of the menu varied and bolster guest frequency, but it also helps distinguish our menu relative to other burger chains.

Beer, Wine and Beverages
Our proprietary ShackMeister Ale, brewed by Brooklyn Brewery, was specifically crafted to complement the flavor profile of a ShackBurger, and our local beer selections are tailored to each Shack's geography. When it comes to wine, we believe that our Shack Red and Shack White, grown and bottled exclusively by Frog's Leap Vineyards in Napa Valley, accentuate our fine dining ethos and provide our guests with premium beverage options not commonly found at burger concepts. In addition, we serve draft Root Beer, seasonal freshly-squeezed lemonade, organic iced tea and Shack20 bottled water, 1% of sales from which support the cleanup of water sources around the world.

Dogs Are Welcome Too
We believe that many dog owners treat their four-legged friends as family members. From our first Shack at Madison Square Park, we wanted to invite dogs to be part of the community gathering experience and developed the "Woof" section on our menu. ShackBurger dog biscuits, peanut butter sauce and vanilla custard make up our signature Pooch-ini®, which is available at Shacks with an outdoor space. We also serve dog biscuits to-go, handcrafted exclusively for us by a New York-based bakery.

Culinary Innovation
Shake Shack continues to innovate around our core menu. We are constantly experimenting with seasonal and local products, to enhance our menu and drive revenue. Our fine dining heritage has afforded Shake Shack a unique opportunity to team up with some of the world's best chefs for short-term specials such as Daniel Boulud's "Piggie Shack" to celebrate our 10th birthday at Madison Square Park or Marc Vetri's "Carbonara Burger" that ran only in Philadelphia. We devote significant resources to menu innovation and are frequently invited to participate and compete in chef events such as the South Beach Wine and Food Festival's Burger Bash, which presents opportunities for us to test new creations that can often lead to the introduction of new items. For example, the SmokeShack, a cheeseburger topped with all-natural bacon, chopped cherry peppers and ShackSauce, which debuted in 2012, has become a popular menu item and has helped drive sales.
Beloved Lifestyle Brand
In Shake Shack's 10-year history, we have become a globally recognized brand with outsized consumer awareness relative to our current footprint. Shake Shack is a New York City institution, a vibrant and authentic community gathering place that delivers an unparalleled experience to loyal, passionate guests and a broad, global demographic. Born in 2004, Shake Shack grew up alongside the emergence of social media and has benefited from an ongoing love affair with passionate fans who share their real-time experiences with friends. We aim to establish genuine connections with our guests and the communities in which they live. Each Shack is localized with design and menu options that we believe drive a sense of appreciation and enthusiasm for the Shake Shack brand. Shake Shack has been recognized with numerous accolades, including Bon Appétit's "The 20 Most Important Restaurants in America" (ranked #16), TIME Magazine's "17 Most Influential Burgers of All Time" (ranked #7 for the ShackBurger) and winning "Best Burger" in 2007 and 2014 at the South Beach Wine and Food Festival's Burger Bash.
Marketing Strategy
We are today's roadside burger stand and this identity anchors our marketing efforts. The premium positioning and brand voice, derived from the spirit, integrity and humor of Shake Shack, are reinforced by our contemporary, responsible designs and hospitable team members who Stand For Something Good. We believe that our guests appreciate the experience of coming to Shake Shack as a community gathering place and, thus, the heart of our marketing strategy is to communicate and connect with our guests both at our Shacks and through social media.
Stand For Something Good
Stand For Something Good is an invitation for our guests to align with Shake Shack's commitment to all that is good in the world and a reflection of how Shake Shack embraces these values both internally and externally. We are dedicated to using sustainable materials and equipment, such as handmade tabletops constructed from reclaimed bowling alleys. We source all-natural, hormone and antibiotic-free beef to make our proprietary burger blend because we believe there are no shortcuts to quality. Recently, we have added a Stand For Something Good TV at each Shack to tell our story to our guests through photos, graphics and informative imagery containing information on our suppliers, community relationships and company initiatives.

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The essential components of Stand For Something Good are displayed in each Shack and listed below:
Good Ingredients – All natural proteins, vegetarian fed, humanely raised and source verified, with no hormones or antibiotics. We pride ourselves on sourcing premium ingredients from like-minded producers. 
Good n' Green – Sustainable sourcing and business practices throughout the supply chain. 
Good Bones – Caring enough to design the Shack experience so people want to stay and using reclaimed materials whenever possible. 
Good NeighborsWe are all about our hood! We strive to be the best employer and citizen of each community we call home.
Social Media
Much like we design our Shacks to be community gathering places, we execute a social media strategy that creates an online, on-brand community gathering place. Our guests and fans easily connect with us through Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Tumblr and Pinterest. We recognize the impact of social media on today's consumers and we use these platforms to share information with our guests about new menu items, new Shack openings and other relevant Shake Shack information. As of December 31, 2014, we had approximately 127,000 Facebook fans, 141,000 Instagram followers, and 33,000 Twitter followers. We communicate with our fans in creative and organic ways that both strengthen our connection with them and increase brand awareness. In June 2014, we ranked #10 on Restaurant Social Media Index's top 250 restaurant brands, which is measured on influence, sentiment and engagement.
Community and Charitable Partners
As a mirror of its community, each Shack focuses on conveying a consistent national brand message and on tailoring marketing efforts to each Shack. We always have menu items that feature local ingredients and beers that are specific to each Shack's community. We also aim marketing efforts at local events which help position Shake Shack as a premium brand that is connected to the community through participating in local celebrations and developing relationships with local chefs and restaurants. For instance, from June 9–13, 2014, our Madison Square Park Shack celebrated The Decade of Shack, its 10-year anniversary. We collaborated with five well-known chefs, each of whom crafted a special-edition burger for one day during the week. Outside of local events, each Shack has one regionally-themed concrete, which has the added benefit of driving semi-annual charitable contributions. The Shack in Miami Beach, for instance, features the "Vice Crispy Treat," and donates 5% of this item's sales to the Miami Children's Hospital.
Shack-wide Events
Shake Shack promotes annual events and limited-time offers to drive repeat visits and build intrigue among staff and guests. Shacktoberfest, for example, is Shake Shack's ode to traditional Oktoberfest in which special sausages, beers and desserts are added to the menu for a 10-day period in October. Throughout the year, we offer playful items that surprise and delight our guests such as When Irish Fries Are Smiling on St. Patrick's Day, as well as Corn Dogs during Memorial Day, the 4th of July and Labor Day weekends.
Since 2012, Shake Shack has held The Great American Shake Sale during the month of May to raise money and awareness for childhood hunger. During The Great American Shake Sale, we encourage guests to donate $2 in exchange for a free cake-themed shake (a $5 value) at their next visit. 100% of these donations go directly to Share Our Strength's No Kid Hungry campaign. In May 2014, we raised $338,000 across our domestic company-operated Shacks for this initiative.
Product Placement
Shake Shack has been fortunate to receive considerable product placement in movies, TV shows and other media without any cost to the Company. In fact, Shake Shack has been able to charge fees for these location shoots, which have included scenes from the motion pictures Something Borrowed and Tower Heist, as well as the acclaimed HBO series The Newsroom. We have also been featured in segments on The Daily Show, Saturday Night Live, CBS Sunday Morning and Late Night with Jimmy Fallon.
Versatile Real Estate Model Built for Growth
During fiscal 2014, we grew the number of our domestic company-operated Shacks by 47.6% with the opening of 10 new Shacks. We will continue to not only expand in existing markets such as New York, Boston, Philadelphia, Washington, D.C., Atlanta, Chicago and South Florida in order to leverage operational effectiveness as we cluster in high-density markets, but also enter new markets, such as Austin, where we have signed leases. With only 63 Shacks around the world, as of December 31, 2014, we have identified many attractive and differentiated markets for the Shake Shack experience. In major metropolitan areas, we seek locations where communities gather, often with characteristics such as high foot traffic, substantial commercial density, reputable co-tenants and other traffic drivers such as proximity to parks, museums, schools, hospitals and tourist attractions. For every potential domestic company-operated Shack we consider, we apply rigorous financial metrics to ensure we maintain our targeted profitability. We measure much of our financial success by analyzing Shack-level operating profit margins, cash-on-cash returns and payback periods. Our flexible model allows us to design our Shacks so that we can pursue a variety of property types. We have successfully launched Shacks with different layouts and sizes in varied locations throughout urban high density areas, suburban in-line and pad sites, regional malls, lifestyle centers, ballparks, airports and train stations. Each design is critical to the Shake Shack experience and we blend our core brand identifiers with features specifically designed for each Shack to be of its place and connect directly with its neighborhood. With a disciplined approach to new Shack development and a successful track record in site selection, we believe we are positioned well for future growth.

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Real Estate
A typical domestic company-operated Shack is between 3,000 and 3,500 square feet with interior seating for between 80 and 100 guests. Additionally, whenever possible, our domestic company-operated Shacks feature either outdoor seating or easy access to a park or green space. We believe that these attributes facilitate the community gathering experience that our guests love and associate with our brand. We lease all of our domestic company-operated Shacks. Our leases typically have initial terms ranging between 10 to 20 years with two five-year renewal options.
Site Selection
Shake Shack is ultimately about the guest experience and our site selection focuses on choosing great sites where people want to be together. Our site selection process is actively led by our Real Estate Committee, which meets regularly and follows a detailed approval process to ensure quality, fiduciary responsibility and overall adherence to the Company's strategic growth goals. We invest in analytical tools for extensive demographic analysis and data collection for both existing and new potential sites. In addition to our in-house team of experienced real estate professionals, we use a national real estate broker to manage a network of regional brokers in order to leverage external resources in pursuit of pipeline development and consistent deal flow.
Construction
A typical Shack takes between 14 and 16 weeks to build. We expect that the cost to build a new Shack will range from $1.5 to $2.5 million, with an average near-term build cost of approximately $1.9 million, excluding pre-opening costs. We use a number of general contractors on a regional basis and employ a mixed approach of bidding and strategic negotiation in order to ensure the best value and highest quality construction. Often during the construction of new Shacks, particularly those in new markets, we re-imagine the often uninspiring plywood walls that surround a construction site and use this space as a canvas to begin the process of integrating the Shake Shack brand into the community prior to it opening. For instance, during the third quarter of fiscal 2014, as we were constructing our first Shack in Chicago, we unveiled six interactive life-size sliding puzzles with illustrated pieces that celebrate Chicago landmarks, while revealing the burgers, hot dogs and frozen custards that Shake Shack guests have enjoyed over the past decade.
Design
The original Shake Shack in Madison Square Park was designed by SITE Architecture and Design, led by James Wines and Denise Lee, in collaboration with Pentagram, led by Paula Scher. This design set the tone for a dynamic dialogue inside the park and our surrounding neighborhood that continues to drive our designs today. The overall atmosphere and design of our new Shacks evoke the very best from the design of the original park kiosk, as well as the best of the fine dining experience in terms of the quality of design, material used, lighting and music. We are mindful that each new Shack should embody the experience of the Madison Square Park Shake Shack—the line, the kiosk style, the experience of ordering food made just for you and the energetic open kitchen.
While each Shack is specifically designed to be of its place and connect with its neighborhood, Shake Shack has developed a number of iconic brand identifiers common to every Shack, including wrap-around steel beams, open kitchens, magnetic menu boards and tables made from reclaimed bowling lanes. Although no two Shacks are alike, we believe that these brand identifiers are critical to the expression of the brand and the experience of Shake Shack.
Domestic Licensing
We have five domestic licensed Shacks: one in Citi Field where the New York Mets play; one in Nationals Park where the Washington Nationals play; one at the Saratoga Race track; and two in the Delta Airlines terminal at John F. Kennedy International Airport ("JFK"). The three licensed Shacks in sporting venues are operated by Hudson Yards Sports and Entertainment LLC ("HYSE") doing business as Union Square Events, another subsidiary of USHG. The two Shacks in JFK are licensed to a third party, though they are managed by Shake Shack employees. All five licensed domestic Shacks provide regular license fees based on a percentage of sales and bolster brand equity. Additionally, the Shacks at JFK serve breakfast and a number of "grab-and-go" items such as freshly-made yogurt parfaits and all-natural chocolate fudge brownies.
Leaders Training Future Leaders
Our team is led by passionate and experienced senior leaders, balanced with professionals formerly from USHG's fine dining operations and industry veterans from larger restaurant companies. We have a talented executive leadership team that has deep experience in operations, culinary arts, supply chain, finance and accounting, training and leadership development, people resources, real estate and design, construction and facilities, information technology, legal, marketing and communications.
Leadership Development
We invest in our team through extensive leadership development programs to ensure that Shake Shack remains a great place to work and an exciting career choice for team members at every level. We have built a culture of active learning and we foster an environment of leadership development throughout the entire life cycle of employment. We seek to be the employer of choice by offering above industry average compensation in most markets, comprehensive benefits and a variety of incentive programs, including a monthly revenue-sharing program. We believe that our culture of Enlightened Hospitality enables us to develop future leaders from within and deliver a consistent Shack experience as we continue to grow.

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The goal of our training programs is to develop leaders and to cross-utilize team members throughout our operations. We call our team member life cycle, The Shacksperience. This model clarifies and outlines growth opportunities at all levels of the organization and furthers our philosophy of hiring and developing 51%'ers, growing from within and "leaders training future leaders." We train our culture and guiding principles first, and then move to menu knowledge, followed by a focus on station training. We believe that everyone learns differently and our training uses various formats: online interactive, video, hands-on and paper-based. Every team member has access to ShackSource, our proprietary online training portal, which is used not only as a learning platform, but also as a communication tool for our team. As an example, ShackSource is a way for team members to send recognition messages, comments, praise and thanks to their fellow team members across the Company.
GROWTH STRATEGIES
We believe that we are well-positioned to achieve significant, sustainable financial growth. We plan to continue to expand our business, drive Shack sales and enhance our competitive positioning by executing on the following strategies:
Opening New Domestic Company-Operated Shacks
This is where our greatest immediate opportunity for growth lies. We waited nearly five years to open our second Shack, and we are still in the very nascent stage of our story, with only 31 domestic company-operated and five domestic licensed Shacks in 10 states and Washington, D.C. as of December 31, 2014. We believe there is tremendous whitespace opportunity to expand in both existing and new U.S. markets, and we have invested in the infrastructure that will enable us to continue to grow rapidly and with discipline. In fiscal 2014, we significantly expanded our domestic company-operated footprint by opening 10 new Shacks representing a 47.6% increase in our domestic company-operated Shack count. We plan to open at least 10 new domestic company-operated Shacks each year for the foreseeable future. Based on our experience, and analysis and research conducted for us by eSite, we believe that over the long-term we have the potential to grow our current domestic company-operated Shack footprint to at least 450 Shacks by opening domestic company-operated Shacks in new and existing markets. The rate of future Shack growth in any particular period is inherently uncertain and is subject to numerous factors that are outside of our control. As a result, we do not currently have an anticipated timeframe for such expansion. We believe we have a versatile real estate model built for growth. We have adopted a disciplined expansion strategy designed to leverage the strength of our business model and our significant brand awareness to successfully develop new Shacks in an array of markets that are primed for growth, including new and existing, as well as small and large markets. As we grow, we will continue to live by one principle to ensure the success of both our new and existing restaurants: "The Bigger We Get, The Smaller We Need To Act." This mantra is central to our Stand For Something Good vision and encompasses our commitment to continue to make decisions that focus on the core of who we are, staying true to the principles of Enlightened Hospitality.
Capitalizing on Our Outsized Brand Awareness
The Shake Shack experience has cultivated significant brand awareness relative to the small number of Shacks we operate. We have worked tirelessly to establish a genuine connection with our guests and integrate into their communities through investment in innovative marketing and programming. We utilize various social media outlets to actively engage with our growing online following. In June 2014, we ranked #10 on Restaurant Social Media Index's top 250 restaurant brands, which is measured on influence, sentiment and engagement. Furthermore, we believe that our press and media impressions and industry recognition are a testament to the strength of our brand. We were named one of "The 25 Most Innovative Consumer and Retail Brands" in 2014 by Entrepreneur.com, ranked #11 in The Daily Meal's "101 Best Restaurants in America" for 2013, and were the winner of the 2013 "Most Loved Brand of the Year" from the RIZMY Awards, "Best Burger" at the 2014 South Beach Wine and Food Festival's Burger Bash and more. Additionally, we give back to the communities in which we operate, and strengthen awareness for philanthropic causes such as Share Our Strength's No Kid Hungry campaign. Our marketing efforts focus on interacting with our guests in an authentic, innovative manner which creates memorable, meaningful experiences. The experience that we provide for our guests and local communities has generated a growing loyal following who promote our brand through word-of-mouth. We believe that this outsized brand awareness will continue to fuel our growth in existing and new markets.
Growing Same-Shack Sales
Given the significant awareness of our brand and the excitement we have been able to generate for our market launches, our Shacks have generally opened with higher volumes and operating profits relative to their second year, which have often shown a decline in sales and operating profit. In year three, our Shacks generally mature and continue to grow from the second year base and then retain these higher volumes over time. It is important to note that, while our goal is to grow same-Shack sales over time, this is not our greatest growth opportunity. We expect our Shacks to deliver low same-Shack sales growth for the foreseeable future as the number of new Shack openings relative to our comparable Shack base remains our primary driver of growth. We do, however, continually focus on improving our same-Shack sales performance by providing an engaging and differentiated guest experience that includes new seasonal and Shack-specific offerings, unique and thoughtful integration with local communities and high standards of excellence and hospitality. We will continue to innovate around our core menu to keep our offerings fresh, while remaining focused on our signature items.

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Opportunistically Increasing Our Licensed Shacks Abroad
We will continue to grow our licensed portfolio by expanding further in the countries in which we currently have internationally licensed operations, as well as entering new international markets. This strategy historically has been a low-cost, high-return method of growing our brand awareness and providing an increasing source of cash flow. In December 2014, we entered into an exclusive licensing arrangement with a leading retail and food operator for the development of up to 10 new Shacks in Japan over the next five years. We believe there are additional international markets that will embrace the Shake Shack concept. Given our position in New York and the success of our current licensed Shacks at home and abroad, we continue to attract substantial interest from potential international licensees around the world and we believe we have significant opportunities to expand our licensing footprint in existing and new international markets.
OPERATIONS
Sourcing and Supply Chain
Shake Shack has always been committed to seeking out and working with best-in-class suppliers, artisanal purveyors and cattle ranchers. Our Stand For Something Good vision guides us in how we source and develop our ingredients, always looking for the best ways to provide top quality food at an excellent value and accessible to all. All of our proteins are raised without added hormones and we never use antibiotics.
We have a regional strategy for ground beef production to ensure that we are always serving freshly ground and never frozen beef. We have had the same butcher for the New York City metropolitan area, Mid-Atlantic and Northeast Shacks since opening our first Shack, which helped create our proprietary beef blend. We will continue to partner with and develop regional suppliers in new markets as we grow.
We have a limited number of suppliers for our major products, including beef patties, potato buns, custard, Portobello mushrooms and cheese sauce. In fiscal 2014, we purchased all of our (i) ground beef patties from five suppliers, with approximately 88% of our ground beef patties supplied by one supplier, (ii) potato buns directly from one supplier, (iii) custard base from one supplier, (iv) 'Shroom Burgers from two suppliers, with approximately 50% of our 'Shroom Burgers supplied by each supplier and (v) ShackSauce from two suppliers, with approximately 89% of our ShackSauce supplied by one supplier. We have developed a reliable supply chain and continue to focus on identifying alternative sources to avoid any possible interruptions of service and product.
Distribution
We contract with one distributor, which we refer to as our "broadline" distributor, to provide virtually all of our food distribution services in the United States. As of December 31, 2014, approximately 88% of our core food and beverage ingredients and 100% of our paper goods and chemicals, collectively representing approximately 45% of our purchases, were processed through our broadline distributor for distribution and delivery to each Shack. As of December 31, 2014, we were utilizing nine affiliated distribution centers to supply our domestic company-operated Shacks. We recognize that the safety and consistency of our products begins with our suppliers. Suppliers must meet certain criteria and strict quality control standards in the production and delivery of our food and other products. We regularly evaluate our broadline distributor to ensure that the products we purchase conform to our standards and that the prices they offer are competitive.
Food Safety and Quality Assurance
Our commitment to food safety is strengthened through the direct relationship between our Supply Chain, Culinary and Quality Assurance teams. All supplier and ingredient decisions go through a review of the supplier's internal and external quality audits, insurance coverage, track record and physical site inspection. We have a Food Safety Site Inspection process in place and a dedicated Quality Assurance team to ensure food safety across all domestic company-operated Shacks.

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MANAGEMENT INFORMATION SYSTEMS
Our domestic company-operated Shacks use computerized point-of-sale and back-office systems created by NCR Corporation, which we believe are scalable to support our growth plans. These point-of-sale systems are designed specifically for the restaurant industry and we use many customized features to increase operational effectiveness, internal communication and data analysis. This system provides a touch screen interface, graphical order confirmation display, touch screen kitchen display and integrated, high-speed credit card and gift card processing. The point-of-sale system is used to collect daily transaction data, which generates information about daily sales, product mix and average transaction size.
Our back-office computer systems are designed to assist in the management of our domestic company-operated Shacks and provide real-time labor and food cost management tools. These tools provide the home office and operations management quick access to detailed business data and reduces the amount time spent by our Shack-level managers on administrative needs. The systems provide our Shack-level managers the ability to submit orders electronically with our distribution network. The system also supplies sales, bank deposit and variance data to our accounting department on a daily basis. We use this data to generate daily sales information and weekly consolidated reports regarding sales and other key measures, as well as preliminary weekly detailed profit and loss statements for each Shack with final reports following the end of each period.
INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY
Since our inception, we have undertaken to strategically and proactively develop our intellectual property portfolio by registering our trademarks and service marks worldwide. As of December 31, 2014, we had 16 registered marks domestically, including registrations in our core marks ("Shake Shack," "Shack Burger," "" and "") and certain other marks, such as Stand for Something Good. Internationally, we have registered our core marks in over 80 countries spanning six continents. These marks are registered in multiple international trademark classes, including for restaurant services, food services, non-alcoholic beverages and apparel. We also own the domain www.shakeshack.com as well as over 60 other domain names for use in other markets.
In addition, we have agreements with the suppliers of our proprietary products stating that the recipes and production processes associated with those products are our property, confidential to us, and may not be provided to any other customer. Our proprietary products include the burger recipe for our whole muscle blend and the patty grinding procedure and the product formulations for our ShackSauce, 'Shroom Burger, cheese sauce, unflavored custard base, chocolate custard base, and certain toppings and custard mix-ins. We also have exclusive arrangements with our suppliers of ShackMeister Ale, Shack Red wine, Shack White wine, all-natural hot dog and all-natural chicken sausage.
GOVERNMENT REGULATIONS AND ENVIRONMENTAL MATTERS
We are subject to extensive federal, state and local government regulation, including those relating to, among others, public health and safety, zoning and fire codes, and franchising. Failure to obtain or retain food or other licenses and registrations or exemptions would adversely affect the operations of our Shacks. Although we have not experienced and do not anticipate any significant problems in obtaining required licenses, permits or approvals, any difficulties, delays or failures in obtaining such licenses, permits, registrations, exemptions or approvals could delay or prevent the opening of, or adversely impact the viability of, a Shack in a particular area. The development and construction of additional Shacks will be subject to compliance with applicable zoning, land use and environmental regulations. We believe federal and state environmental regulations have not had a material effect on operations, but more stringent and varied requirements of local government bodies with respect to zoning, land use and environmental factors could delay construction and increase development costs for new Shacks.
We are also subject to the Fair Labor Standards Act, the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 and various federal and state laws governing such matters as minimum wages, overtime, unemployment tax rates, workers' compensation rates, citizenship requirements and other working conditions. We are also subject to the Americans With Disabilities Act ("ADA"), which prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability in public accommodations and employment, which may require us to design or modify our Shacks to make reasonable accommodations for disabled persons.
Approximately 3% of revenues from our domestic company-operated Shacks is attributable to the sale of alcoholic beverages, namely beer and wine. Alcoholic beverage control regulations require each of our Shacks to apply to a state authority and, in certain locations, county or municipal authorities for a license that must be renewed annually and may be revoked or suspended for cause at any time. Alcoholic beverage control regulations relate to numerous aspects of daily operations of our Shacks, including the minimum age of patrons and employees, hours of operation, advertising, trade practices, wholesale purchasing, other relationships with alcohol manufacturers, wholesalers and distributors, inventory control and handling, storage and dispensing of alcoholic beverages. We are also subject in certain states to "dram shop" statutes, which generally provide a person injured by an intoxicated person the right to recover damages from an establishment that wrongfully served alcoholic beverages to the intoxicated person. We carry liquor liability coverage as part of our existing comprehensive general liability insurance. Two of our domestic company-operated Shacks do not have liquor licenses because of the high cost of a liquor license in that jurisdiction, which has a liquor license quota. We may decide not to obtain liquor licenses in certain jurisdictions due to the high costs associated with obtaining liquor licenses in such jurisdictions.

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Our licensing activities are subject to the rules and regulations of the Federal Trade Commission ("FTC") and various state laws regulating the offer and sale of licenses. Substantive state laws that regulate the licensor-licensee relationship exist in a substantial number of states, and bills have been introduced in Congress from time to time that would provide for federal regulation of the licensor-licensee relationship. The state laws often limit, among other things, the duration and scope of non-competition provisions, the ability of a licensor to terminate or refuse to renew a license and the ability of a licensor to designate sources of supply. We believe that our licensing procedures comply in all material respects with both the FTC license rule and all applicable state laws regulating franchising in those states in which we have offered licenses.
SEASONALITY
Our business is subject to seasonal fluctuations in that our Shack sales are typically nominally higher during the summer months, affecting our second and third quarters in a fiscal year.
EMPLOYEES
As of December 31, 2014, we had approximately 1,680 employees, of whom approximately 1,450 are hourly team members, 160 are Shack-level managers and 70 are home office personnel.
AVAILABLE INFORMATION
Our Annual Report on Form 10-K, Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q, Current Reports on Form 8-K, and amendments to reports filed pursuant to Sections 13(a) and 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended (the “Exchange Act”), are filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”). We are subject to the informational requirements of the Exchange Act and file or furnish reports, proxy statements and other information with the SEC. Such reports and other information filed by us with the SEC are available free of charge on our website at investor.shakeshack.com when such reports are made available on the SEC’s website. The public may read and copy any materials filed by us with the SEC at the SEC’s Public Reference Room at 100 F Street, NE, Room 1580, Washington, DC 20549. The public may obtain information on the operation of the Public Reference Room by calling the SEC at 1-800-SEC-0330. The SEC maintains an Internet site that contains reports, proxy and information statements and other information regarding issuers that file electronically with the SEC at www.sec.gov. The contents of these websites are not incorporated into this filing. Further, our references to the URLs for these websites are intended to be inactive textual references only.


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Item 1A. Risk Factors.
Described below are certain risks that we believe apply to our business and the industry in which we operate. You should carefully consider each of the following risk factors in conjunction with other information provided in this Annual Report on Form 10-K and in our other public disclosures. The risks described below highlight potential events, trends or other circumstances that could adversely affect our business, financial condition, results of operations, cash flows, liquidity or access to sources of financing, and consequently, the market value of our Class A common stock. These risks could cause our future results to differ materially from historical results and from guidance we may provide regarding our expectations of future financial performance. The risks described below are those that we have identified as material and is not an exhaustive list of all the risks we face. There may be others that we have not identified or that we have deemed to be immaterial. All forward-looking statements made by us or on our behalf are qualified by the risks described below.
Risks Related to Our Business
Our long-term success is highly dependent on our ability to successfully identify and secure appropriate sites and timely develop and expand our operations in existing and new markets.
One of the key means of achieving our growth strategies will be through opening and operating new Shacks on a profitable basis for the foreseeable future. We must identify target markets where we can enter or expand, taking into account numerous factors such as the location of our current Shacks, demographics, traffic patterns and information gathered from our various contacts. We may not be able to open our planned new Shacks within budget or on a timely basis, if at all, given the uncertainty of these factors, which could adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations. As we operate more Shacks, our rate of expansion relative to the size of our Shack base will eventually decline.
The number and timing of new Shacks opened during any given period may be negatively impacted by a number of factors including, without limitation:
the identification and availability of attractive sites for new Shacks and the ability to negotiate suitable lease terms;
the lack of development and overall decrease in commercial real estate due to a macroeconomic downturn;
recruitment and training of qualified personnel in the local market;
our ability to obtain all required governmental permits, including zonal approvals, on a timely basis;
our ability to control construction and development costs of new Shacks;
competition in new markets, including competition for appropriate sites;
failure of the landlords to timely deliver real estate to us and other landlord delays;
the proximity of potential sites to an existing Shack, and the impact of cannibalization on future growth;
anticipated commercial, residential and infrastructure development near our new Shacks; and
the cost and availability of capital to fund construction costs and pre-opening costs.
Accordingly, we cannot assure you that we will be able to successfully expand as we may not correctly analyze the suitability of a location or anticipate all of the challenges imposed by expanding our operations. Our growth strategy, and the substantial investment associated with the development of each new company-operated Shack, may cause our operating results to fluctuate and be unpredictable or adversely affect our profits. In addition, as has happened when other restaurant concepts have tried to expand, we may find that our concept has limited appeal in new markets or we may experience a decline in the popularity of our concept in the markets in which we operate. If we are unable to expand in existing markets or penetrate new markets, our ability to increase our revenues and profitability may be materially harmed or we may face losses.
Damage to our reputation could negatively impact our business, financial condition and results of operations.
Our reputation and the quality of our brand are critical to our business and success in existing markets, and will be critical to our success as we enter new markets. We believe that we have built our reputation on the high quality of our food and service, our commitment to our guests, our strong employee culture, and the atmosphere and design of our Shacks, and we must protect and grow the value of our brand in order for us to continue to be successful. Any incident that erodes consumer loyalty for our brand could significantly reduce its value and damage our business.
We may be adversely affected by any negative publicity, regardless of its accuracy, including with respect to:
food safety concerns, including food tampering or contamination;
food-borne illness incidents;
the safety of the food commodities we use, particularly beef;
guest injury;
security breaches of confidential guest or employee information;
employment-related claims relating to alleged employment discrimination, wage and hour violations, labor standards or health care and benefit issues; or
government or industry findings concerning our Shacks, restaurants operated by other food service providers, or others across the food industry supply chain.

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Also, there has been a marked increase in the use of social media platforms and similar devices, including weblogs (blogs), social media websites and other forms of internet-based communications that provide individuals with access to a broad audience of consumers and other interested persons. The availability of information on social media platforms is virtually immediate as is its impact. Many social media platforms immediately publish the content their subscribers and participants can post, often without filters or checks on accuracy of the content posted. The opportunity for dissemination of information, including inaccurate information, is seemingly limitless and readily available. Information concerning us may be posted on such platforms at any time. Information posted may be adverse to our interests or may be inaccurate, each of which may harm our performance, prospects or business. The harm may be immediate without affording us an opportunity for redress or correction.
Ultimately, the risks associated with any such negative publicity or incorrect information cannot be completely eliminated or mitigated and may materially harm our reputation, business, financial condition and results of operations.
Food safety and food-borne illness incidents may have an adverse effect on our business by not only reducing demand but also increasing operating costs.
Food safety is a top priority, and we dedicate substantial resources to help ensure that our guests enjoy safe, quality food products. However, food-borne illnesses and other food safety issues have occurred in the food industry in the past, and could occur in the future. In addition, consumer preferences could be affected by health concerns about the consumption of beef, our key ingredient. A negative report or negative publicity, whether related to one of our Shacks or to a competitor in the industry, may have an adverse impact on demand for our food and could result in decreased guest traffic to our Shacks. A decrease in guest traffic to our Shacks as a result of these health concerns or negative publicity could materially harm our brand, business, financial condition and results of operations.
Furthermore, our reliance on third-party food suppliers and distributors increases the risk that food-borne illness incidents could be caused by factors outside of our control and that multiple Shacks would be affected rather than a single Shack. We cannot ensure that all food items will be properly maintained during transport throughout the supply chain and that our employees will identify all products that may be spoiled and should not be used in our Shacks. If our guests become ill from food-borne illnesses, we could be forced to temporarily close some Shacks. Furthermore, any instances of food contamination, whether or not at our Shacks, could subject us or our suppliers to a food recall pursuant to the United States Food and Drug Administration's ("FDA") recently enacted Food Safety Modernization Act ("FSMA").
Shortages or interruptions in the supply or delivery of food products could adversely affect our operating results.
We are dependent on frequent deliveries of food products that meet our specifications. Shortages or interruptions in the supply of food products caused by problems in production or distribution, inclement weather, unanticipated demand or other conditions could adversely affect the availability, quality and cost of ingredients, which would adversely affect our operating results.
Our burgers depend on the availability of our proprietary ground beef blend. Availability of our blend depends on two different components; raw material supplied by the slaughterhouses and ground and formed beef patties supplied by regional grinders who further process and convert whole muscle purchased from the slaughterhouses. The primary risk we face is with our regional grinders. If there is an interruption of operation at any one of our regional grinder's facilities, we face an immediate risk because each Shack typically has less than three days of beef patty inventory on hand. However, we have agreements with our regional grinders to provide an alternate back-up supply in the event of a disruption in their operations. In addition, our largest supplier of raw material has agreed to an emergency plan to supply us in the event of a disruption of operations at one of our beef grinders through our broadline distributor's distribution network, but it would not be able to do so immediately.
We currently have five approved sources of raw material in the United States. If there is a supply issue with all U.S. raw material, we have seven approved suppliers in other countries. The risks to using international suppliers are shipping lead time, shipping costs, potential import duties and U.S. customs. It is unknown at this time how long it would take and at what cost the raw material would be to import from any such other country, but the delay and cost would likely be adverse to our business. However, it is our belief that only in the event of extreme disruptions would our operations be materially and adversely affected.
Our international licensed Shacks import most of our proprietary and other core ingredients from the United States and the European Union. If this international supply chain is interrupted, our international licensed operations could encounter supply shortages and incur higher costs.
Our international licensed Shacks import most of our proprietary ingredients from the United States and the European Union ("EU"). For example, our proprietary blend of beef patties and/or raw materials for beef patties originate from the United States and the EU as well as Australia. In addition, our potato buns are exclusively from the United States, and other key items such as crinkle-cut fries and American cheese originate within the United States or the EU. While we have established secondary supply solutions for some of these ingredients, we have not acquired secondary supplies for all of them.
Due to the long lead time and general volatility in the supply chain, the third-party logistic providers for our international licensed Shacks in the Middle East carry one to three months of inventory to allow for delays or interruptions in the supply chain. Specifically, we have had past and ongoing issues ensuring that timely and adequate supplies reach our Middle East Shacks. In the Middle East, our licensee, Alshaya Trading Company W.L.L. ("Alshaya"),

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delegates the supply function to its own third-party logistics providers in each country in which Alshaya operates, with which we have limited and restricted communication, preventing us from exercising control or instruction over such entities. As a result, in the Middle East, Alshaya has a limited ability to achieve economies of scale and minimize production and freight costs.
The recent sanctions enacted by the Russian Federation on many imported ingredients from the United States, the EU and Australia have affected our Russian licensee's ability to import such ingredients to our Russian Shacks. As a result of the changing and uncertain nature of such sanctions, and although our Russian licensee has identified a back-up supplier, we are unable to guarantee that the licensee will be able to import our proprietary ingredients to supply these Shacks. We have given our licensee in Russia approval to utilize alternative ingredients not affected by the sanctions, but there is a risk that these substitute ingredients may be inferior in taste and quality or come from suppliers that have not been vetted for food safety and quality assurance.
Our U.K. Shack faces challenges in obtaining potato buns and custard, which originate from our U.S. suppliers. While these ingredients have no trade restrictions, they must be shipped from the United States, which poses an ongoing risk of delay in supply deliveries.
Our Turkish Shacks currently import many key ingredients from both the EU and the United States. As is common in many developing markets, regulations are always subject to change which could potentially give rise to import risks should current importation legislation change. We are currently working on local Turkish alternatives to alleviate these risks in the future.
If our international licensed Shacks are unable to obtain our proprietary ingredients in the necessary amounts in a timely fashion as a result of logistics issues, sanctions or other challenges, it could harm its business and adversely affect the licensing fees we receive from Alshaya, adversely impacting our business and results of operations.
We have a limited number of suppliers for our major products and rely on one distribution company for the majority of our domestic distribution needs. If our suppliers or distributor are unable to fulfill their obligations under our arrangements with them, we could encounter supply shortages and incur higher costs.
We have a limited number of suppliers for our major products, including beef patties, potato buns, custard, portobello mushrooms and cheese sauce. In fiscal 2014, we purchased all of our (i) ground beef patties from five suppliers, with approximately 88% of our ground beef patties supplied by one supplier, (ii) potato buns directly from one supplier, (iii) custard base from one supplier, (iv) 'Shroom Burgers from two suppliers, with approximately 50% of our 'Shroom Burgers supplied by each supplier and (v) ShackSauce from two suppliers, with approximately 89% of our ShackSauce supplied by one supplier. Due to this concentration of suppliers, the cancellation of our supply arrangements with any one of these suppliers or the disruption, delay or inability of these suppliers to deliver these major products to our Shacks may materially and adversely affect our results of operations while we establish alternate distribution channels. In addition, if our suppliers fail to comply with food safety or other laws and regulations, or face allegations of non-compliance, their operations may be disrupted. We cannot assure you that we would be able to find replacement suppliers on commercially reasonable terms or a timely basis, if at all.
We contract with one distributor, which we refer to as our "broadline" distributor, to provide virtually all of our food distribution services in the United States. As of December 31, 2014, approximately 88% of our core food and beverage ingredients and 100% of our paper goods and chemicals, collectively representing 45% of our purchases, were processed through our broadline distributor for distribution and delivery to each Shack. As of December 31, 2014, we were utilizing nine affiliated distribution centers and each distribution center carries two to three weeks of inventory for our core ingredients. In the event of a catastrophe, such as a fire, our broadline distributor can supply the Shacks affected by their respective distribution center from another affiliated distribution center. If a catastrophe, such as a fire, were to occur at the distribution center that services the New York and New Jersey Shacks, we would be at immediate risk of product shortages because that distribution center supplies approximately 42% of our domestic company-operated Shacks, which collectively represented approximately 60% of our Shack sales, as of December 31, 2014. The other eight distribution centers collectively supply the other approximately 40% of our domestic company-operated Shacks which represent the remaining approximately 38% of our total Shack sales.
Accordingly, although we believe that alternative supply and distribution sources are available, there can be no assurance that we will continue to be able to identify or negotiate with such sources on terms that are commercially reasonable to us. If our suppliers or distributors are unable to fulfill their obligations under their contracts or we are unable to identify alternative sources, we could encounter supply shortages and incur higher costs, each of which could have a material adverse effect on our results of operations.
Security breaches of confidential guest information, in connection with our electronic processing of credit and debit card transactions, or confidential employee information may adversely affect our business.
Our business requires the collection, transmission and retention of large volumes of guest and employee data, including credit and debit card numbers and other personally identifiable information, in various information technology systems that we maintain and in those maintained by third parties with whom we contract to provide services. The integrity and protection of that guest and employee data is critical to us. Further, our guests and employees have a high expectation that we and our service providers will adequately protect their personal information.

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The information, security and privacy requirements imposed by governmental regulation are increasingly demanding. Our systems may not be able to satisfy these changing requirements and guest and employee expectations, or may require significant additional investments or time in order to do so. Efforts to hack or breach security measures, failures of systems or software to operate as designed or intended, viruses, operator error or inadvertent releases of data all threaten our and our service providers' information systems and records. A breach in the security of our information technology systems or those of our service providers could lead to an interruption in the operation of our systems, resulting in operational inefficiencies and a loss of profits. Additionally, a significant theft, loss or misappropriation of, or access to, guests' or other proprietary data or other breach of our information technology systems could result in fines, legal claims or proceedings, including regulatory investigations and actions, or liability for failure to comply with privacy and information security laws, which could disrupt our operations, damage our reputation and expose us to claims from guests and employees, any of which could have a material adverse effect on our financial condition and results of operations.
We face significant competition for guests, and our inability to compete effectively may affect our traffic, Shack sales and Shack-level operating profit margins, which could adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations.
The restaurant industry is intensely competitive with many well-established companies that compete directly and indirectly with us with respect to food quality, service, price and value, design and location. We compete in the restaurant industry with national, regional and locally-owned and/or operated limited-service restaurants and full-service restaurants. We compete with (i) "better burger" restaurants, (ii) fast casual restaurants, (iii) quick service restaurants and (iv) casual dining restaurants. Some of our competitors have significantly greater financial, marketing, personnel and other resources than we do, and many of our competitors are well-established in markets in which we have existing Shacks or intend to locate new Shacks. In addition, many of our competitors have greater name recognition nationally or in some of the local markets in which we operate or plan to open Shacks. Any inability to successfully compete with the restaurants in our markets will place downward pressure on our guest traffic and may prevent us from increasing or sustaining our revenues and profitability.
Our continued success depends, in part, on the continued popularity of our menu and the experience we offer guests at our Shacks. Consumer tastes, nutritional and dietary trends, traffic patterns and the type, number, and location of competing restaurants often affect the restaurant business, and our competitors may react more efficiently and effectively to those conditions. In addition, some of our competitors in the past have implemented programs that provide price discounts on certain menu offerings, and they may continue to do so in the future. If we are unable to continue to compete effectively, our traffic, Shack sales and Shack-level operating profit margins could decline and our business, financial condition and results of operations would be adversely affected.
Our expansion into new domestic markets may present increased risks, which could affect our profitability.
We plan to open domestic company-operated Shacks in markets where we have little or no operating experience. Shacks we open in new markets may take longer to reach expected Shack sales and profit levels on a consistent basis, are likely to be less profitable on average than our Manhattan Shacks and may have higher construction, occupancy or operating costs than Shacks we open in existing markets. New markets may have competitive conditions, consumer tastes and discretionary spending patterns that are more difficult to predict or satisfy than our existing markets. We may need to make greater investments than we originally planned in advertising and promotional activity in new markets to build brand awareness. We may find it more difficult in new markets to hire, motivate and keep qualified employees who share our values. We may also incur higher costs from entering new markets if, for example, we assign area directors to manage comparatively fewer Shacks than we assign in more developed markets. Also, until we attain a critical mass in a market, the Shacks we do open will have reduced operating leverage. As a result, these new Shacks may be less successful or may achieve target Shack-level operating profit margins at a slower rate, if ever. If we do not successfully execute our plans to enter new markets, our business, financial condition or results of operations could be adversely affected. In addition, we plan to continue to expand into new international markets, which can pose similar and additional challenges in opening new Shacks.
New Shacks, once opened, may not be profitable, and the historical performance of our Shacks may not be indicative of future results.
Our results have been, and in the future may continue to be, significantly impacted by the timing of new Shack openings (often dictated by factors outside of our control), including landlord delays, associated Shack pre-opening costs and operating inefficiencies, as well as changes in our geographic concentration due to the opening of new Shacks. We typically incur the most significant portion of pre-opening costs associated with a given Shack within the three months preceding the opening of the Shack. Our experience has been that labor and operating costs associated with a newly opened Shack for the first several months of operation are materially greater than what can be expected after that time, both in aggregate dollars and as a percentage of Shack sales. Our new Shacks commonly take eight to 12 weeks to reach planned operating levels due to inefficiencies typically associated with new Shacks, including the training of new personnel, new market learning curves, inability to hire sufficient qualified staff and other factors. We may incur additional costs in new markets, particularly for transportation and distribution, which may impact the profitability of those Shacks. Accordingly, the volume and timing of new Shack openings may have a material adverse impact on our profitability.
In addition, many of our current domestic company-operated Shacks are located in Manhattan and other high revenue markets. As we expand, this percentage will decline and as a result we may not be able to maintain our current average unit volumes ("AUVs") and Shack-level operating profit margins and our business, financial condition and results of operations may be adversely affected.

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Although we have specific target operating and financial metrics, new Shacks may not meet these targets or may take longer than anticipated to do so. Any new Shacks we open may not be profitable or achieve operating results similar to those of our existing Shacks, which could adversely affect our business, financial condition or results of operations.
Our Shack sales and profit growth could be adversely affected if same-Shack sales growth is less than we expect.
The level of same-Shack sales growth, which represents the change in year-over-year revenues for domestic company-operated Shacks open for 24 months or longer, could affect our Shack sales growth. Our ability to increase same-Shack sales depends, in part, on our ability to successfully implement our initiatives to build Shack sales. It is possible such initiatives will not be successful, that we will not achieve our target same-Shack sales growth or that same-Shack sales growth could be negative, which may cause a decrease in Shack sales and profit growth that would adversely affect our business, financial condition or results of operations.
Opening new Shacks in existing markets may negatively affect Shack sales at our existing Shacks.
The target consumer base of our Shacks varies by location, depending on a number of factors, including population density, other local restaurants and attractions, area demographics and geography. As a result, the opening of a new Shack in or near markets in which we already have Shacks could adversely affect the Shack sales of those existing Shacks. Existing Shacks could also make it more difficult to build our consumer base for a new Shack in the same market. We will continue to cluster in select markets and open new Shacks in and around areas of existing Shacks that are operating at or near capacity to leverage operational efficiencies and effectively serve our guests. Cannibalization of Shack sales among our Shacks may become significant in the future as we continue to expand our operations and could adversely affect our Shack sales growth, which could, in turn, adversely affect our business, financial condition or results of operations.
Our failure to manage our growth effectively could harm our business and operating results.
Our growth plan includes opening a significant number of new Shacks. Our existing management systems, financial and management controls and information systems may not be adequate to support our planned expansion. Our ability to manage our growth effectively will require us to continue to enhance these systems, procedures and controls and to locate, hire, train and retain management and operating personnel, particularly in new markets. We may not be able to respond on a timely basis to all of the changing demands that our planned expansion will impose on management and on our existing infrastructure, or be able to hire or retain the necessary management and operating personnel, which could harm our business, financial condition or results of operations. These demands could cause us to operate our existing business less effectively, which in turn could cause a deterioration in the financial performance of our existing Shacks. If we experience a decline in financial performance, we may decrease the number of or discontinue Shack openings, or we may decide to close Shacks that we are unable to operate in a profitable manner.
Our plans to open new Shacks, and the ongoing need for capital expenditures at our existing Shacks, require us to spend capital.
Our growth strategy depends on opening new Shacks, which will require us to use cash flows from operations and a portion of the net proceeds from our initial public offering. We cannot assure you that cash flows from operations and the net proceeds from our initial public offering will be sufficient to allow us to implement our growth strategy. If these funds are not allocated efficiently among our various projects, or if any of these initiatives prove to be unsuccessful, we may experience reduced profitability and we could be required to delay, significantly curtail or eliminate planned Shack openings, which could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.
In addition, as our Shacks mature, our business will require capital expenditures for the maintenance, renovation and improvement of existing Shacks to remain competitive and maintain the value of our brand standard. This creates an ongoing need for cash, and, to the extent we cannot fund capital expenditures from cash flows from operations, funds will need to be borrowed or otherwise obtained.
If the costs of funding new Shacks or renovations or enhancements to existing Shacks exceed budgeted amounts, and/or the time for building or renovation is longer than anticipated, our profits could be reduced. Additionally, recent inflation of material and labor costs have resulted in higher construction costs. If we cannot access the capital we need, we may not be able to execute our growth strategy, take advantage of future opportunities or respond to competitive pressures.
We are subject to risks associated with leasing property subject to long-term non-cancelable leases.
We do not own any real property and all of our domestic company-operated Shacks are located on leased premises. The leases for our Shacks generally have initial terms ranging from 10 to 20 years and typically provide for two five-year renewal options as well as for rent escalations. However, the license agreement for our Madison Square Park Shack can be terminated by the New York City Commissioner of Parks for any reason on 25 days' written notice.
Generally, our leases are net leases that require us to pay our share of the costs of real estate taxes, utilities, building operating expenses, insurance and other charges in addition to rent. We generally cannot cancel these leases. Additional sites that we lease are likely to be subject to similar long-term non-cancelable leases. If we close a Shack, we may still be obligated to perform our monetary obligations under the applicable lease, including, among other things, payment of the base rent for the remaining lease term. In addition, as each of our leases expire, we may fail to negotiate renewals,

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either on commercially acceptable terms or at all, which could cause us to close Shacks in desirable locations. We depend on cash flows from operations to pay our lease expenses and to fulfill our other cash needs. If our business does not generate sufficient cash flow from operating activities, and sufficient funds are not otherwise available to us from borrowings under the Revolving Credit Facility or other sources, we may not be able to service our lease expenses or fund our other liquidity and capital needs, which would materially affect our business.
We depend on key members of our executive management team.
We depend on the leadership and experience of our key executive management team. The loss of the services of any of our executive management team members could have a material adverse effect on our business and prospects, as we may not be able to find suitable individuals to replace such personnel on a timely basis or without incurring increased costs, or at all. We do not maintain key person life insurance policies on any of our executive officers. We believe that our future success will depend on our continued ability to attract and retain highly skilled and qualified personnel. There is a high level of competition for experienced, successful personnel in our industry. Our inability to meet our executive staffing requirements in the future could impair our growth and harm our business.
Our inability to identify qualified individuals for our workforce could slow our growth and adversely impact our ability to operate our Shacks.
We believe that the "Enlightened Hospitality" culture of our Shack team is the single most important factor to our success. Accordingly, our success depends in part upon our ability to attract, motivate and retain a sufficient number of qualified managers and associates to meet the needs of our existing Shacks and to staff new Shacks. We aim to hire warm, friendly, motivated, caring, self-aware and intellectually curious individuals, who are excited and committed to championship performance, remarkable and enriching hospitality, embodying our culture and actively growing themselves and our brand. A sufficient number of qualified individuals to fill these positions and qualifications may be in short supply in some communities. Competition in these communities for qualified staff could require us to pay higher wages and provide greater benefits, especially if there is significant improvement in regional or national economic conditions. We place a heavy emphasis on the qualification and training of our personnel and spend a significant amount of time and money on training our employees. Any inability to recruit and retain qualified individuals may result in higher turnover and increased labor costs, and could compromise the quality of our service, all of which could adversely affect our business. Any such inability could also delay the planned openings of new Shacks and could adversely impact our existing Shacks. Any such inability to retain or recruit qualified employees, increased costs of attracting qualified employees or delays in Shack openings could adversely affect our business and results of operations.
Unionization activities may disrupt our operations and affect our profitability.
Although none of our employees are currently covered under collective bargaining agreements, our employees may elect to be represented by labor unions in the future. If a significant number of our employees were to become unionized and collective bargaining agreement terms were significantly different from our current compensation arrangements, it could adversely affect our business, financial condition or results of operations. In addition, a labor dispute involving some or all of our employees may harm our reputation, disrupt our operations and reduce our revenues, and resolution of disputes may increase our costs. Further, if we enter into a new market with unionized construction companies, or the construction companies in our current markets become unionized, construction and build out costs for new Shacks in such markets could materially increase.
Increased food commodity and energy costs could decrease our Shack-level operating profit margins or cause us to limit or otherwise modify our menu, which could adversely affect our business.
Our profitability depends in part on our ability to anticipate and react to changes in the price and availability of food commodities, including among other things beef, poultry, grains, dairy and produce. Prices may be affected due to market changes, increased competition, the general risk of inflation, shortages or interruptions in supply due to weather, disease or other conditions beyond our control, or other reasons. For example, certain regions of the United States experienced a significant drought in 2014, which increased the price of certain food commodities, including beef, dairy and produce. Other events could increase commodity prices or cause shortages that could affect the cost and quality of the items we buy or require us to further raise prices or limit our menu options. These events, combined with other more general economic and demographic conditions, could impact our pricing and negatively affect our Shack sales and Shack-level operating profit margins. While we have been able to partially offset inflation and other changes in the costs of core operating resources by gradually increasing menu prices, coupled with more efficient purchasing practices, productivity improvements and greater economies of scale, there can be no assurance that we will be able to continue to do so in the future. From time to time, competitive conditions could limit our menu pricing flexibility. In addition, macroeconomic conditions could make additional menu price increases imprudent. There can be no assurance that future cost increases can be offset by increased menu prices or that increased menu prices will be fully absorbed by our guests without any resulting change to their visit frequencies or purchasing patterns. In addition, there can be no assurance that we will generate same-Shack sales growth in an amount sufficient to offset inflationary or other cost pressures.
We do not currently hedge our commodity risks. We may decide to enter into certain forward pricing arrangements with our suppliers, which could result in fixed or formula-based pricing with respect to certain food products. However, these arrangements generally are relatively short in duration and may provide only limited protection from price changes. In addition, the use of these arrangements may limit our ability to benefit from favorable price movements.
Our profitability also is adversely affected by increases in the price of utilities, such as natural gas, electric, and water, whether as a result of inflation, shortages or interruptions in supply, or otherwise. Our ability to respond to increased costs by increasing prices or by implementing alternative processes

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or products will depend on our ability to anticipate and react to such increases and other more general economic and demographic conditions, as well as the responses of our competitors and guests. All of these things may be difficult to predict and beyond our control. In this manner, increased costs could adversely affect our results of operations.
Higher health care costs and labor costs could adversely affect our business.
With the passage in 2010 of the U.S. Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (the "ACA"), we are required to provide affordable coverage, as defined in the ACA, to all employees, or otherwise be subject to a payment per employee based on the affordability criteria in the ACA. Many of these requirements will be phased in over a period of time, with the majority of the most impactful provisions affecting us presently anticipated to begin in the second quarter of fiscal 2015. Additionally, some states and localities have passed state and local laws mandating the provision of certain levels of health benefits by some employers. Increased health care and insurance costs could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations. In addition, changes in federal or state workplace regulations could adversely affect our ability to meet our financial targets.
Various federal and state labor laws govern our relationships with our employees and affect operating costs. These laws include employee classifications as exempt or non-exempt, minimum wage requirements, unemployment tax rates, workers' compensation rates, overtime, family leave, safety standards, payroll taxes, citizenship requirements and other wage and benefit requirements for employees classified as non-exempt. As our team members are paid at rates set above, but related to, the applicable minimum wage, further increases in the minimum wage could increase our labor costs. Significant additional government regulations could materially affect our business, financial condition and results of operations.
We are subject to many federal, state and local laws with which compliance is both costly and complex.
The restaurant industry is subject to extensive federal, state and local laws and regulations, including the recently enacted comprehensive health care reform legislation discussed above, those relating to building and zoning requirements and those relating to the preparation and sale of food. Such laws and regulations are subject to change from time to time. The failure to comply with these laws and regulations could adversely affect our operating results. Typically, licenses, permits and approvals under such laws and regulations must be renewed annually and may be revoked, suspended or denied renewal for cause at any time if governmental authorities determine that our conduct violates applicable regulations. Difficulties or failure to maintain or obtain the required licenses, permits and approvals could adversely affect our existing Shacks and delay or result in our decision to cancel the opening of new Shacks, which would adversely affect our business.
The development and operation of Shacks depend, to a significant extent, on the selection of suitable sites, which are subject to zoning, land use, environmental, traffic and other regulations and requirements. We are also subject to licensing and regulation by state and local authorities relating to health, sanitation, safety and fire standards.
There is also a potential for increased regulation of certain food establishments in the United States, where compliance with a Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points ("HACCP") approach may now be required. HACCP refers to a management system in which food safety is addressed through the analysis and control of potential hazards from production, procurement and handling, to manufacturing, distribution and consumption of the finished product. Many states have required restaurants to develop and implement HACCP Systems, and the United States government continues to expand the sectors of the food industry that must adopt and implement HACCP programs. For example, FSMA signed into law in January 2011, granted the FDA new authority regarding the safety of the entire food system, including through increased inspections and mandatory food recalls. Although restaurants are specifically exempted from or not directly implicated by some of these new requirements, we anticipate that the new requirements may impact our industry. Additionally, our suppliers may initiate or otherwise be subject to food recalls that may impact the availability of certain products, result in adverse publicity or require us to take actions that could be costly for us or otherwise impact our business.
We are subject to the ADA, which, among other things, requires our Shacks to meet federally mandated requirements for the disabled. The ADA prohibits discrimination in employment and public accommodations on the basis of disability. Under the ADA, we could be required to expend funds to modify our Shacks to provide service to, or make reasonable accommodations for the employment of, disabled persons. In addition, our employment practices are subject to the requirements of the Immigration and Naturalization Service relating to citizenship and residency.
In addition, our licensing activities are subject to laws enacted by a number of states, rules and regulations promulgated by the U.S. Federal Trade Commission and certain rules and requirements regulating licensing activities in foreign countries. Failure to comply with new or existing licensing laws, rules and regulations in any jurisdiction or to obtain required government approvals could negatively affect our licensing sales and our relationships with our licensees.
The impact of current laws and regulations, the effect of future changes in laws or regulations that impose additional requirements and the consequences of litigation relating to current or future laws and regulations, or our inability to respond effectively to significant regulatory or public policy issues, could increase our compliance and other costs of doing business and, therefore, have an adverse effect on our results of operations. Failure to comply with the laws and regulatory requirements of federal, state and local authorities could result in, among other things, revocation of required licenses, administrative enforcement actions, fines and civil and criminal liability. In addition, certain laws, including the ADA, could require us to expend significant funds to make modifications to our Shacks if we failed to comply with applicable standards. Compliance with all of these laws and regulations can be costly and can increase our exposure to litigation or governmental investigations or proceedings.

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Our marketing strategies and channels will evolve and our programs may or may not be successful.
Shake Shack is a small, but growing brand. We incur costs and expend other resources in our marketing efforts to attract and retain guests. The brand's promotion includes public relations, digital and social media, promotions, and in-store messaging, which require less marketing spend as compared to traditional marketing programs. Currently, the amount of discounted promotions and advertising we do is nominal. As the number of Shacks increases, and as we expand into new markets, we expect to increase our investment in advertising and consider additional promotional activities. Accordingly, in the future, we will incur greater marketing expenditures, resulting in greater financial risk and a greater impact on our Company.
Some of these initiatives may not be successful, resulting in expenses incurred without the benefit of higher revenues. Additionally, some of our competitors have greater financial resources, which enable them to spend significantly more on marketing and advertising than we are able to at this time. Should our competitors increase spending on marketing and advertising or our marketing funds decrease for any reason, or should our advertising and promotions be less effective than those of our competitors, there could be a material adverse effect on our results of operations and financial condition.
Changes in economic conditions, including continuing effects from the recent recession, could materially affect our business, financial condition and results of operations.
The restaurant industry depends on consumer discretionary spending. During the economic downturn starting in 2008, continuing disruptions in the overall economy, including the ongoing impacts of the housing crisis, high unemployment, and financial market volatility and unpredictability, caused a related reduction in consumer confidence, which negatively affected the restaurant industry. These factors, as well as national, regional and local regulatory and economic conditions, gasoline prices, energy and other utility costs, inclement weather, conditions in the residential real estate and mortgage markets, health care costs, access to credit, disposable consumer income and consumer confidence, affect discretionary consumer spending. If these economic conditions persist or worsen, guest traffic could be adversely impacted if our guests choose to dine out less frequently or reduce the amount they spend on meals while dining out. If such negative economic conditions persist for a long period of time or become more pervasive, consumer changes to their discretionary spending behavior, including the frequency with which they dine out, could be more permanent. If Shack sales decrease, our profitability could decline as we spread fixed costs across a lower level of Shack sales. Prolonged negative trends in Shack sales could cause us to, among other things, reduce the number and frequency of new Shack openings, close Shacks or delay remodeling of our existing Shacks or take asset impairment charges.
Changes to estimates related to our property, fixtures and equipment or operating results that are lower than our current estimates at certain Shacks may cause us to incur impairment charges on certain long-lived assets, which may adversely affect our results of operations.
In accordance with accounting guidance as it relates to the impairment of long-lived assets, we make certain estimates and projections with regard to individual Shack operations, as well as our overall performance, in connection with our impairment analyses for long-lived assets. If an impairment indicator was deemed to exist for a Shack, the estimated undiscounted future cash flows would be compared to its carrying value. If the carrying value exceeds the undiscounted cash flows, we would recognize an impairment charge equal to the difference between the carrying value and the fair value. The projections of future cash flows used in these analyses require the use of judgment and a number of estimates and projections of future operating results. If actual results differ from our estimates, additional charges for asset impairments may be required in the future.
We rely on a limited number of licensees for the operation of our licensed Shacks, and we have limited control with respect to the operations of our licensed Shacks, which could have a negative impact on our reputation and business.
We rely, in part, on our licensees and the manner in which they operate their Shacks to develop and promote our business. As of December 31, 2014, two licensees operated all of our domestic licensed Shacks and Alshaya, through affiliated and unaffiliated third party sub-licensees, operated all of our international licensed Shacks. Our licensees are required to operate their Shacks according to the specific guidelines we set forth that are essential to maintaining brand integrity and reputation as well as in accordance with all laws and regulations applicable to Shake Shack and its subsidiaries, and all laws and regulations applicable in the countries in which we operate. We provide training to these licensees to integrate them into our operating strategy and culture. However, since we do not have day-to-day control over all of these Shacks, we cannot give assurance that there will not be differences in product and service quality, operations, marketing or profitably or that there will be adherence to all of our guidelines and applicable laws at these Shacks. In addition, if our licensees fail to make investments necessary to maintain or improve their Shacks, guest preference for the Shake Shack brand could suffer. Failure of these Shacks to operate effectively could adversely affect our cash flows from those operations or have a negative impact on our reputation or our business.
Although we have developed criteria to evaluate and screen prospective developers and licensees, we cannot be certain that the developers and licensees we select will have the business acumen necessary to open and operate successful licensed Shacks in their licensing areas. Our licensees compete for guests with other restaurants in their geographic markets, and the ability of our licensees to compete for guests directly impacts our results of operations, as well as the desirability of our brand to prospective licensees. Licensees may not have access to the financial or management resources that they need to open the Shacks contemplated by their agreements with us or to be able to find suitable sites on which to develop them, or they may elect to cease development for other reasons. Licensees may not be able to negotiate acceptable lease or purchase terms for the sites, obtain the necessary permits and governmental approvals or meet construction schedules. Additionally, financing from banks and other financial institutions may

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not always be available to licensees to construct and open new Shacks. Any of these problems could slow our growth from licensing operations and reduce our licensing revenues.
A challenging economic environment may affect our licensees, with adverse consequences to us.
Our operating results are impacted by the ability of our licensees to generate revenues at their licensed Shacks. It is possible that, in a challenging economic environment, some licensees could file for bankruptcy or become delinquent in their payments to us, which could have significant adverse impacts on our business due to the loss or delay in payments of licensing and other fees. Bankruptcy or other adverse performance by our licensees could negatively impact our market share and operating results as we may have fewer well-performing Shacks, and adversely impact our ability to attract new licensees.
If we are unable to maintain good relationships with our licensees, revenues could decrease and we may be unable to expand our presence in certain markets.
Our licensees pay us a license fee and certain other fees pursuant to our license agreements. The viability of our licensing business depends on our ability to establish and maintain good relationships with our licensees. In particular, our relationship with our international licensee, who is our sole international licensee and has an exclusive right to open new Shacks in certain markets, is critical to our international operations.
The value of our brand and the rapport that we maintain with our licensees are important factors for potential licensees considering doing business with us. If we are unable to maintain good relationships with licensees, we may be unable to renew license agreements and opportunities for developing new relationships with additional licensees may be adversely affected. This, in turn, could have an adverse effect on our results of operations.
Our license agreements require us and our licensees to comply with operational and performance conditions that are subject to interpretation and could result in disagreements. At any given time, we may be in disputes with one or more of our licensees. An adverse result in any such dispute could adversely impact our results of operations and business.
We rely heavily on information technology, and any material failure, weakness, interruption or breach of security could prevent us from effectively operating our business.
We rely heavily on information systems, including point-of-sale processing in our Shacks, for management of our supply chain, accounting, payment of obligations, collection of cash, credit and debit card transactions and other processes and procedures. Our ability to efficiently and effectively manage our business depends significantly on the reliability and capacity of these systems. Our operations depend upon our ability to protect our computer equipment and systems against damage from physical theft, fire, power loss, telecommunications failure or other catastrophic events, as well as from internal and external security breaches, viruses and other disruptive problems. The failure of these systems to operate effectively, maintenance problems, upgrading or transitioning to new platforms, expanding our systems as we grow or a breach in security of these systems could result in interruptions to or delays in our business and guest service and reduce efficiency in our operations. If our information technology systems fail and our redundant systems or disaster recovery plans are not adequate to address such failures, or if our business interruption insurance does not sufficiently compensate us for any losses that we may incur, our revenues and profits could be reduced and the reputation of our brand and our business could be materially adversely affected. In addition, remediation of such problems could result in significant, unplanned capital investments.
Legislation and regulations requiring the display and provision of nutritional information for our menu offerings, and new information or attitudes regarding diet and health or adverse opinions about the health effects of consuming our menu offerings, could affect consumer preferences and negatively impact our business, financial condition and results of operations.
We serve burgers, hot dogs, crinkle-cut fries, shakes, frozen custard, beer and wine. Government regulation and consumer eating habits may impact our business as a result of changes in attitudes regarding diet and health or new information regarding the health effects of consuming our menu offerings. These changes have resulted in, and may continue to result in, the enactment of laws and regulations that impact the ingredients and nutritional content of our menu offerings, or laws and regulations requiring us to disclose the nutritional content of our food offerings.
For example, a number of states, counties and cities have enacted menu labeling laws requiring multi-unit restaurant operators to disclose certain nutritional information to customers, or have enacted legislation restricting the use of certain types of ingredients in restaurants. Furthermore, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 (the "PPACA") establishes a uniform, federal requirement for certain restaurants to post certain nutritional information on their menus. Specifically, the PPACA amended the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act to require certain chain restaurants to publish the total number of calories of standard menu items on menus and menu boards, along with a statement that puts this calorie information in the context of a total daily calorie intake. The PPACA also requires covered restaurants to provide to consumers, upon request, a written summary of detailed nutritional information for each standard menu item, and to provide a statement on menus and menu boards about the availability of this information. The PPACA further permits the FDA to require covered restaurants to make additional nutrient disclosures, such as disclosure of trans-fat content. An unfavorable report on, or reaction to, our menu ingredients, the size of our portions or the nutritional content of our menu items could negatively influence the demand for our offerings.

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We cannot make any assurances regarding our ability to effectively respond to changes in consumer health perceptions or our ability to successfully implement the nutrient content disclosure requirements and to adapt our menu offerings to trends in eating habits. The imposition of menu-labeling laws could have an adverse effect on our results of operations and financial position, as well as the hospitality industry in general.
Our insurance may not provide adequate levels of coverage against claims.
We believe that we maintain insurance customary for businesses of our size and type. However, there are types of losses we may incur that cannot be insured against or that we believe are not economically reasonable to insure. Such losses could have a material adverse effect on our business and results of operations.
Because a component of our strategy is to continue to grow our licensed business internationally, the risks of doing business internationally could lower our revenues, increase our costs, reduce our profits or disrupt our business.
Twenty-seven of our 32 licensed Shacks as of December 31, 2014 are located outside the United States and we expect to continue to expand our licensed Shacks internationally. As a result, we are and will be, on an increasing basis, subject to the risks of doing business outside the United States, including:
changes in foreign currency exchange rates or currency restructurings and hyperinflation or deflation in the countries in which we operate;
the imposition of restrictions on currency conversion or the transfer of funds or limitations on our ability to repatriate non-U.S. earnings in a tax effective manner;
the presence and acceptance of varying levels of business corruption in international markets;
the ability to comply with, or impact of complying with, complex and changing laws, regulations and policies of foreign governments that may affect investments or operations, including foreign ownership restrictions, import and export controls, tariffs, embargoes, intellectual property, licensing requirements and regulations, increase in taxes paid and other changes in applicable tax laws;
the difficulties involved in managing an organization doing business in many different countries;
the ability to comply with, or impact of complying with, complex and changing laws, regulations and economic political policies of the U.S. government, including U.S. laws and regulations relating to economic sanctions, export controls and anti-boycott requirements;
increase in an anti-American sentiment and the identification of the licensed brand as an American brand;
the effect of disruptions caused by severe weather, natural disasters, outbreak of disease or other events that make travel to a particular region less attractive or more difficult; and
political and economic stability.
Any or all of these factors may adversely affect the performance of and licensing fees we receive from our licensed Shacks located in international markets. Our international licensed Shacks operate in several volatile regions that are subject to geopolitical and socio-political factors that pose risk to our business operations. In particular, our licensee has been negatively impacted by currency devaluation in Russia and we have seen a reduction in licensing revenue from our two Russian Shacks. If conditions persist or worsen, it is possible that our licensee may choose to close one or both Shacks. In addition, the economy of any region in which our Shacks are located may be adversely affected to a greater degree than that of other areas of the country or the world by certain developments affecting industries concentrated in that region or country. While these factors and the impact of these factors are difficult to predict, any one or more of them could lower our revenues, increase our costs, reduce our profits or disrupt our business, and, as our international licensed operations increase, these risks will become more pronounced.
Because of our international licensed operations, we could be adversely affected by violations of the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and similar worldwide anti-bribery and anti-kickback laws.
A significant portion of our licensed operations are located outside the United States. The U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, and other similar anti-bribery and anti-kickback laws and regulations, generally prohibit companies and their intermediaries from making improper payments to non-U.S. officials for the purpose of obtaining or retaining business. While our license agreements mandate compliance with applicable law, we cannot assure you that we will be successful in preventing our employees or other agents from taking actions in violation of these laws or regulations. Such violations, or allegations of such violations, could disrupt our business and result in a material adverse effect on our financial condition, results of operations and cash flows.
Changes in statutory, regulatory, accounting, and other legal requirements could potentially impact our operating and financial results.
We are subject to numerous statutory, regulatory and legal requirements, domestically and abroad. Our operating results could be negatively impacted by developments in these areas due to the costs of compliance in addition to possible government penalties and litigation in the event of deemed noncompliance. Changes in the regulatory environment in the area of food safety, privacy and information security, wage and hour laws, among others, could potentially impact our operations and financial results.
We lease all of our domestic company-operated Shacks, and each is classified as an operating lease. The Financial Accounting Standards Board has issued an exposure draft that will revise lease accounting and require many leases currently considered to be operating leases to instead be classified as capital leases. The primary impact to this exposure draft would be that such leases would be recorded on the balance sheet as debt, and they

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currently have an off-balance sheet classification as operating leases. The timeline for effectiveness of this pronouncement, as well as the final guidelines and potential financial impact, are unclear at this point.
Fluctuations in our tax obligations and effective tax rate and realization of our deferred tax assets may result in volatility of our operating results.
We are subject to income taxes in various U.S. and foreign jurisdictions. We record tax expense based on our estimates of future payments, which may include reserves for uncertain tax positions in multiple tax jurisdictions, and valuation allowances related to certain net deferred tax assets. At any one time, many tax years may be subject to audit by various taxing jurisdictions. The results of these audits and negotiations with taxing authorities may affect the ultimate settlement of these issues. We expect that throughout the year there could be ongoing variability in our quarterly tax rates as events occur and exposures are evaluated.
In addition, our effective tax rate in a given financial statement period may be materially impacted by a variety of factors including but not limited to changes in the mix and level of earnings, varying tax rates in the different jurisdictions in which we operate, fluctuations in the valuation allowance or by changes to existing accounting rules or regulations. Further, tax legislation may be enacted in the future which could negatively impact our current or future tax structure and effective tax rates.
We may not be able to adequately protect our intellectual property, which, in turn, could harm the value of our brands and adversely affect our business.
Our ability to implement our business plan successfully depends in part on our ability to further build brand recognition using our trademarks, service marks, proprietary products and other intellectual property, including our name and logos and the unique character and atmosphere of our Shacks. We rely on U.S. and foreign trademark, copyright, and trade secret laws, as well as license agreements, nondisclosure agreements, and confidentiality and other contractual provisions to protect our intellectual property. Nevertheless, our competitors may develop similar menu items and concepts, and adequate remedies may not be available in the event of an unauthorized use or disclosure of our trade secrets and other intellectual property.
The success of our business depends on our continued ability to use our existing trademarks and service marks to increase brand awareness and further develop our brand in both domestic and international markets. We have registered and applied to register trademarks and service marks in the United States and foreign jurisdictions. We may not be able to adequately protect our trademarks and service marks, and our competitors and others may successfully challenge the validity and/or enforceability of our trademarks and service marks and other intellectual property. The steps we have taken to protect our intellectual property in the United States and in foreign countries may not be adequate. In addition, the laws of some foreign countries do not protect intellectual property to the same extent as the laws of the United States.
If our efforts to maintain and protect our intellectual property are inadequate, or if any third party misappropriates, dilutes or infringes on our intellectual property, the value of our brands may be harmed, which could have a material adverse effect on our business and might prevent our brands from achieving or maintaining market acceptance.
We may also from time to time be required to institute litigation to enforce our trademarks, service marks and other intellectual property. Such litigation could result in substantial costs and diversion of resources and could negatively affect our sales, profitability and prospects regardless of whether we are able to successfully enforce our rights.
Third parties may assert that we infringe, misappropriate or otherwise violate their intellectual property and may sue us for intellectual property infringement. Even if we are successful in these proceedings, we may incur substantial costs, and the time and attention of our management and other personnel may be diverted in pursuing these proceedings. If a court finds that we infringe a third party's intellectual property, we may be required to pay damages and/or be subject to an injunction. With respect to any third party intellectual property that we use or wish to use in our business (whether or not asserted against us in litigation), we may not be able to enter into licensing or other arrangements with the owner of such intellectual property at a reasonable cost or on reasonable terms.
Restaurant companies have been the target of class action lawsuits and other proceedings that are costly, divert management attention and, if successful, could result in our payment of substantial damages or settlement costs.
Our business is subject to the risk of litigation by employees, guests, suppliers, licensees, stockholders or others through private actions, class actions, administrative proceedings, regulatory actions or other litigation. The outcome of litigation, particularly class action and regulatory actions, is difficult to assess or quantify. In recent years, restaurant companies have been subject to lawsuits, including class action lawsuits, alleging violations of federal and state laws regarding workplace and employment matters, discrimination and similar matters. A number of these lawsuits have resulted in the payment of substantial damages by the defendants. Similar lawsuits have been instituted from time to time alleging violations of various federal and state wage and hour laws regarding, among other things, employee meal deductions, overtime eligibility of assistant managers and failure to pay for all hours worked. While we have not been a party to any of these types of lawsuits in the past, there can be no assurance that we will not be named in any such lawsuit in the future or that we would not be required to pay substantial expenses and/or damages.

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Occasionally, our guests file complaints or lawsuits against us alleging that we are responsible for some illness or injury they suffered at or after a visit to one of our Shacks, including actions seeking damages resulting from food-borne illness or accidents in our Shacks. We are also subject to a variety of other claims from third parties arising in the ordinary course of our business, including contract claims. The restaurant industry has also been subject to a growing number of claims that the menus and actions of restaurant chains have led to the obesity of certain of their customers.
Regardless of whether any claims against us are valid or whether we are liable, claims may be expensive to defend and may divert time and money away from our operations. In addition, they may generate negative publicity, which could reduce guest traffic and Shack sales. Although we maintain what we believe to be adequate levels of insurance, insurance may not be available at all or in sufficient amounts to cover any liabilities with respect to these or other matters. A judgment or other liability in excess of our insurance coverage for any claims or any adverse publicity resulting from claims could adversely affect our business and results of operations.
Our business is subject to risks related to our sale of alcoholic beverages.
We serve beer and wine at most of our Shacks. Alcoholic beverage control regulations generally require our Shacks to apply to a state authority and, in certain locations, county or municipal authorities for a license that must be renewed annually and may be revoked or suspended for cause at any time. Alcoholic beverage control regulations relate to numerous aspects of daily operations of our Shacks, including minimum age of patrons and employees, hours of operation, advertising, trade practices, wholesale purchasing, other relationships with alcohol manufacturers, wholesalers and distributors, inventory control and handling, storage and dispensing of alcoholic beverages. Any future failure to comply with these regulations and obtain or retain licenses could adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations.
We are also subject in certain states to "dram shop" statutes, which generally provide a person injured by an intoxicated person the right to recover damages from an establishment that wrongfully served alcoholic beverages to the intoxicated person. We carry liquor liability coverage as part of our existing comprehensive general liability insurance. Recent litigation against restaurant chains has resulted in significant judgments and settlements under dram shop statutes. Because these cases often seek punitive damages, which may not be covered by insurance, such litigation could have an adverse impact on our business, results of operations or financial condition. Regardless of whether any claims against us are valid or whether we are liable, claims may be expensive to defend and may divert time and money away from operations and hurt our financial performance. A judgment significantly in excess of our insurance coverage or not covered by insurance could have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations or financial condition.
Our business is subject to seasonal fluctuations.
Our business is subject to seasonal fluctuations in that our Shack sales are typically nominally higher during the summer months affecting the second and third quarters of the fiscal year. Our quarterly results have been and will continue to be affected by the timing of new Shack openings and their associated pre-opening costs. As a result of these factors, our financial results for any single quarter or for periods of less than a year are not necessarily indicative of the results that may be achieved for a full fiscal year.
Because many of our domestic company-operated Shacks are concentrated in local or regional areas, we are susceptible to economic and other trends and developments, including adverse weather conditions, in these areas.
Our financial performance is highly dependent on Shacks located in the Northeast and the New York City metropolitan area, which comprised approximately 55% (or 17 out of 31) of our total domestic company-operated Shacks as of December 31, 2014. As a result, adverse economic conditions in any of these areas could have a material adverse effect on our overall results of operations. In addition, given our geographic concentrations, negative publicity regarding any of our Shacks in these areas could have a material adverse effect on our business and operations, as could other regional occurrences such as local strikes, terrorist attacks, increases in energy prices, inclement weather or natural or man-made disasters.
In particular, adverse weather conditions, such as regional winter storms, floods, severe thunderstorms and hurricanes, could negatively impact our results of operations. For example, we experienced temporary Shack closures on the east coast due to Superstorm Sandy, which resulted in the closing of 11 Shacks for at least one day. Temporary or prolonged Shack closures may occur and guest traffic may decline due to the actual or perceived effects of future weather related events.
Risks Related to Our Organizational Structure
We are a holding company and our principal asset is our interest in SSE Holdings, and, accordingly, we will depend on distributions from SSE Holdings to pay our taxes and expenses, including payments under the Tax Receivable Agreement. SSE Holdings' ability to make such distributions may be subject to various limitations and restrictions.
We are a holding company and have no material assets other than our ownership interest in SSE Holdings. As such, we will have no independent means of generating revenue or cash flow, and our ability to pay our taxes and operating expenses or declare and pay dividends in the future, if any, will be dependent upon the financial results and cash flows of SSE Holdings and its subsidiaries and distributions we receive from SSE Holdings. There

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can be no assurance that SSE Holdings and its subsidiaries or affiliates will generate sufficient cash flow to distribute funds to us or that applicable state law and contractual restrictions, including negative covenants in our debt instruments, will permit such distributions.
SSE Holdings will continue to be treated as a partnership for U.S. federal income tax purposes and, as such, will not be subject to any entity-level U.S. federal income tax. Instead, taxable income will be allocated to its members, including us. Accordingly, we will incur income taxes on our allocable share of any net taxable income of SSE Holdings. Under the terms of the SSE Holdings LLC Agreement, SSE Holdings is obligated to make tax distributions to its members, including us. In addition to tax expenses, we will also incur expenses related to our operations, including payments under the Tax Receivable Agreement, which we expect could be significant. We intend, as its managing member, to cause SSE Holdings to make cash distributions to its members in an amount sufficient to (i) fund all or part of their tax obligations in respect of taxable income allocated to them and (ii) cover our operating expenses, including payments under the Tax Receivable Agreement. However, SSE Holdings' ability to make such distributions may be subject to various limitations and restrictions, such as restrictions on distributions that would either violate any contract or agreement to which SSE Holdings is then a party, including debt agreements, or any applicable law, or that would have the effect of rendering SSE Holdings insolvent. If we do not have sufficient funds to pay tax or other liabilities or to fund our operations, we may have to borrow funds, which could materially adversely affect our liquidity and financial condition and subject us to various restrictions imposed by any such lenders. To the extent that we are unable to make payments under the Tax Receivable Agreement for any reason, such payments generally will be deferred and will accrue interest until paid; provided, however, that nonpayment for a specified period may constitute a material breach of a material obligation under the Tax Receivable Agreement and therefore accelerate payments due under the Tax Receivable Agreement. In addition, if SSE Holdings does not have sufficient funds to make distributions, our ability to declare and pay cash dividends will also be restricted or impaired.
Our organizational structure, including the Tax Receivable Agreement, confers certain benefits upon the Continuing SSE Equity Owners that will not benefit Class A common stockholders to the same extent as it will benefit the Continuing SSE Equity Owners.
We are a party to the Tax Receivable Agreement with the Continuing SSE Equity Owners. Under the Tax Receivable Agreement, we are required to make cash payments to the Continuing SSE Equity Owners equal to 85% of the tax benefits, if any, that we actually realize, or in certain circumstances are deemed to realize, as a result of (1) the increases in the tax basis of assets of SSE Holdings resulting from any redemptions or exchanges of LLC Interests from the Continuing SSE Equity Owners or any prior sales of interests in SSE Holdings and (2) certain other tax benefits related to our making payments under the Tax Receivable Agreement.
We expect that the amount of the cash payments that we are required to make under the Tax Receivable Agreement will be significant. Any payments made by us to the Continuing SSE Equity Owners under the Tax Receivable Agreement will generally reduce the amount of overall cash flow that might have otherwise been available to us. Furthermore, our future obligation to make payments under the Tax Receivable Agreement could make us a less attractive target for an acquisition, particularly in the case of an acquirer that cannot use some or all of the tax benefits that are the subject of the Tax Receivable Agreement. Payments under the Tax Receivable Agreement are not conditioned on any Continuing SSE Equity Owner's continued ownership of LLC Interests or our Class A common stock after the IPO.
The actual amount and timing of any payments under the Tax Receivable Agreement, will vary depending upon a number of factors, including the timing of redemptions or exchanges by the holders of LLC Interests, the amount of gain recognized by such holders of LLC Interests, the amount and timing of the taxable income we generate in the future, and the federal tax rates then applicable.
In certain cases, payments under the Tax Receivable Agreement to the Continuing SSE Equity Owners may be accelerated or significantly exceed the actual benefits we realize in respect of the tax attributes subject to the Tax Receivable Agreement.
The Tax Receivable Agreement provides that, upon certain mergers, asset sales, other forms of business combinations or other changes of control or if, at any time, we elect an early termination of the Tax Receivable Agreement, then our obligations, or our successor's obligations, under the Tax Receivable Agreement to make payments thereunder would be based on certain assumptions, including an assumption that we would have sufficient taxable income to fully utilize all potential future tax benefits that are subject to the Tax Receivable Agreement.
As a result of the foregoing, (i) we could be required to make payments under the Tax Receivable Agreement that are greater than the specified percentage of the actual benefits we ultimately realize in respect of the tax benefits that are subject to the Tax Receivable Agreement and (ii) if we elect to terminate the Tax Receivable Agreement early, we would be required to make an immediate cash payment equal to the present value of the anticipated future tax benefits that are the subject of the Tax Receivable Agreement, which payment may be made significantly in advance of the actual realization, if any, of such future tax benefits. In these situations, our obligations under the Tax Receivable Agreement could have a substantial negative impact on our liquidity and could have the effect of delaying, deferring or preventing certain mergers, asset sales, other forms of business combinations or other changes of control. There can be no assurance that we will be able to fund or finance our obligations under the Tax Receivable Agreement.
We will not be reimbursed for any payments made to the Continuing SSE Equity Owners under the Tax Receivable Agreement in the event that any tax benefits are disallowed.
Payments under the Tax Receivable Agreement will be based on the tax reporting positions that we determine, and the Internal Revenue Service (the "IRS") or another tax authority may challenge all or part of the tax basis increases, as well as other related tax positions we take, and a court could sustain such challenge. If the outcome of any such challenge would reasonably be expected to materially affect a recipient's payments under the Tax

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Receivable Agreement, then we will not be permitted to settle or fail to contest such challenge without the consent (not to be unreasonably withheld or delayed) of each Continuing SSE Equity Owner that directly or indirectly owns at least 10% of the outstanding LLC Interests. We will not be reimbursed for any cash payments previously made to the Continuing SSE Equity Owners under the Tax Receivable Agreement in the event that any tax benefits initially claimed by us and for which payment has been made to a Continuing SSE Equity Owner are subsequently challenged by a taxing authority and are ultimately disallowed. Instead, any excess cash payments made by us to a Continuing SSE Equity Owner will be netted against any future cash payments that we might otherwise be required to make to such Continuing SSE Equity Owner under the terms of the Tax Receivable Agreement. However, we might not determine that we have effectively made an excess cash payment to a Continuing SSE Equity Owner for a number of years following the initial time of such payment and, if any of our tax reporting positions are challenged by a taxing authority, we will not be permitted to reduce any future cash payments under the Tax Receivable Agreement until any such challenge is finally settled or determined. As a result, payments could be made under the Tax Receivable Agreement in excess of the tax savings that we realize in respect of the tax attributes with respect to a Continuing SSE Equity Owner that are the subject of the Tax Receivable Agreement.
Unanticipated changes in effective tax rates or adverse outcomes resulting from examination of our income or other tax returns could adversely affect our results of operations and financial condition.
We are subject to taxes by the U.S. federal, state, local and foreign tax authorities, and our tax liabilities will be affected by the allocation of expenses to differing jurisdictions. Our future effective tax rates could be subject to volatility or adversely affected by a number of factors, including:
changes in the valuation of our deferred tax assets and liabilities;
expected timing and amount of the release of any tax valuation allowance;
tax effects of stock-based compensation;
changes in tax laws, regulations or interpretations thereof; or
future earnings being lower than anticipated in jurisdictions where we have lower statutory tax rates and higher than anticipated earnings in jurisdictions where we have higher statutory tax rates.
In addition, we may be subject to audits of our income, sales and other transaction taxes by U.S. federal, state, local and foreign taxing authorities. Outcomes from these audits could have an adverse effect on our operating results and financial condition.
Shake Shack is controlled by the Continuing SSE Equity Owners, whose interests may differ from those of our public stockholders.
The Continuing SSE Equity Owners control approximately 83.2% of the combined voting power of our common stock through their ownership of both Class A common stock and Class B common stock. The Continuing SSE Equity Owners, for the foreseeable future, have significant influence over corporate management and affairs, and control virtually all matters requiring stockholder approval. The Continuing SSE Equity Owners are able to, subject to applicable law, and the voting arrangements allow the Continuing SSE Equity Owners to, elect a majority of the members of our Board of Directors and control actions to be taken by us and our Board of Directors, including amendments to our certificate of incorporation and bylaws and approval of significant corporate transactions, including mergers and sales of substantially all of our assets. The directors so elected will have the authority, subject to the terms of our indebtedness and applicable rules and regulations, to issue additional stock, implement stock repurchase programs, declare dividends and make other decisions. It is possible that the interests of the Continuing SSE Equity Owners may in some circumstances conflict with our interests and the interests of our other stockholders, including you. For example, the Continuing SSE Equity Owners may have different tax positions from us, especially in light of the Tax Receivable Agreement, that could influence their decisions regarding whether and when to dispose of assets, whether and when to incur new or refinance existing indebtedness, and whether and when Shake Shack should terminate the Tax Receivable Agreement and accelerate its obligations thereunder. In addition, the determination of future tax reporting positions, the structuring of future transactions and the handling of any future challenges by any taxing authority to our tax reporting positions may take into consideration these Continuing SSE Equity Owners' tax or other considerations, which may differ from the considerations of us or our other stockholders.
In addition, certain of the Continuing SSE Equity Owners are in the business of making or advising on investments in companies and may hold, and may from time to time in the future acquire interests in or provide advice to businesses that directly or indirectly compete with certain portions of our business or the business of our suppliers. Our amended and restated certificate of incorporation provides that, to the fullest extent permitted by law, none of the Continuing SSE Equity Owners or any director who is not employed by us or his or her affiliates has any duty to refrain from engaging in a corporate opportunity in the same or similar lines of business as us. The Continuing SSE Equity Owners may also pursue acquisitions that may be complementary to our business, and, as a result, those acquisition opportunities may not be available to us.
We are a "controlled company" within the meaning of the New York Stock Exchange listing standards and, as a result, will qualify for, and rely on, exemptions from certain corporate governance requirements. You will not have the same protections with respect to the requirements that we are exempt from as are afforded to stockholders of companies that do not qualify for or rely on such exemptions.
(i) Daniel Meyer (including a trust affiliate), (ii) Union Square Cafe Corp. and Gramercy Tavern Corp., each of which are controlled by Mr. Meyer, which we refer to collectively as the "S Corporations," (iii) USHG, which, together with Mr. Meyer and the S Corporations, we refer to collectively as the "Meyer Group," (iv) certain affiliates of Leonard Green & Partners, L.P., which we refer to as "LGP," (v) certain affiliates of Select Equity Group, which we refer to as "SEG," and (vi) certain other Original SSE Equity Owners (collectively, the "Voting Group"), which collectively hold Class A common stock and Class B common stock representing approximately 83.2% of the combined voting power of our common stock, entered into the Stockholders Agreement

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with us. Pursuant to the terms of the Stockholders Agreement, until such time as no members of the Voting Group are entitled to designate individuals to be included in the slate of nominees recommended by our Board of Directors for election to our Board of Directors, or the Stockholders Agreement is otherwise terminated in accordance with its terms, the parties to the Stockholders Agreement agree to vote their shares of Class A common stock and Class B common stock in favor of the election of the nominees of certain members of the Voting Group to our Board of Directors upon their nomination by the nominating and corporate governance committee of our Board of Directors. As a result, the Voting Group has the ability to elect all of the members of our Board of Directors and, thereby, to control our management and affairs. The Stockholders Agreement further provides that, for so long as the Meyer Group collectively owns at least 10% of the total shares of our Class A and Class B common stock owned by it immediately following the consummation of the IPO, the approval of the Meyer Group is required for certain corporate actions, including change in control transactions, equity issuances and the hiring or termination of our Chief Executive Officer.
On account of the Stockholders Agreement and the aggregate voting power of the Voting Group, we are considered a "controlled company" for the purposes of the New York Stock Exchange. As such, we are exempt from certain corporate governance requirements of the New York Stock Exchange, including (i) the requirement that a majority of the Board of Directors consist of independent directors, (ii) the requirement that we have a nominating and corporate governance committee that is composed entirely of independent directors and (iii) the requirement that we have a compensation committee that is composed entirely of independent directors. We currently utilize, and intend to continue to utilize the exemptions set forth in clauses (i) and (ii) in the immediately preceding sentence. Accordingly, you will not have the same protections afforded to stockholders of companies that do not qualify for or rely on these exemptions.
Our anti-takeover provisions could prevent or delay a change in control of our Company, even if such change in control would be beneficial to our stockholders.
Provisions of our amended and restated certificate of incorporation and amended and restated bylaws, as well as provisions of Delaware law could discourage, delay or prevent a merger, acquisition or other change in control of our Company, even if such change in control would be beneficial to our stockholders. These provisions include:
authorizing the issuance of "blank check" preferred stock that could be issued by our Board of Directors to increase the number of outstanding shares and thwart a takeover attempt;
establishing a classified board of directors so that not all members of our Board of Directors are elected at one time;
the removal of directors only for cause;
prohibiting the use of cumulative voting for the election of directors;
limiting the ability of stockholders to call special meetings or amend our bylaws;
requiring all stockholder actions to be taken at a meeting of our stockholders; and
establishing advance notice and duration of ownership requirements for nominations for election to the Board of Directors or for proposing matters that can be acted upon by stockholders at stockholder meetings.
These provisions could also discourage proxy contests and make it more difficult for you and other stockholders to elect directors of your choosing and cause us to take other corporate actions you desire. In addition, because our Board of Directors is responsible for appointing the members of our management team, these provisions could in turn affect any attempt by our stockholders to replace current members of our management team.
In addition, the Delaware General Corporation Law (the "DGCL"), to which we are subject, prohibits us, except under specified circumstances, from engaging in any mergers, significant sales of stock or assets or business combinations with any stockholder or group of stockholders who owns at least 15% of our common stock.
We may issue shares of preferred stock in the future, which could make it difficult for another company to acquire us or could otherwise adversely affect holders of our Class A common stock, which could depress the price of our Class A common stock.
Our amended and restated certificate of incorporation authorizes us to issue one or more series of preferred stock. Our Board of Directors has the authority to determine the preferences, limitations and relative rights of the shares of preferred stock and to fix the number of shares constituting any series and the designation of such series, without any further vote or action by our stockholders. Our preferred stock could be issued with voting, liquidation, dividend and other rights superior to the rights of our Class A common stock. The potential issuance of preferred stock may delay or prevent a change in control of us, discourage bids for our Class A common stock at a premium to the market price, and materially and adversely affect the market price and the voting and other rights of the holders of our Class A common stock.
The provision of our certificate of incorporation requiring exclusive venue in the Court of Chancery in the State of Delaware for certain types of lawsuits may have the effect of discouraging lawsuits against our directors and officers.
Our amended and restated certificate of incorporation requires, to the fullest extent permitted by law, that (i) any derivative action or proceeding brought on our behalf, (ii) any action asserting a claim of breach of a fiduciary duty owed by any of our directors, officers or other employees to us or our stockholders, (iii) any action asserting a claim against us arising pursuant to any provision of the DGCL or our amended and restated certificate of incorporation or the bylaws or (iv) any action asserting a claim against us governed by the internal affairs doctrine will have to be brought only in the

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Court of Chancery in the State of Delaware. Although we believe this provision benefits us by providing increased consistency in the application of Delaware law in the types of lawsuits to which it applies, the provision may have the effect of discouraging lawsuits against our directors and officers.
Risks Related to Ownership of Our Class A Common Stock
The Continuing SSE Equity Owners have the right to have their LLC Interests redeemed pursuant to the terms of the SSE Holdings LLC Agreement.
We have an aggregate of more than 188,691,853 shares of Class A common stock authorized but unissued, including approximately 24,191,853 shares of Class A common stock issuable upon redemption of LLC Interests that are held by the Continuing SSE Equity Owners. Subject to certain restrictions set forth in the SSE Holdings LLC Agreement, the Continuing SSE Equity Owners are entitled to have their LLC Interests redeemed for shares of our Class A common stock. We also entered into a Registration Rights Agreement pursuant to which the shares of Class A common stock issued to the Continuing SSE Equity Owners upon redemption of LLC Interests and the shares of Class A common stock issued to the Former SSE Equity Owners in connection with the Organizational Transactions are eligible for resale, subject to certain limitations set forth therein.
We cannot predict the size of future issuances of our Class A common stock or the effect, if any, that future issuances and sales of shares of our Class A common stock may have on the market price of our Class A common stock. Sales or distributions of substantial amounts of our Class A common stock, including shares issued in connection with an acquisition, or the perception that such sales or distributions could occur, may cause the market price of our Class A common stock to decline.
Taking advantage of the reduced disclosure requirements applicable to "emerging growth companies" may make our Class A common stock less attractive to investors.
The JOBS Act provides that, so long as a company qualifies as an "emerging growth company," it will, among other things:
be exempt from the provisions of Section 404(b) of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 (the "Sarbanes-Oxley Act") requiring that its independent registered public accounting firm provide an attestation report on the effectiveness of its internal control over financial reporting;
be exempt from "say on pay" and "say on golden parachute" advisory vote requirements of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Customer Protection Act (the "Dodd-Frank Act");
be exempt from certain disclosure requirements of the Dodd-Frank Act relating to compensation of its executive officers and be permitted to omit the detailed compensation discussion and analysis from proxy statements and reports filed under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (the "Exchange Act"); and
be exempt from any rules that may be adopted by the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board requiring mandatory audit firm rotations or a supplement to the auditor's report on the financial statements.
We currently utilize and intend to continue to utilize the exemptions described above for so long as we are an emerging growth company. We have irrevocably elected not to take advantage of the extension of time to comply with new or revised financial accounting standards available under Section 107(b) of the JOBS Act. We could be an emerging growth company for up to five years after our initial public offering. We cannot predict if investors will find our Class A common stock less attractive if we elect to rely on these exemptions, or if taking advantage of these exemptions would result in less active trading or more volatility in the price of our Class A common stock.
We will incur increased costs as a result of becoming a public company and in the administration of our organizational structure.
As a public company, we will incur significant legal, accounting, insurance and other expenses that we have not incurred as a private company, including costs associated with public company reporting requirements. We also have incurred and will incur costs associated with the Sarbanes-Oxley Act and related rules implemented by the Securities and Exchange Commission ("SEC"). We will incur ongoing periodic expenses in connection with the administration of our organizational structure. The expenses incurred by public companies generally for reporting and corporate governance purposes have been increasing. We expect these rules and regulations to increase our legal and financial compliance costs and to make some activities more time-consuming and costly, although we are currently unable to estimate these costs with any degree of certainty. In estimating these costs, we took into account expenses related to insurance, legal, accounting, and compliance activities, as well as other expenses not currently incurred. These laws and regulations could also make it more difficult or costly for us to obtain certain types of insurance, including director and officer liability insurance, and we may be forced to accept reduced policy limits and coverage or incur substantially higher costs to obtain the same or similar coverage. These laws and regulations could also make it more difficult for us to attract and retain qualified persons to serve on our Board of Directors, our board committees or as our executive officers. Furthermore, if we are unable to satisfy our obligations as a public company, we could be subject to delisting of our common stock, fines, sanctions and other regulatory action and potentially civil litigation.

29


We do not currently expect to pay any cash dividends.
The continued operation and expansion of our business will require substantial funding. Accordingly, we do not currently expect to pay any cash dividends on shares of our Class A common stock. Any determination to pay dividends in the future will be at the discretion of our Board of Directors and will depend upon results of operations, financial condition, contractual restrictions, restrictions imposed by applicable law and other factors our Board of Directors deems relevant. We are a holding company, and substantially all of our operations are carried out by SSE Holdings and its subsidiaries. Under the Revolving Credit Facility, SSE Holdings is currently restricted from paying cash dividends, and we expect these restrictions to continue in the future. Our ability to pay dividends may also be restricted by the terms of any future credit agreement or any future debt or preferred equity securities of ours or of our subsidiaries. Accordingly, if you purchase shares in this offering, realization of a gain on your investment will depend on the appreciation of the price of our Class A common stock, which may never occur. Investors seeking cash dividends in the foreseeable future should not purchase our Class A common stock.
Item 1B. Unresolved Staff Comments.
None.
Item 2. Properties.
Our home office is located at 24 Union Square East, 5th Floor, New York, NY 10003. We lease our home office, which is approximately 10,500 square feet and all of our domestic company-operated Shacks. We do not own any real property, nor do we own or lease any property related to our licensed operations. The following table sets forth the number of company-owned and licensed Shacks by geographic location as of December 31, 2014.
 
Company-
Operated
 
Licensed
 
Total
Connecticut
2

 

 
2

District of Columbia
3

 
1

 
4

Florida
4

 

 
4

Georgia
1

 

 
1

Illinois
1

 

 
1

Massachusetts
2

 

 
2

Nevada
1

 

 
1

New Jersey
2

 

 
2

New York
11

 
4

 
15

Pennsylvania
3

 

 
3

Virginia
1

 

 
1

DOMESTIC
31

 
5

 
36

 
 
 
 
 
 
Kuwait

 
6

 
6

Lebanon

 
2

 
2

Qatar

 
1

 
1

Russia

 
2

 
2

Saudi Arabia

 
1

 
1

Turkey

 
4

 
4

United Arab Emirates

 
10

 
10

United Kingdom

 
1

 
1

INTERNATIONAL

 
27

 
27

 
 
 
 
 
 
SYSTEM-WIDE
31

 
32

 
63


30


Item 3. Legal Proceedings
We are involved in various claims and legal proceedings arising from our normal business activities and have accruals for losses where appropriate. We believe that none of these legal proceedings will have a material adverse effect on our consolidated financial position, results of operations or liquidity.
Item 4. Mine Safety Disclosures.
Not applicable.


31


Part II
Item 5. Market for Registrant's Common Equity, Related Stockholder Matters and Issuer Purchases of Equity Securities.
MARKET INFORMATION
On February 4, 2015, we closed an initial public offering of our Class A common stock at price of $21.00 per share. Prior to that time, there was no public market for our stock. Our Class A common stock is traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol "SHAK."
Our Class B common stock is not listed nor traded on any stock exchange.
HOLDERS
As of March 20, 2015, there were 6 shareholders of record of our Class A common stock. The number of record holders does not include persons who held shares of our Class A common stock in nominee or "street name" accounts through brokers. As of March 20, 2015, there were 46 shareholders of record of our Class B common stock.
DIVIDENDS
We currently intend to retain all available funds and any future earnings for use in the operation of our business, and therefore we do not currently expect to pay any cash dividends on our Class A common stock. Holders of our Class B common stock are not entitled to participate in any dividends declared by our Board of Directors. Any future determination to pay dividends to holders of Class A common stock will be at the discretion of our Board of Directors and will depend upon many factors, including our results of operations, financial condition, capital requirements, restrictions in SSE Holdings' debt agreements and other factors that our Board of Directors deems relevant. We are a holding company, and substantially all of our operations are carried out by SSE Holdings and its subsidiaries. Additionally, under the Revolving Credit Facility, SSE Holdings is currently restricted from paying cash dividends, and we expect these restrictions to continue in the future, which may in turn limit our ability to pay dividends on our Class A common stock.
RECENT SALE OF UNREGISTERED SECURITIES AND USE OF PROCEEDS FROM REGISTERED SECURITIES
Recent Sale of Unregistered Securities
Simultaneously with the consummation of the IPO, we issued to the Original SSE Equity Owners 30,160,694 shares of Class B common stock (and a like amount of LLC Interests). Subsequent to the IPO, we acquired certain of the Original SSE Equity Owners, by merger, for which we issued 5,968,841 shares of our Class A common stock and canceled 5,968,841 shares of Class B common stock held by those entities. The issuances of the Class B common stock and the Class A common stock described in this paragraph were made in reliance on Section 4(a)(2) of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and Rule 506 promulgated thereunder.
The Continuing SSE Equity Owners, from time to time following the IPO, may require SSE Holdings to redeem or exchange all or a portion of their LLC Interests for newly-issued shares of Class A common stock on a one-for-one basis (and their shares of Class B common stock will be canceled on a one-for-one basis upon any such issuance). Our Board of Directors, which include directors who hold LLC Interests or are affiliated with holders of LLC Interests, may, at its option, instead direct Shake Shack to make a cash payment equal to the volume weighted average market price of one share of our Class A common stock for each LLC Interest redeemed (subject to customary adjustments, including for stock splits, stock dividends and reclassifications) in accordance with the terms of the SSE Holdings LLC Agreement.

32


Use of Proceeds
On January 29, 2015, our Registration Statement on Form S-1 (File No. 333-201271) was declared effective by the SEC for our IPO pursuant to which we registered and sold an aggregate of 5,750,000 shares of our Class A common stock (including 750,000 shares sold pursuant to the underwriters' over-allotment option) at a price of $21.00 per share. J.P. Morgan Securities LLC and Morgan Stanley & Co. LLC acted as joint lead book-running managers in the offering. Barclays Capital Inc., Goldman, Sachs & Co., and Jefferies LLC also acted as book-running managers in the offering. William Blair & Company, L.L.C. and Stifel acted as co-managers in the offering. The offering commenced on January 29, 2015 and did not terminate before all of the securities registered in the registration statement were sold. The offering closed on February 4, 2015, resulting in net proceeds of $106.1 million after deducting underwriters' discounts and commissions of $8.5 million and other offering expenses of $6.2 million. No payments were made by us to directors, officers or persons owning 10% or more of our common stock or to their associates, or to our affiliates. 
We used the net proceeds to us from the IPO to purchase 5,750,000 newly-issued LLC Interests from SSE Holdings at a purchase price per interest equal to the initial public offering price per share of Class A common stock.
As sole managing member of SSE Holdings, we caused SSE Holdings to use the proceeds it received as follows: (i) to pay fees and expenses of approximately $6.2 million in connection with the IPO and the Organizational Transactions, (ii) to repay the outstanding borrowings under our Revolving Credit Facility of approximately $36.0 million, including approximately $21.9 million of borrowings used to pay a distribution to certain of the Original SSE Equity Owners prior to the offering; (iii) to pay an additional distribution in the amount of $11.1 million to certain of the Original SSE Equity Owners and (iii) approximately $59.0 million for general corporate purposes, including opening new Shacks and renovating existing Shacks.
The $11.1 million additional distribution paid by SSE Holdings to the certain of the Original SSE Equity Owners include direct payments to certain directors, executive officers and beneficial owners of 10% or more of our common stock.
There has been no material change in the use of proceeds as described in the final prospectus filed on January 30, 2015.

33


Item 6. Selected Financial Data.
The selected financial data set forth below was derived from the audited consolidated financial statements and should be read in conjunction with Item 1A, "Risk Factors," Item 7, "Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial and Results of Operations" and our audited consolidated financial statements included in Item 8, "Financial Statements and Supplementary Data."
(dollar amounts in thousands, except per unit amounts)
2014¹
 
2013
 
2012
Selected statement of income data:
 
 
 
 
 
Shack sales
$
112,042

 
$
78,587

 
$
55,591

Licensing revenue
6,488

 
3,869

 
1,447

Shack-level operating expenses
85,181

 
58,168

 
41,344

General and administrative expenses
18,187

 
12,453

 
6,988

Pre-opening costs
6,105

 
2,334

 
1,858

Operating income
3,143

 
5,935

 
4,686

Net income
2,118

 
5,423

 
4,133

 
 
 
 
 
 
Per share data2:
 
 
 
 
 
Pro-forma earnings per unit—basic
$
0.07

 
$
0.18

 
$
0.14

Pro-forma earnings per unit—diluted
$
0.07

 
$
0.18

 
$
0.14

 
 
 
 
 
 
Selected balance sheet data:
 
 
 
 
 
Cash and cash equivalents
$
2,677

 
$
13,076

 
$
16,033

Total current assets
7,945

 
15,207

 
17,984

Total assets
82,962

 
55,219

 
44,068

Total current liabilities
48,177

 
7,205

 
5,567

Total debt
32,313

 
313

 

Total liabilities
70,362

 
17,832

 
12,197

Total members' equity
12,600

 
37,387

 
31,871

 
 
 
 
 
 
Selected cash flow data:
 
 
 
 
 
Net cash provided by operating activities
$
13,584

 
$
12,924

 
$
11,678

Net cash used in investing activities
(28,515
)
 
(16,194
)
 
(11,036
)
Net cash provided by (used in) financing activities
4,532

 
313

 
(2,171
)

34


(dollar amounts in thousands)
2014¹
 
2013
 
2012
Selected operating data:
 
 
 
 
 
System-wide sales3
$
217,442

 
$
139,903

 
$
81,048

Same-Shack sales growth4
4.1
%
 
5.9
%
 
7.1
%
Shacks in the comparable base
13

 
8

 
5

Average weekly sales5:
 
 
 
 
 
 
Domestic company-operated
$
89

 
$
96

 
$
102

Average unit volumes6:
 
 
 
 
 
 
Domestic company-operated
$
4,611

 
$
5,017

 
$
5,367

 
International licensed
$
4,588

 
$
6,077

 
$
9,665

Shack-level operating profit7
$
26,861

 
$
20,419

 
$
14,247

Shack-level operating profit margin7
24.0
%
 
26.0
%
 
25.6
%
Adjusted EBITDA8
$
18,886

 
$
14,459

 
$
9,998

Adjusted EBITDA margin8
16.9
%
 
18.4
%
 
18.0
%
Shack counts (at end of period):
 
 
 
 
 
 
System-wide
63

 
40

 
21

 
Domestic company-operated
31

 
21

 
13

 
Domestic licensed
5

 
4

 
3

 
International licensed
27

 
15

 
5

 
 
(1)
We operate on a 52/53 week fiscal year that ends on the last Wednesday of the calendar year. Fiscal year 2014 was a 53-week year with the extra operating week (the "53rd week") falling in our fiscal fourth quarter. Fiscal 2013 and 2012 each contained 52 weeks.
(2)
The pro forma earnings per unit amounts have been computed to give effect to the recapitalization transactions that occurred in connection with our initial public offering, including the amendment and restatement of the second amended and restated limited liability company agreement of SSE Holdings to, among other things, (i) provide for a new single class of common membership ownership interests and (ii) exchange all of our members' existing membership interests for the newly-created ownership interests. The computations of pro forma earnings per unit do not consider the 5,750,000 shares of Class A common stock issued to investors in the initial public offering or the 339,306 shares of Class A common stock issued to participants of our Unit Appreciation Rights Plan in settlement of their outstanding awards. See Note 13 to the consolidated financial statements included in Item 8 of this Annual Report on Form 10-K.
(3)
System-wide sales consists of sales from our domestic company-operated Shacks, our domestic licensed Shacks and our international licensed Shacks. We do not recognize the sales from our licensed Shacks as revenue. Our total revenue is limited to Shack sales from domestic company-operated Shacks and licensing revenue based on a percentage of sales from domestic and international licensed Shacks.
(4)
Same-Shack sales growth reflects the change in year-over-year Shack sales for domestic company-operated Shacks open for 24 months or longer. Same-Shack sales growth for fiscal 2014 excludes sales from the 53rd week.
(5)
Average weekly sales is calculated by dividing total Shack sales by the number of operating weeks for all Shacks in operation during the period.
(6)
Average unit volumes ("AUVs") are calculated by dividing total sales by the number of Shacks open during the period. For Shacks that are not open for the entire period, fractional adjustments are made to the number of Shacks used in the denominator such that it corresponds to the period of associated sales.
(7)
See Shack-Level Operating Profit (Non-GAAP Financial Measure) on page 41 for additional information and a reconciliation to the most directly comparable GAAP financial measure.
(8)
See EBITDA and Adjusted EBITDAA (Non-GAAP Financial Measures) on page 42 for additional information and a reconciliation to the most directly comparable GAAP financial measure.


35


Item 7. Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations.
This section and other parts of this Annual Report on Form 10-K (“Form 10-K”) contain forward-looking statements, within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, which are subject to risks and uncertainties. Forward-looking statements provide current expectations of future events based on certain assumptions and include any statement that does not directly relate to any historical or current fact. Forward-looking statements can also be identified by words such as "aim," "anticipate," "believe," "estimate," "expect," "forecast," "future," "intend," "outlook," "plan," "potential," "predict," "project," "seek," "may," "can," "will," "would," "could," "should," the negatives thereof and other similar expressions. Forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance and actual results may differ significantly from the results discussed in the forward-looking statements. Factors that might cause such differences include, but are not limited to, those discussed in Part I, Item 1A of this Form 10-K under the heading “Risk Factors,” which are incorporated herein by reference. The following discussion should be read in conjunction with the consolidated financial statements and notes thereto included in Part II, Item 8 of this Form 10-K. All information presented herein is based on our fiscal calendar. Unless otherwise stated, references to particular years, quarters, months or periods refer to our fiscal years and the associated quarters, months and periods of those fiscal years. We undertake no obligation to revise or update any forward-looking statements for any reason, except as required by law.
OVERVIEW
Shake Shack is a modern day "roadside" burger stand serving a classic American menu of premium burgers, hot dogs, crinkle-cut fries, shakes, frozen custard, beer and wine. As of December 31, 2014, there were 63 Shacks worldwide, comprised of 31 domestic company-operated Shacks, 5 domestic licensed Shacks and 27 international licensed Shacks.
During the three-year period ended December 31, 2014, we grew from 14 Shacks to 63 Shacks across 10 states, the District of Columbia and eight other countries, representing a 65% compound annual growth rate ("CAGR"). As a result, our total revenue grew from $38.6 million in fiscal 2011 to $118.5 million in fiscal 2014, a 45% CAGR. Compared to fiscal 2013, total revenue increased 43.7%. Net income for fiscal 2014 was $2.1 million, compared to net income of $5.4 million for fiscal 2013. Net income for fiscal 2014 included approximately $2.6 million of after-tax expenses incurred in connection with our IPO. Adjusted EBITDA, a non-GAAP measure, increased 30.6% to $18.9 million for fiscal 2014 from $14.5 million for fiscal 2013. For a reconciliation of Adjusted EBITDA, a non-GAAP measure, to net income, see "—EBITDA and Adjusted EBITDA (Non-GAAP Financial Measures)." Our brand power and thoughtful approach to growth have resulted in strong Shack performance across a variety of geographic areas and formats.
In fiscal 2014, we opened 10 domestic company-operated Shacks, including five Shacks in the fourth quarter. We executed our plan to enter a number of new markets, Orlando, Chicago, Atlanta and Las Vegas, while deepening our roots in our current markets of New York, New Jersey, and Washington, D.C. We opened our first Shack west of the Mississippi River on the Las Vegas Strip, outside the MGM New York - New York, where a brand new public park and Las Vegas’ newest and largest arena will open in 2016. We also expanded our international footprint by opening 12 international licensed Shacks in several countries, including Kuwait, Turkey, the United Arab Emirates, Lebanon and Russia. In December 2014, we entered into an exclusive licensing agreement with a leading retail and food operator for the development of up to 10 new Shacks in Japan over the next five years. The first Shack in Japan is expected to open in 2016.
Fiscal 2014 Highlights
Total revenue increased 43.7% to $118.5 million.
Shack sales increased 42.6% to $112.0 million.
Same-Shack sales increased 4.1%, excluding sales from the 53rd week.
Shack-level operating profit*, a non-GAAP measure, increased 31.5% to $26.9 million.
Adjusted EBITDA*, a non-GAAP measure, increased 30.6% to $18.9 million.
Net income was $2.1 million, or $0.07 per pro forma diluted unit, which included approximately $2.6 million, or $0.09 per pro forma diluted unit, of after-tax expenses associated with the Company’s IPO.
23 system-wide Shack openings, comprised of 10 domestic company-operated Shacks, one domestic licensed Shack and 12 international licensed Shacks, representing a 57.5% increase in system-wide Shack count.
* Shack-level operating profit and adjusted EBITDA are non-GAAP measures. Reconciliations of Shack-level operating profit to operating income (loss) and adjusted EBITDA to net income (loss), the most directly comparable financial measures presented in accordance with GAAP, are set forth on page 41 and 42.

36


Growth Strategies
We plan to continue to expand our business, drive Shack sales and enhance our competitive positioning by executing on the following strategies:
Open new domestic company-operated Shacks.  Our domestic company-operated Shack growth strategy is focused on both existing and new markets. Given that we are still in a nascent stage of growth, a substantial portion of our growth will come from opening Shacks in markets where we currently have little to no presence. In fiscal 2014, we opened 10 domestic company-operated Shacks. Given that our primary growth driver will be the opening of new domestic company-operated Shacks, we are keenly focused on maintaining a rigorous site selection process. In addition to evaluating key new Shack criteria, our management team personally visits each potential Shack to determine if the prospective location is likely to meet certain Shack-level operating profit margin and cash-on-cash return targets. 
Capitalize on our outsized brand awareness.  The Shake Shack experience has cultivated significant brand awareness relative to the small number of Shacks. We have worked tirelessly to establish a genuine connection with our guests and integrate into their communities through investment in innovative marketing and programming. 
Grow same-Shack sales.  We continually focus on improving our same Shack sales performance by providing an engaging and differentiated guest experience that includes great food, unique and thoughtful integration with local communities and high standards of excellence and hospitality. 
Opportunistically increase our licensed Shacks abroad.  We will continue to grow our licensed portfolio by expanding further in the eight countries abroad in which we currently have internationally licensed operations. This strategy historically has been a low-cost, high-return method of growing our brand awareness and providing an increasing source of cash flow. We believe there are additional international markets that will embrace the Shake Shack concept.
While we believe that there is still ample room to grow our Shack-base in Manhattan, the majority of our domestic company-operated Shack growth is expected to occur outside of Manhattan. Because our average unit volumes ("AUVs") are higher in Manhattan, due in large part to population density and overall familiarity with the brand in Manhattan, historical domestic company-operated AUVs are not a good measure of expected sales at new Shacks. As we continue to expand outside of Manhattan, we expect new Shack revenue to be between $2.8 million and $3.2 million per new Shack ("target-volume Shacks"), which will reduce overall company-operated Shack AUVs and Shack-level operating profit margins. Longer-term, given the increased penetration of target-volume Shacks, we are targeting AUVs in the $2.8 to $3.2 million range and Shack-level operating profit margins in the 18 to 22% range. Taken together, we are targeting long-term revenue and Adjusted EBITDA growth of over 20% after 2015.
With only 63 Shacks around the world, as of December 31, 2014, we have identified many attractive new markets for the Shake Shack experience. We have successfully launched different layouts and sizes of Shacks in varied locations throughout urban high density areas, suburban in-line and pad sites, regional malls, lifestyle centers, ballparks, airports and train stations. Each design is critical to the Shake Shack experience and we blend our core brand identifiers with features specifically designed for each Shack to be of its place and connect directly with its neighborhood. With a disciplined approach to new Shack development and a successful track record in site selection, we believe that we are positioned well for future growth.
2015 Outlook
For the fiscal year ending December 30, 2015, we currently expect the following:
Total revenue to be between $159 million and $163 million.
Same-Shack sales growth in the low single digits.
At least 10 new domestic company-operated Shacks to be opened throughout the year.
At least five international licensed Shacks to be opened under the Company’s current license agreements in the U.K. and Middle East, all of which are scheduled to open towards the end of fiscal 2015.

37


RESULTS OF OPERATIONS
The following table summarizes our results of operations for 2014, 2013 and 2012:
 
 
 
2014¹
 
2013
 
2012
Shack sales
$
112,042

94.5
%
 
$
78,587

95.3
%
 
$
55,591

97.5
%
Licensing revenue
6,488

5.5
%
 
3,869

4.7
%
 
1,447

2.5
%
TOTAL REVENUE
118,530

100.0
%
 
82,456

100.0
%
 
57,038

100.0
%
Shack-level operating expenses2:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Food and paper costs
34,925

31.2
%
 
23,865

30.4
%
 
16,774

30.2
%
 
Labor and related expenses
29,312

26.2
%
 
20,096

25.6
%
 
14,436

26.0
%
 
Other operating expenses
11,191

10.0
%
 
7,315

9.3
%
 
5,081

9.1
%
 
Occupancy and related expenses
9,753

8.7
%
 
6,892

8.8
%
 
5,053

9.1
%
General and administrative expenses
18,187

15.3
%
 
12,453

15.1
%
 
6,988

12.3
%
Depreciation expense
5,809

4.9
%
 
3,541

4.3
%
 
2,162

3.8
%
Pre-opening costs
6,105

5.2
%
 
2,334

2.8
%
 
1,858

3.3
%
Loss on disposal of property and equipment
105

0.1
%
 
25

%
 

%
TOTAL EXPENSES
115,387

97.3
%
 
76,521

92.8
%
 
52,352

91.8
%
OPERATING INCOME
3,143

2.7
%
 
5,935

7.2
%
 
4,686

8.2
%
Interest expense
363

0.3
%
 
52

0.1
%
 
156

0.3
%
INCOME BEFORE INCOME TAXES
2,780

2.3
%
 
5,883

7.1
%
 
4,530

7.9
%
Income tax expense
662

0.6
%
 
460

0.6
%
 
397

0.7
%
NET INCOME
$
2,118

1.8
%
 
$
5,423

6.6
%
 
$
4,133

7.2
%
 
 
(1)
We operate on a 52/53 week fiscal year that ends on the last Wednesday of the calendar year. Fiscal year 2014 was a 53-week year with the extra operating week (the "53rd week") falling in our fiscal fourth quarter. Fiscal 2013 and 2012 each contained 52 weeks.
(2)
As a percentage of Shack sales.
Shack Sales
Shack sales represent the aggregate sales of food and beverages in domestic company-operated Shacks. Shack sales in any period are directly influenced by the number of operating weeks in such period, the number of open Shacks and same Shack sales.
Shack sales were $112.0 million for fiscal 2014 compared to $78.6 million for fiscal 2013, an increase of $33.4 million or 42.6%. The growth in Shack sales was primarily driven by the opening of 10 new domestic company-operated Shacks during fiscal 2014. Shacks in the comparable Shack base contributed $2.3 million of this increase while new domestic company-operated Shacks contributed $31.1 million. The results for fiscal 2014 include the impact of the 53rd week, which contributed $2.8 million in Shack sales. Same-Shack sales increased 4.1% during fiscal 2014, primarily driven by increased menu prices. For purposes of calculating same-Shack sales growth, Shack sales for 13 Shacks were included in the comparable Shack base and exclude the 53rd week. For fiscal 2014, AUVs for domestic company-operated Shacks decreased to $4.6 million as a result of opening more target-volume Shacks during the year.

Shack sales were $78.6 million for fiscal 2013 compared to $55.6 million for fiscal 2012, an increase of $23.0 million or 41.4%. The growth in Shack sales was primarily driven by the opening of eight new domestic company-operated Shacks during fiscal 2013. Shacks in the comparable Shack base contributed $2.3 million of this increase while new domestic company-operated Shacks contributed $20.7 million. Same Shack sales growth increased 5.9% during fiscal 2013. For purposes of calculating same Shack sales growth, Shack sales for eight Shacks were included in the comparable Shack base. For fiscal 2013, AUVs for domestic company-operated Shacks decreased to $5.0 million as a result of opening more target-volume Shacks during the year.
Licensing Revenue
Licensing revenue is comprised of license fees and territory fees. License fees are calculated as a percentage of sales and territory fees are payments for the exclusive right to develop Shacks in a specific geographic area.

38


Licensing revenue was $6.5 million for fiscal 2014 compared to $3.9 million for fiscal 2013, an increase of $2.6 million or 67.7%. This increase was primarily driven by the opening of 12 international licensed Shacks and one domestic licensed Shack during fiscal 2014. AUVs at international licensed Shacks declined over the same period due to the opening of lower-volume Shacks during fiscal 2014.
Licensing revenue was $3.9 million for fiscal 2013 compared to $1.4 million for fiscal 2012, an increase of $2.5 million or 167.4%. This increase was primarily driven by the opening of 10 international licensed Shacks and one domestic licensed Shack during fiscal 2013. AUVs at international licensed Shacks declined over the same period due to the opening of lower-volume Shacks during fiscal 2013.
Food and Paper Costs
Food and paper costs include the direct costs associated with food, beverage and packaging of our menu items. The components of food and paper costs are variable by nature, change with sales volume, are impacted by menu mix and are subject to increases or decreases in commodity costs.
Food and paper costs were $34.9 million for fiscal 2014 compared to $23.9 million for fiscal 2013, an increase of $11.0 million or 46.3%, primarily due to the opening of 10 new domestic company-operated Shacks during fiscal 2014. As a percentage of Shack sales, food and paper costs increased to 31.2% for fiscal 2014 compared to 30.4% for fiscal 2013. This increase was due to an increase in the cost of certain food items, primarily beef, which was partially offset by menu price increases and purchasing efficiencies of other items.
Food and paper costs were $23.9 million for fiscal 2013 compared to $16.8 million for fiscal 2012, an increase of $7.1 million or 42.3%, primarily due to the opening of eight new domestic company-operated Shacks during fiscal 2013. As a percentage of Shack sales, food and paper costs increased slightly to 30.4% for fiscal 2013 compared to 30.2% for fiscal 2012. This increase was due to an increase in the cost of certain food items, primarily beef, which was partially offset by menu price increases and purchasing efficiencies of other items.
Labor and Related Expenses
Labor and related expenses include domestic company-operated Shack-level hourly and management wages, bonuses, payroll taxes, workers’ compensation expense and medical benefits. As we expect with other variable expense items, we expect labor costs to grow as our Shack sales grow. Factors that influence labor costs include minimum wage and payroll tax legislation, health care costs and the performance of our domestic company-operated Shacks.
Labor and related expenses were $29.3 million for fiscal 2014 compared to $20.1 million for fiscal 2013, an increase of $9.2 million or 45.9%. This increase was primarily due to the opening of 10 new domestic company-operated Shacks during fiscal 2014. As a percentage of Shack sales, labor and related expenses increased to 26.2% in fiscal 2014 compared to 25.6% in fiscal 2013. This increase was due to a decision by the Company to increase the starting wage for Shack team members at the start of fiscal 2014, as well as the impact of target-volume Shacks opening and the impact of fixed management labor at these Shacks.
Labor and related expenses were $20.1 million for fiscal 2013 compared to $14.4 million for fiscal 2012, an increase of $5.7 million or 39.2%. This increase was primarily due to the opening of eight new domestic company-operated Shacks during fiscal 2013. As a percentage of Shack sales, labor and related expenses decreased to 25.6% in fiscal 2013 compared to 26.0% in fiscal 2012. This decrease was due to certain operational efficiencies and strategies implemented at the Shacks in fiscal 2013, which more than offset the impact of opening more target-volume Shacks during the year.
Other Operating Expenses
Other operating expenses consist of marketing expenses, utilities and other operating expenses incidental to operating our domestic company-operated Shacks, such as non-perishable supplies, credit card fees, property insurance and repairs and maintenance.
Other operating expenses were $11.2 million for fiscal 2014 compared to $7.3 million for fiscal 2013, an increase of $3.9 million or 53.0%, primarily due to the opening of 10 new domestic company-operated Shacks in fiscal 2014. As a percentage of Shack sales, other operating expenses increased to 10.0% in fiscal 2014 compared to 9.3% in fiscal 2013. This increase was due to the opening of more target-volume Shacks and the impact of fixed operating expenses at these Shacks.
Other operating expenses were $7.3 million for fiscal 2013 compared to $5.1 million for fiscal 2012, an increase of $2.2 million or 44.0%, primarily due to the opening of eight new domestic company-operated Shacks in fiscal 2013. As a percentage of Shack sales, other operating expenses increased to 9.3% in fiscal 2013 compared to 9.1% in fiscal 2012. This increase was due to the opening of more target-volume Shacks and the impact of fixed operating expenses at these Shacks.
Occupancy and Related Expenses
Occupancy and related expenses consist of Shack-level occupancy expenses (including rent, common area expenses and certain local taxes), excluding pre-opening costs, which are recorded separately.
Occupancy and related expenses were $9.8 million for fiscal 2014 compared to $6.9 million for fiscal 2013, an increase of $2.9 million or 41.5%, primarily due to the opening of 10 new domestic company-operated Shacks in fiscal 2014. As a percentage of Shack sales, occupancy and related expenses

39


decreased to 8.7% in fiscal 2014 compared to 8.8% in fiscal 2013, primarily due to the opening of non-Manhattan Shacks, where occupancy and related expenses are typically lower.
Occupancy and related expenses were $6.9 million for fiscal 2013 compared to $5.1 million for fiscal 2012, an increase of $1.8 million or 36.4%, primarily due to the opening of eight new domestic company-operated Shacks in fiscal 2013. As a percentage of Shack sales, occupancy and related expenses decreased to 8.8% in fiscal 2013 compared to 9.1% in fiscal 2012, primarily due to the opening of non-Manhattan Shacks, where occupancy and related expenses are typically lower.
General and Administrative Expenses
General and administrative expenses consist of costs associated with corporate and administrative functions that support Shack development and operations, as well as equity-based compensation expense for certain executives.
General and administrative expenses were $18.2 million for fiscal 2014 compared to $12.5 million for fiscal 2013, an increase of $5.7 million or 46.0%. As a percentage of total revenue, general and administrative expenses increased to 15.3% in fiscal 2014 from 15.1% in fiscal 2013. This increase was primarily due to $2.7 million of incremental expenses incurred in connection with the Company’s initial public offering, combined with increased payroll expense associated with new home office personnel hired to support future growth. Partially offsetting these increases, was a $2.1 million decrease in deferred bonus expense related to a one-time charge incurred in fiscal 2013 related a deferred bonus payable to a member of our executive team.
General and administrative expenses were $12.5 million for fiscal 2013 compared to $7.0 million for fiscal 2012, an increase of $5.5 million or 78.2%. As a percentage of total revenue, general and administrative expenses increased to 15.1% in fiscal 2013 from 12.3% in fiscal 2012. This increase was due primarily to an increase in payroll related to building our infrastructure through new hires at our home office to support our planned growth as well as a $2.1 million charge for a deferred bonus payable to a member of our executive team.
Depreciation Expense
Depreciation expense consists of the depreciation of fixed assets, including leasehold improvements and equipment.
Depreciation expense was $5.8 million for fiscal 2014 compared to $3.5 million for fiscal 2013, an increase of $2.3 million or 64.0%. This increase was due primarily to depreciation of capital expenditures related to the opening of 10 new domestic company-operated Shacks during fiscal 2014. As a percentage of total revenue, depreciation expense increased to 4.9% in fiscal 2014 compared to 4.3% in fiscal 2013 due to the introduction of more target-volume Shacks.
Depreciation expense was $3.5 million for fiscal 2013 compared to $2.2 million for fiscal 2012, an increase of $1.3 million or 63.8%. This increase was due primarily to depreciation of capital expenditures related to the opening of eight new domestic company-operated Shacks during fiscal 2013. As a percentage of total revenue, depreciation expense increased to 4.3% in fiscal 2013 compared to 3.8% in fiscal 2012 due to the introduction of more target-volume Shacks.
Pre-Opening Costs
Pre-opening costs consist primarily of legal fees, rent, managers’ salaries, training costs, employee payroll and related expenses, all costs to relocate and compensate Shack management teams prior to an opening and wages, travel and lodging costs for our opening training team and other support team members. All such costs incurred prior to the opening of a domestic company-operated Shack are expensed in the period in which the expense was incurred. Pre-opening costs can fluctuate significantly from period to period, based on the number and timing of domestic company-operated Shack openings and the specific pre-opening costs incurred for each domestic company-operated Shack. Additionally, domestic company-operated Shack openings in new geographic market areas will initially experience higher pre-opening costs than our established geographic market areas, such as the New York City metropolitan area, where we have greater economies of scale and incur lower travel and lodging costs for our training team.
Pre-opening costs were $6.1 million in fiscal 2014, including $2.1 million of deferred rent expense, compared to $2.3 million in fiscal 2013, an increase of $3.8 million or 161.6% as a result of an increase in the total number of new domestic company-operated Shacks opened in fiscal 2014, as well as an increase in the number of new domestic company-operated Shacks opened in new geographic markets during fiscal 2014 and planned openings in the first quarter of fiscal 2015.
Pre-opening costs were $2.3 million in fiscal 2013 compared to $1.9 million in fiscal 2012, an increase of $0.4 million or 25.6% as a result of an increase in the number of new domestic company-operated Shacks opened in fiscal 2013.
Loss on Disposal of Property and Equipment
Loss on disposal of property and equipment represents the net book value of assets that have been retired and consists primarily of furniture and fixtures that were replaced in the normal course of business.
For all periods presented, the loss on disposal of property and equipment was not material.

40


Interest Expense
Interest expense primarily consists of interest on the Revolving Credit Facility (as defined below) as well as the amortization of deferred financing costs incurred in connection with the Revolving Credit Facility.
Interest expense was $0.4 million in fiscal 2014 compared to $0.1 million in fiscal 2013, an increase of $0.3 million or 598.1%. This increase was the result of additional borrowings under our revolving credit facility.
Interest expense was $0.1 million in fiscal 2013 compared to $0.2 million in fiscal 2012, an decrease of $0.1 million or 66.7%.
Income Tax Expense
Income tax expense consists of unincorporated business tax payable to the City of New York as well as other various state and local taxes. We are also subject to tax withholding in other foreign jurisdictions. SSE Holdings is currently taxed as a partnership. See ‘‘-Critical Accounting Policies- Income Taxes.’’
Income tax expense was $0.7 million in fiscal 2014 compared to $0.5 million in fiscal 2013. Our effective income tax rate increased to 23.8% in fiscal 2014 from 7.8% in fiscal 2013, primarily due to increased foreign withholding taxes resulting from increased licensing revenue.
Income tax expense was $0.5 million in fiscal 2013 compared to $0.4 million in fiscal 2012. Our effective income tax rate decreased to 7.8% in fiscal 2013 from 8.8% in fiscal 2012, primarily due to lower state and local income taxes.
Shack-Level Operating Profit (Non-GAAP Measure)
Shack-level operating profit and Shack-level operating profit margin are not required by, or presented in accordance with, GAAP. Shack-level operating profit is a supplemental measure of operating performance and our calculations thereof may not be comparable to similar measures reported by other companies. Shack-level operating profit margin has limitations as an analytical tool and should not be considered as a substitute for analysis of our results as reported under GAAP. We believe that Shack-level operating profit and Shack-level operating profit margin, when used in conjunction with GAAP financial measures, provide useful information about our operating results, enhance the overall understanding of past financial performance and future prospects, and allow for greater transparency with respect to key metrics used by us in our financial and operational decision making. Shack-level operating profit and Shack-level operating profit margin are important measures we use to evaluate the performance and profitability of each Shack, individually and in the aggregate. A reconciliation of Shack-level operating profit to operating income, the most directly comparable GAAP measure, is set forth below.
 
 
 
2014¹
 
2013
 
2012
Shack-level operating profit [A]
$
26,861

 
$
20,419

 
$
14,247

Add:
 
 
 
 
 
 
Licensing revenue
6,488

 
3,869

 
1,447

Less:
 
 
 
 
 
 
General and administrative expenses
18,187

 
12,453

 
6,988

 
Depreciation expense
5,809

 
3,541

 
2,162

 
Pre-opening costs
6,105

 
2,334

 
1,858

 
Loss on disposal of property and equipment
105

 
25

 

Operating income
$
3,143

 
$
5,935

 
$
4,686

 
 
 
 
 
 
Total revenue
$
118,530

 
$
82,456

 
$
57,038

Less: Licensing revenue
6,488

 
3,869

 
1,447

Shack sales [B]
$
112,042

 
$
78,587

 
$
55,591

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Shack-level operating profit margin [A / B]
24.0
%
 
26.0
%
 
25.6
%
 
 
(1)
We operate on a 52/53 week fiscal year that ends on the last Wednesday of the calendar year. Fiscal 2014 was a 53-week year with the extra operating week (the "53rd week") falling in our fiscal fourth quarter. Fiscal 2013 and 2012 each contained 52 weeks.




41


EBITDA and Adjusted EBITDA (Non-GAAP Financial Measures)
EBITDA and Adjusted EBITDA are non-GAAP supplemental measures of operating performance that do not represent and should not be considered alternatives to net income (loss) or cash flow from operations, as determined by GAAP. EBITDA and Adjusted EBITDA are used by management to measure the operating performance of their business, excluding specifically identified items that management believes do not directly reflect their core operations. A reconciliation of EBITDA and Adjusted EBITDA to net income (loss), the most directly comparable GAAP measure, is set forth below.
 
 
 
2014¹
 
2013
 
2012
Net income
$
2,118

 
$
5,423

 
$
4,133

Depreciation expense
5,809

 
3,541

 
2,162

Interest expense, net
363

 
52

 
156

Income tax expense
662

 
460

 
397

 
EBITDA
8,952

 
9,476

 
6,848

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Equity-based compensation2
165

 
93

 
450

Deferred compensation3

 
2,054

 

Pre-opening costs4
4,024

 
1,737

 
1,623

Deferred rent5
2,830

 
975

 
839

Loss on disposal of property and equipment6
105

 
25

 

IPO-related expenses7
2,675

 

 

Other non-cash items8
135

 
99

 
238

 
ADJUSTED EBITDA
$
18,886

 
$
14,459

 
$
9,998

 
 
(1)
We operate on a 52/53 week fiscal year that ends on the last Wednesday of the calendar year. Fiscal 2014 was a 53-week year with the extra operating week (the "53rd week") falling in our fiscal fourth quarter. Fiscal 2013 and 2012 each contained 52 weeks.
(2)
Non-cash charges related to equity-based compensation programs, which vary from period to period depending on the timing of awards.
(3)
For the periods presented, represents amounts accrued under a bonus agreement we entered into with an employee pursuant to which we agreed to a pay a bonus in a future period.
(4)
Non-capital expenditures associated with opening new Shacks exclusive of deferred rent incurred prior to opening.
(5)
Reflects the extent to which our straight-line rent expense has been above or below our cash rent payments.
(6)
Includes the loss on disposal of property and equipment in the ordinary course of business.
(7)
Costs incurred in connection with our initial public offering, including legal, accounting and other related expenses.
(8)
For the periods presented, represents non-cash charges related to certain employee benefits.

LIQUIDITY AND CAPITAL RESOURCES
We desire to maintain a strong balance sheet to support our growth initiatives and increase same Shack sales with financial flexibility; to provide the financial resources necessary to protect and enhance the competitiveness of our brand and guest experience at our Shacks; and to provide a prudent level of financial capacity to manage the risks and uncertainties of operating our business in the current volatile economic environment and through future economic and industry cycles.
We have continued to experience increases in Shack-level operating profit margin, Adjusted EBITDA, the number of domestic company-operated Shack openings, same-Shack sales growth and AUVs. However, the restaurant industry continues to be challenged, and uncertainty exists as to the sustainability of these favorable trends. We believe that cash provided by operating activities, cash on hand and the Revolving Credit Facility are adequate to fund our debt service requirements, operating lease obligations, capital expenditures and working capital obligations for at least the next 12 months and the foreseeable future.
Our ongoing capital expenditures are principally related to opening new Shacks, existing Shack capital investments (both for remodels and maintenance), as well as investment in our corporate infrastructure. In addition, we are obligated to make payments under the Tax Receivable Agreement. Although the actual timing and amount of any payments that may be made under the Tax Receivable Agreement will vary, we expect that the payments that we will be required to make to the Continuing SSE Equity Owners will be significant. Any payments made by us to Continuing SSE Equity Owners under the Tax Receivable Agreement will generally reduce the amount of overall cash flow that might have otherwise been available to us or to SSE Holdings and, to the extent that we are unable to make payments under the Tax Receivable Agreement for any reason, the unpaid amounts generally will be deferred and will accrue interest until paid by us.

42


We currently intend to retain all available funds and any future earnings for use in the operation of our business, and therefore we do not currently expect to pay any cash dividends on our Class A common stock. Any future determination to pay dividends to holders of Class A common stock will be at the discretion of our Board of Directors and will depend upon many factors, including our results of operations, financial condition, capital requirements, restrictions in SSE Holdings' debt agreements and other factors that our Board of Directors deems relevant.
We utilize operating lease arrangements for all of our domestic company-operated Shacks. We believe that our operating lease arrangements continue to provide the appropriate leverage for our capital structure in a financially efficient manner. Because we lease all of the properties related to our domestic company-operated Shacks, as well as our home office, we do not have any debt that is secured by real property.
Summary of Cash Flows
Our primary sources of liquidity and capital resources have been cash provided from operating activities, cash on hand and the Revolving Credit Facility. Aside from the capital expenditures noted above, our primary requirements for liquidity are for lease obligations, working capital and general corporate needs. Our requirement for working capital is not significant because our guests pay for their food and beverage purchases in cash or on debit or credit cards at the time of the sale and we are able to sell many of our inventory items before payment is due to the supplier of such items.
The following table and discussion presents, for the periods indicated, a summary of our key cash flows from operating, investing and financing activities.
 
2014¹
 
2013
 
2012
Net cash provided by operating activities
$
13,584

 
$
12,924

 
$
11,678

Net cash used in investing activities
(28,515
)
 
(16,194
)
 
(11,036
)
Net cash provided by (used in) financing activities
4,532

 
313

 
(2,171
)
Decrease in cash and cash equivalents
(10,399
)
 
(2,957
)
 
(1,529
)
Cash at beginning of period
13,076

 
16,033

 
17,562

Cash at end of period
$
2,677

 
$
13,076

 
$
16,033

 
 
(1)
We operate on a 52/53 week fiscal year that ends on the last Wednesday of the calendar year. Fiscal year 2014 was a 53-week year with the extra operating week (the "53rd week") falling in our fiscal fourth quarter. Fiscal 2013 and 2012 each contained 52 weeks.
Operating Activities
For fiscal 2014, net cash provided by operating activities was $13.6 million compared to $12.9 million for fiscal 2013, an increase of $0.7 million. This increase was primarily driven by the opening of 10 new domestic company-operated Shack during fiscal 2014.
For fiscal 2013, net cash provided by operating activities was $12.9 million compared to $11.7 million for fiscal 2012, an increase of $1.2 million, primarily driven by the opening of eight new domestic company-operated Shack during the fiscal year.
Investing Activities
For fiscal 2014, net cash used in investing activities was $28.5 million compared to $16.2 million for fiscal 2013, an increase of $12.3 million. This increase was due to an increase in capital expenditures to construct new domestic company-operated Shacks in such period compared to fiscal 2013.
For fiscal 2013, net cash used in investing activities was $16.2 million compared to $11.0 million for fiscal 2012, an increase of $5.2 million. The increase was due to an increase in capital expenditures to construct new domestic company-operated Shacks in the current year period.
Financing Activities
For fiscal 2014, net cash provided by financing activities was $4.5 million compared to $0.3 million for fiscal 2013, primarily due to increased borrowings under our Revolving Credit Facility of $32.0 million, offset by increased member distributions of $27.1 million and deferred financing fees of $0.4 million.
For fiscal 2013, net cash provided by financing activities was $0.3 million. For fiscal 2012, net cash used in financing activities was $2.2 million, an increase of $2.5 million, primarily due to the repayment of approximately $1.9 million of long-term debt as well as the payment of deferred financing charges.
Revolving Credit Facility
In December 2013, we entered into an amendment to our existing revolving credit agreement, which became effective in April 2014 ("Revolving Credit Facility"). The amendment provides for a revolving total commitment amount of $50.0 million, of which $30.0 million was available immediately. In December 2014, we entered into another amendment to the Revolving Credit Facility, which became effective immediately, and provided for, among other things, the acceleration of the delayed total commitment effective date, resulting in an immediate increase in the total commitment amount to $50.0 million. The amendment also provides for a mandatory prepayment of at least $15.0 million by April 30, 2015. The Revolving Credit Facility will mature and all amounts outstanding will be due and payable five years from the effective date. The Revolving Credit Facility permits the issuance of

43


letters of credit upon our request of up to $10.0 million. Borrowings under the Revolving Credit Facility bear interest at either: (i) LIBOR plus a percentage ranging from 3.0% to 4.0%, or (ii) the prime rate plus a percentage ranging from 0.0% to 1.0%, depending on the type of borrowing made under the Revolving Credit Facility. As of December 25, 2013, there were no amounts outstanding under the Revolving Credit Facility. As of December 31, 2014, there was $32.0 million of outstanding borrowings under the Revolving Credit Facility, classified as short-term debt on the Consolidated Balance Sheet, which carried interest at a weighted-average rate of 3.3%. We had $17.9 million of availability as of December 31, 2014, after giving effect to $0.1 million in letters of credit.
The Revolving Credit Facility is secured by a first-priority security interest in substantially all of our assets and is guaranteed by Union Square Hospitality Group, LLC ("USHG").
The Revolving Credit Facility contains a number of covenants that, among other things, restrict our ability to, subject to, specified exceptions, incur additional debt; incur additional liens and contingent liabilities; sell or dispose of assets; merge with or acquire other companies; liquidate or dissolve ourselves; pay dividends or make distributions; engage in businesses that are not in a related line of business; make loans, advances or guarantees; engage in transactions with affiliates; and make investments. In addition, the Revolving Credit Facility contains certain cross-default provisions. We are required to maintain a specified consolidated fixed-charge coverage ratio and a specified funded net debt to Adjusted EBITDA Ratio. As of December 31, 2014, we were in compliance with all covenants.
On January 28, 2015, we executed a Third Amended and Restated Credit Agreement, which became effective on February 4, 2015 (the "New Revolving Credit Facility"). The New Revolving Credit Facility provides for, among other things, (i) a revolving total commitment amount of $50.0 million, of which $20.0 million is available immediately, with the remainder available at our request and the consent of the lenders under the New Revolving Credit Facility; (ii) the removal of USHG as guarantor of the facility; (iii) the elimination of the mandatory $15.0 million prepayment and (iv) a reduction in certain interest rates and fees. Borrowings under the New Revolving Credit Facility will bear interest at either: (x) LIBOR plus a percentage ranging from 2.5% to 3.5% or (y) the prime rate plus a percentage ranging from 0.0% to 1.0%, depending on the type of borrowing to be made under the New Revolving Credit Facility.
CONTRACTUAL OBLIGATIONS
The following table sets forth certain contractual obligations as of December 31, 2014 and the timing and effect that such commitments are expected to have on our liquidity and capital requirements in future periods.
 
Total
 
Less than
1 Year
 
1-3
Years
 
3-5
Years
 
More Than
5 Years
Operating lease obligations
$
166,037

 
$
10,690

 
$
27,211

 
$
29,043

 
$
99,093

Short-term borrowings
32,000

 
32,000

 

 

 

Purchase obligations
12,567

 
10,785

 
1,782

 

 

Deferred compensation
2,450

 

 

 
2,450

 

Long-term debt
313

 

 

 

 
313

TOTAL
$
213,367

 
$
53,475

 
$
28,993

 
$
31,493

 
$
99,406


Purchase obligations include all legally binding contracts, including commitments for the purchase, construction or remodeling of real estate and facilities, firm minimum commitments for inventory purchases, equipment purchases, marketing-related contracts, software acquisition/license commitments and service contracts.
The above table excludes long-term, exclusive contracts we enter into with certain vendors to supply us with food, beverages and paper goods, obligating us to purchase specified quantities. These volume commitments are not subject to any time limit and there are no material financial penalties associated with these agreements in the event of early termination.
Other long-term liabilities excluded from the above table include non-cash obligations for deferred rent and deferred property incentives. In addition, other unrecorded obligations that have been excluded from the contractual obligations table include contingent rent payments, property taxes, insurance payments and common area maintenance costs.
OFF-BALANCE SHEET ARRANGEMENTS
Except for operating leases entered into in the normal course of business, certain letters of credit entered into as security under the terms of several of our leases and the unrecorded contractual obligations set forth above, we did not have any off-balance sheet arrangements as of December 31, 2014.

44


CRITICAL ACCOUNTING POLICIES
The preparation of financial statements and related disclosures in conformity with U.S. generally accepted accounting principles (“GAAP”) requires that we make estimates and judgments that affect the reported amounts of assets, liabilities, revenues and expenses, and disclosure of contingent assets and liabilities. We base our estimates on past experience and other assumptions that we believe are reasonable under the circumstances, and we evaluate these estimates on an ongoing basis. Actual results may differ from those estimates.
Our critical accounting policies are those that materially affect our consolidated financial statements and involve difficult, subjective or complex judgments by management. The following discussion highlights the estimates we believe are critical and should be read in conjunction with the consolidated financial statements included in Part II, Item 8 of this Form 10-K.
Revenue Recognition
Revenue consists of Shack sales and licensing revenues. Revenue from Shacks are presented net of discounts and recognized when food and beverage products are sold. Sales taxes collected from customers are excluded from revenues and the obligation is included in sales tax payable until the taxes are remitted to the appropriate taxing authorities. Revenues from our gift cards are deferred and recognized upon redemption. Licensing revenues include exclusive territory fees and ongoing licensing fees from all licensed Shacks. Territory fees are recorded as deferred revenue when received and proportionate amounts are recognized as revenue when a Shack is opened as all material services and conditions related to the fee have been substantially performed. Ongoing licensing fees from these Shacks are recognized as revenue in the period the related Shacks' revenues are earned.
Property and Equipment
Property and equipment acquired is recorded at cost less accumulated depreciation. Property and equipment is depreciated based on the straight-line method over their estimated useful lives, generally ranging from five to seven years for equipment, furniture and fixtures and computer equipment and software. Leasehold improvements are depreciated over the shorter of their estimated useful lives or the related lease life.
We assess potential impairments to our long-lived assets, which includes property and equipment, whenever events or circumstances indicate that the carrying amount of an asset may not be recoverable. Recoverability of an asset is measured by a comparison of the carrying amount of an asset group to the estimated undiscounted future cash flows expected to be generated by the asset. If the carrying amount of the asset group exceeds its estimated undiscounted future cash flows, an impairment charge is recognized as the amount by which the carrying amount of the asset exceeds the fair value of the asset. Shack-level assets are grouped together for the purpose of the impairment assessment. There were no impairment charges recorded during fiscal 2014, 2013 or 2012.
Leases
We currently lease all of our domestic company-operated Shacks and the home office. At the inception of each lease, we determine its appropriate classification as an operating or capital lease. As of December 31, 2014 and December 25, 2013 there were no leases classified as capital leases. For operating leases that include rent escalations, we record the base rent expense on a straight-line basis over the term of the lease and the difference between the base cash rents paid and the straight-line rent expense is recorded as deferred rent. Certain leases contain contingent rent provisions that require additional rental payments based upon sales volume. When achievement of such sales volume target is probable, contingent rent is accrued in proportion to the sales recognized during the period that are attributable to the expected achievement of the sales volume target. It is our policy to record straight-line rent expense from possession date through the opening date as pre-opening expense. Once a domestic company-operated Shack opens, we record the straight-line rent plus contingent rent, if applicable, as occupancy and related expenses.
We expend cash for leasehold improvements and to build out and equip our leased premises. We may also expend cash for structural additions that we make to leased premises. Generally, a portion of the leasehold improvements and building costs are reimbursed to us by our landlords as construction contributions pursuant to agreed-upon terms in our leases. If obtained, landlord construction contributions usually take the form of up-front cash, full or partial credits against our future minimum or percentage rents otherwise payable by us, or a combination thereof. When contractually due to us, we classify tenant improvement allowances as deferred rent on the consolidated balance sheets and amortize the tenant improvement allowance on a straight-line basis over the lease term as a credit to occupancy and related expenses.
Income Taxes
SSE Holdings is treated as a partnership for U.S. federal and most applicable state and local income tax purposes. As a partnership, taxable income or loss is passed through to and included in the taxable income of its members, including us. Accordingly, our consolidated financial statements do not include a provision for federal income taxes. SSE Holdings is liable for various other state and local taxes and is subject to withholding taxes in foreign jurisdictions. Pursuant to the SSE Holdings LLC Agreement, SSE Holdings will generally make pro rata tax distributions to holders of LLC Interests in an amount sufficient to fund all or part of their tax obligations with respect to the taxable income of SSE Holdings that is allocated to them. See Item 13, "Certain Relationships and Related Party Transactions."
Shake Shack Inc. is subject to U.S. federal, state and local income taxes with respect to our allocable share of any taxable income of SSE Holdings and will be taxed at the prevailing corporate tax rates. In addition to tax expenses, we also will incur expenses related to our operations, plus payments

45


under the Tax Receivable Agreement, which will be significant. We intend to cause SSE Holdings to make distributions in an amount sufficient to allow us to pay our tax obligations and operating expenses, including distributions to fund any ordinary course payments due under the Tax Receivable Agreement. See Item 13, "Certain Relationships and Related Party Transactions."
Equity-Based Compensation
Equity-based compensation expense is measured based on fair value. We recognize compensation expense on a straight-line basis over the requisite service period. For awards with graded vesting features and service conditions only, compensation expense is recognized on a straight-line basis over the total requisite service period for the entire award.
Restricted Class B Units
Prior to the IPO, certain of our employees received grants of restricted Class B Units in SSE Holdings. The restricted Class B Units were eligible to vest annually over five years from the applicable grant date. If not fully vested, awards were eligible to become fully vested (i) upon the occurrence of a change in control or (ii) upon the occurrence of an initial public offering, each as defined in the grant agreements with respect to such awards. Upon consummation of the IPO, all outstanding awards vested and each restricted Class B Unit was exchanged for LLC Interests in SSE Holdings. The amount of unrecognized compensation expense related to non-vested awards as of December 31, 2014 was $0.6 million and such compensation expense was recognized in fiscal 2015 upon consummation of the IPO.
Unit Appreciation Rights
Prior to the IPO, SSE Holdings maintained a phantom equity plan, which we refer to as the Unit Appreciation Rights Plan (the "Plan"), whereby we had the authority to grant up to 31,303 unit appreciation rights ("UARs") to employees. The UARs would have terminated on the tenth anniversary of the grant date or upon termination of employment, if earlier, and were only exercisable upon a qualifying transaction, which is defined in the Plan as either a change of control or an initial public offering. Upon the occurrence of a qualifying transaction, participants were entitled to receive a payment determined by multiplying (i) the excess, if any, of the qualifying transaction price over the base price per UAR, as specified in each participant's award agreement, by (ii) the stated number of Class B Units deemed covered by the UARs held by the participant. Our IPO constituted a qualifying transaction under the terms of the Plan and resulted in the recognition of approximately $11.8 million of compensation expense in the first quarter of fiscal 2015. All UARs outstanding under the Plan were settled in connection with IPO in the form of shares of our Class A common stock.
JUMPSTART OUR BUSINESS STARTUPS ACT OF 2012
The Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act of 2012 (the "JOBS Act") permits us, as an "emerging growth company," to take advantage of an extended transition period to comply with new or revised accounting standards applicable to public companies. We are choosing to "opt out" of this provision and, as a result, we will comply with new or revised accounting standards as required when they are adopted. This decision to opt out of the extended transition period under the JOBS Act is irrevocable.
Item 7A. Quantitative and Qualitative Disclosures About Market Risk.
COMMODITY AND FOOD PRICE RISKS
Our profitability is dependent on, among other things, our ability to anticipate and react to changes in the costs of key operating resources, including food and beverage, energy and other commodities. We have been able to partially offset cost increases resulting from a number of factors, including market conditions, shortages or interruptions in supply due to weather or other conditions beyond our control, governmental regulations and inflation, by increasing our menu prices, as well as making other operational adjustments that increase productivity. However, substantial increases in costs and expenses could impact our operating results to the extent that such increases cannot be offset by menu price increases.
LABOR AND BENEFITS COSTS
At our domestic company-operated Shacks, we have historically provided a starting wage that is above the minimum wage in place for that particular state. For instance, in Manhattan Shacks, we start our new employees at $10.00 per hour even though the minimum wage in New York is $8.00 per hour. We believe that this enables us to attract a higher caliber employee and this translates directly to better guest service. Our desire is to continue to do so and, as such, there can be no assurance that we will generate same Shack sales growth in an amount sufficient to offset increases in minimum wage or other inflationary pressures.

46


INTEREST RATE RISK
We are exposed to interest rate risk through fluctuations in interest rates on our debt obligations. Our Revolving Credit Facility carries interest at a floating rate. We seek to manage exposure to adverse interest rate changes through our normal operating and financing activities. As of December 31, 2014, we had $32.0 million in outstanding borrowings under the Revolving Credit Facility.
FOREIGN CURRENCY EXCHANGE RISK
Although we conduct business outside of the United States, the revenue and expenses associated with our international business are transacted in U.S. dollars and none of our subsidiaries have functional currencies that are not the U.S. dollar. Accordingly, we do not have foreign currency translation risk. However, we are exposed to foreign exchange risk in that sales at our international licensed Shacks are denominated in their local currencies and the amount of licensing revenue we earn is directly affected by fluctuations in currency exchange rates.
IMPACT OF INFLATION
While we have been able to partially offset inflation and other changes in the costs of core operating resources by gradually increasing menu prices, coupled with more efficient purchasing practices, productivity improvements and greater economies of scale, there can be no assurance that we will be able to continue to do so in the future. From time to time, competitive conditions could limit our menu pricing flexibility. In addition, macroeconomic conditions could make additional menu price increases imprudent. There can be no assurance that future cost increases can be offset by increased menu prices or that increased menu prices will be fully absorbed by our guests without any resulting change to their visit frequencies or purchasing patterns. In addition, there can be no assurance that we will generate same Shack sales growth in an amount sufficient to offset inflationary or other cost pressures.
Substantially all of the leases for our domestic company-operated Shacks provide for contingent rent obligations based on a percentage of sales. As a result, an increase in occupancy and related expenses will offset a proportionate share of any menu price increases at our domestic company-operated Shacks.

Item 8. Financial Statements and Supplementary Data.
INDEX TO FINANCIAL STATEMENTS


47



REPORT OF INDEPENDENT REGISTERED PUBLIC ACCOUNTING FIRM

The Board of Directors and Management of
Shake Shack Inc.

We have audited the accompanying balance sheets of Shake Shack Inc. (the “Company”) as of December 31, 2014 and September 23, 2014. These balance sheets are the responsibility of the Company’s management. Our responsibility is to express an opinion on these balance sheets based on our audits.
We conducted our audits in accordance with the standards of the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (United States).Those standards require that we plan and perform the audit to obtain reasonable assurance about whether the financial statements are free of material misstatement. We were not engaged to perform an audit of the Company’s internal control over financial reporting. Our audits included consideration of internal control over financial reporting as a basis for designing audit procedures that are appropriate in the circumstances, but not for the purpose of expressing an opinion on the effectiveness of the Company’s internal control over financial reporting. Accordingly, we express no such opinion. An audit also includes examining, on a test basis, evidence supporting the amounts and disclosures in the financial statements, assessing the accounting principles used and significant estimates made by management, and evaluating the overall financial statement presentation. We believe that our audits provide a reasonable basis for our opinion.
In our opinion, the balance sheets referred to above present fairly, in all material respects, the consolidated financial position of Shake Shack Inc. at December 31, 2014 and September 23, 2014, in conformity with U.S. generally accepted accounting principles.

/s/ Ernst & Young LLP
New York, New York
March 27, 2015


48


SHAKE SHACK INC.
BALANCE SHEETS
(dollar amounts in thousands, except share and per share amounts)


 
 
 
 
December 31,
 
September 23,
 
 
 
 
2014
 
2014
ASSETS
$

 
$

Liabilities

 

Commitments and contingencies
 
 
 
Stockholders' Equity
 
 
 
 
Common stock, $0.01 par value - 100 shares authorized, none issued and outstanding

 

TOTAL LIABILITIES AND STOCKHOLDERS' EQUITY
$

 
$



See Notes to Balance Sheets.
49

SHAKE SHACK INC.
NOTES TO BALANCE SHEETS
(dollar amounts in thousands, except share and per share amounts)




NOTE 1: ORGANIZATION
Shake Shack Inc. (the "Corporation", "we," "us," and "our") was formed as a Delaware corporation on September 23, 2014 for the purpose of facilitating an initial public offering and other related transactions in order to carry on the business of SSE Holdings, LLC and its subsidiaries ("SSE Holdings"). As of December 31, 2014, the Corporation had not engaged in any business activities except in connection with its formation.
On February 4, 2015, the Corporation closed an initial public offering ("IPO") of 5,750,000 shares of Class A common stock at a public offering price of $21.00 per share, which includes 750,000 shares issued pursuant to the underwriters' over-allotment option. The Corporation received $112,298 in proceeds, net of underwriting discounts and commissions, which was used to purchase newly-issued membership interests from SSE Holdings at a price per interest equal to the initial public offering price of $21.00. Subsequent to the IPO and related organizational transactions that occurred in connection with the IPO, the Corporation is the sole managing member of SSE Holdings and, although they have a minority economic interest in SSE Holdings, they have the sole voting power in, and control the management of, SSE Holdings. As a result, the Corporation will consolidate the financial results of SSE Holdings and report a non-controlling interest in the Corporation's consolidated financial statements.
NOTE 2: SUMMARY OF SIGNIFICANT ACCOUNTING POLICIES
Basis of Accounting
The Balance Sheets are presented in accordance with accounting principles generally accepted in the United States of America. Separate statements of income, comprehensive income, changes in stockholder's equity, and cash flows have not been presented in the financial statements because there have been no activities in this entity.
NOTE 3: STOCKHOLDERS' EQUITY
As of December 31, 2014, the Corporation was authorized to issue 100 shares of Common Stock, par value $0.01 per share, none of which had been issued or were outstanding.
NOTE 4: SUBSEQUENT EVENTS
Initial Public Offering
As noted above, on February 4, 2015, we closed an IPO of 5,750,000 shares of our Class A common stock at a public offering price of $21.00 per share, which includes 750,000 shares issued pursuant to the underwriters' over-allotment option. We received $112,298 in proceeds, net of underwriting discounts and commissions, which we used to purchase newly-issued membership interests from SSE Holdings at a price per interest equal to the initial public offering price of our Class A common stock of $21.00.
Organizational Transactions
In connection with the IPO, the Corporation and SSE Holdings completed a series of transactions (the "Organizational Transactions") including the following:
the limited liability company agreement of SSE Holdings was amended and restated to, among other things, (i) provide for a new single class of common membership interests in SSE Holdings ("LLC Interests"), (ii) exchange all of the then existing membership interests of the holders of SSE Holdings’ membership interests ("Original SSE Equity Owners") for LLC Interests and (iii) appoint the Corporation as the sole managing member of SSE Holdings;
the Corporation's certificate of incorporation was amended and restated to, among other things, (i) provide for Class B common stock with voting rights but no economic rights and (ii) issue shares of Class B common stock to the Original SSE Equity Owners on a one-to-one basis with the number of LLC Interests they own;

50

SHAKE SHACK INC.
NOTES TO BALANCE SHEETS
(dollar amounts in thousands, except share and per share amounts)



the acquisition, by merger, of certain members of SSE Holdings ("Former SSE Equity Owners"), for which we issued 5,968,841 shares Class A common stock as merger consideration (the "Merger").
Following the completion of the Organizational Transactions, the Corporation owns 33.3% of SSE Holdings. The SSE Holdings members subsequent to the Merger (the "Continuing SSE Equity Owners") own the remaining 66.7% of SSE Holdings.
SSE Holdings Recapitalization
As noted above, in connection with the IPO, the limited liability company agreement of SSE Holdings was amended and restated to, among other things, (i) provide for a new single class of common membership interests in SSE Holdings, or the LLC Interests; (ii) exchange all of the then existing membership interests of the Original SSE Equity Owners for LLC Interests and (iii) appoint the Corporation as the sole managing member of SSE Holdings. Although the Corporation has a minority economic interest in SSE Holdings, as the sole managing member, they have the sole voting power in, and control the management of, SSE Holdings. As a result, the Corporation will consolidate the financial results of SSE Holdings and report a non-controlling interest.
The amendment also requires that SSE Holdings, at all times, maintain (i) a one-to-one ratio between the number of shares of Class A common stock issued by the Corporation and the number of LLC Interests owned by the Corporation and (ii) a one-to-one ratio between the number of shares of Class B common stock owned by the Continuing SSE Equity Owners and the number of LLC Interests owned by the Continuing SSE Equity Owners.
Amendment and Restatement of Certificate of Incorporation
As noted above, on February 4, 2015, the Corporation's certificate of incorporation was amended and restated to, among other things, provide for the (i) authorization of 200,000,000 shares of Class A common stock with a par value of $0.001 per share; (ii) authorization of 35,000,000 shares of Class B common stock with a par value of $0.001 per share; (iii) authorization of 10,000,000 shares of undesignated preferred stock that may be issued from time to time by the Corporation's Board of Directors in one or more series; and (iv) establishment of a classified board of directors, divided into three classes, each of whose members will serve for staggered three-year terms.
Holders of Class A and Class B common stock are entitled to one vote per share and, except as otherwise required, will vote together as a single class on all matters on which stockholders generally are entitled to vote. Holders of Class B common stock are not entitled to receive dividends and will not be entitled to receive any distributions upon the liquidation, dissolution or winding up of the Corporation. Shares of Class B common stock may only be issued to the extent necessary to maintain the one-to-one ratio between the number of LLC Interests held by the Continuing SSE Equity Owners and the number of shares of Class B common stock held by the Continuing SSE Equity Owners. Shares of Class B common stock are transferable only together with an equal number of LLC Interests. Shares of Class B common stock will be canceled on a one-for-one basis if we, at the election of a Continuing SSE Equity Owner, redeem or exchange LLC Interests.
The Corporation must, at all times, maintain a one-to-one ratio between the number of shares of Class A common stock issued by the Corporation and the number of LLC Interests owned by the Corporation (subject to certain exceptions for treasury shares and shares underlying certain convertible or exchangeable securities).
Acquisition of Former SSE Equity Owners
As noted above, on February 4, 2015, we acquired, by merger, two entities that were members of SSE Holdings, or the Former SSE Equity Owners, for which we issued 5,968,841 shares of Class A common stock as merger consideration. The only assets held by the Former SSE Equity Owners were 5,968,841 LLC Interests and a corresponding number of shares of Class B common stock. Upon consummation of the Merger, the Corporation canceled the 5,968,841 shares of Class B common stock and recognized the 5,968,841 of LLC Interests at carrying value, as the Merger is considered to be a transaction between entities under common control. Following the Merger, the Corporation now holds 12,058,147 LLC Interests, representing a 33.3% ownership interest in SSE Holdings.
Tax Receivable Agreement
We expect to obtain an increase in our share of the tax basis of the assets of SSE Holdings when LLC Interests are redeemed or exchanged by the Continuing SSE Equity Owners and other qualifying transactions. This increase in tax basis may have the effect of reducing the amounts that we would otherwise pay in the future to various tax authorities. The increase in tax basis may also decrease gains (or increase losses) on future dispositions of certain capital assets to the extent tax basis is allocated to those capital assets.
On February 4, 2015, the Corporation entered into a tax receivable agreement with the Continuing SSE Equity Owners (the "Tax Receivable Agreement") that provides for the payment by the Corporation to the Continuing SSE Equity Owners of 85% of the amount of tax benefits, if any, that Shake Shack actually realizes as a result of (i) increases in the tax basis of assets of SSE Holdings resulting from any redemptions or exchanges of LLC Interests or any prior sales of interests in SSE Holdings and (ii) certain other tax benefits related to our making payments under the Tax Receivable Agreement.

51

SHAKE SHACK INC.
NOTES TO BALANCE SHEETS
(dollar amounts in thousands, except share and per share amounts)



On February 4, 2015, SSE Holdings paid a distribution in the amount of $11,125 to certain of the Original SSE Equity Owners. This distribution triggered a tax basis increase subject to the provisions of the Tax Receivable Agreement. We will recognize a deferred tax asset in the amount of $6,006 and a corresponding liability of $5,105, representing 85% of the tax benefits due to the Continuing SSE Equity Owners.
Equity-Based Compensation
On January 29, 2015, the Corporation granted 2,622,281 stock options to our directors and certain employees under the Shake Shack Inc. 2015 Incentive Award Plan. The stock options were granted with an exercise price of $21.00 per share and vest equally over five years. Additionally, we issued 339,306 shares of Class A common stock in settlement of outstanding unit appreciation rights under the SSE Holdings Unit Appreciation Rights Plan.


52


REPORT OF INDEPENDENT REGISTERED PUBLIC ACCOUNTING FIRM

The Board of Directors and Members of
SSE Holdings, LLC and Subsidiaries

We have audited the accompanying consolidated balance sheets of SSE Holdings, LLC and Subsidiaries (the “Company”) as of December 31, 2014 and December 25, 2013, and the related consolidated statements of income, members’ equity, and cash flows for each of the three years in the period ended December 31, 2014. These financial statements are the responsibility of the Company’s management. Our responsibility is to express an opinion on these financial statements based on our audits.
We conducted our audits in accordance with the standards of the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (United States).Those standards require that we plan and perform the audit to obtain reasonable assurance about whether the financial statements are free of material misstatement. We were not engaged to perform an audit of the Company’s internal control over financial reporting. Our audits included consideration of internal control over financial reporting as a basis for designing audit procedures that are appropriate in the circumstances, but not for the purpose of expressing an opinion on the effectiveness of the Company’s internal control over financial reporting. Accordingly, we express no such opinion. An audit also includes examining, on a test basis, evidence supporting the amounts and disclosures in the financial statements, assessing the accounting principles used and significant estimates made by management, and evaluating the overall financial statement presentation. We believe that our audits provide a reasonable basis for our opinion.
In our opinion, the financial statements referred to above present fairly, in all material respects, the consolidated financial position of SSE Holdings, LLC and Subsidiaries at December 31, 2014 and December 25, 2013, and the consolidated results of their operations and their cash flows for each of the three years in the period ended December 31, 2014, in conformity with U.S. generally accepted accounting principles.

/s/ Ernst & Young LLP
New York, New York
March 27, 2015


53


SSE HOLDINGS, LLC
CONSOLIDATED BALANCE SHEETS
(in thousands)


 
 
 
December 31,
 
December 25,
 
 
 
2014
 
2013
ASSETS
 
 
 
Current assets
 
 
 
 
Cash
$
2,677

 
$
13,076

 
Accounts receivable
3,278

 
1,527

 
Inventories
529

 
331

 
Prepaid expenses and other current assets
1,441

 
273

 
Deferred income taxes
20

 

 
 
Total current assets
7,945

 
15,207

Property and equipment, net
70,124

 
37,938

Deferred income taxes, net
141

 
67

Other assets
4,752

 
2,007

TOTAL ASSETS
$
82,962

 
$
55,219

 
 
 
 
LIABILITIES AND MEMBERS' EQUITY
 
 
 
Current liabilities
 
 
 
 
Short-term borrowings
$
32,000

 
$

 
Accounts payable
6,440

 
2,393

 
Accrued expenses
5,578

 
1,489

 
Accrued wages and related liabilities
2,410

 
1,994

 
Other current liabilities
1,749

 
1,329

 
 
Total current liabilities
48,177

 
7,205

Long-term debt
313

 
313

Deferred rent
17,853

 
6,647

Other long-term liabilities
4,019

 
3,667

 
 
Total liabilities
70,362

 
17,832

Commitments and contingencies
 
 
 
Members' equity
12,600

 
37,387

TOTAL LIABILITIES AND MEMBERS' EQUITY
$
82,962

 
$
55,219



See Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements.
54


SSE HOLDINGS, LLC
CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF INCOME
(in thousands, except per unit amounts)


 
 
 
Fiscal Year Ended
 
 
 
December 31,
 
December 25,
 
December 26,
 
 
 
2014
 
2013
 
2012
Shack sales
$
112,042

 
$
78,587

 
$
55,591

Licensing revenue
6,488

 
3,869

 
1,447

TOTAL REVENUE
118,530

 
82,456

 
57,038

Shack-level operating expenses:
 
 
 
 
 
 
Food and paper costs
34,925

 
23,865

 
16,774

 
Labor and related expenses
29,312

 
20,096

 
14,436

 
Other operating expenses
11,191

 
7,315

 
5,081

 
Occupancy and related expenses
9,753

 
6,892

 
5,053

General and administrative expenses
18,187

 
12,453

 
6,988

Depreciation expense
5,809

 
3,541

 
2,162

Pre-opening costs
6,105

 
2,334

 
1,858

Loss on disposal of property and equipment
105

 
25

 

TOTAL EXPENSES
115,387

 
76,521

 
52,352

OPERATING INCOME
3,143

 
5,935

 
4,686

Interest expense, net
363

 
52

 
156

INCOME BEFORE INCOME TAXES
2,780

 
5,883

 
4,530

Income tax expense
662

 
460

 
397

NET INCOME
$
2,118

 
$
5,423

 
$
4,133

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Pro-forma earnings per unit:
 
 
 
 
 
 
Basic
$
0.07

 
$
0.18

 
$
0.14

 
Diluted
$
0.07

 
$
0.18

 
$
0.14

Pro-forma weighted-average units outstanding:
 
 
 
 
 
 
Basic
29,977

 
29,934

 
29,652

 
Diluted
30,122

 
30,018

 
29,918




See Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements.
55


SSE HOLDINGS, LLC
CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF MEMBERS' EQUITY
(in thousands)


MEMBERS' EQUITY, DECEMBER 28, 2011
$
27,288

 
Net income
4,133

 
Equity-based compensation
450

MEMBERS' EQUITY, DECEMBER 26, 2012
31,871

 
Net income
5,423

 
Equity-based compensation
93

MEMBERS' EQUITY, DECEMBER 25, 2013
37,387

 
Net income
2,118

 
Equity-based compensation
165

 
Member distributions
(27,070
)
MEMBERS' EQUITY, DECEMBER 31, 2014
$
12,600



See Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements.
56


SSE HOLDINGS, LLC
CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF CASH FLOWS
(in thousands)


 
 
 
 
 
 
Fiscal Year Ended
 
 
 
 
 
 
December 31,
 
December 25,
 
December 26,
 
 
 
 
 
 
2014
 
2013
 
2012
OPERATING ACTIVITIES
 
 
 
 
 
Net income
$
2,118

 
$
5,423

 
$
4,133

Adjustments to reconcile net income to net cash provided by operating activities
 
 
 
 
 
 
Depreciation expense
5,809

 
3,541

 
2,162

 
Non-cash interest expense
192

 
37

 
96

 
Loss on disposal of property and equipment
105

 
25

 

 
Equity-based compensation
165

 
93

 
450

 
Deferred income taxes
(93
)
 
7

 
(34
)
 
Changes in operating assets and liabilities:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Accounts receivable
(1,751
)
 
26

 
(1,076
)
 
 
Inventories
(198
)
 
(88
)
 
(35
)
 
 
Prepaid expenses and other current assets
(1,168
)
 
(118
)
 
(93
)
 
 
Other assets
(2,461
)
 
(1,109
)
 
(81
)
 
 
Accounts payable
1,210

 
1,219

 
(210
)
 
 
Accrued expenses
3,349

 
(713
)
 
1,032

 
 
Accrued wages and related liabilities
416

 
866

 
557

 
 
Other current liabilities
420

 
31

 
643

 
 
Deferred rent
5,206

 
1,742

 
2,409

 
 
Other long-term liabilities
265

 
1,942

 
1,725

NET CASH PROVIDED BY OPERATING ACTIVITIES
13,584

 
12,924

 
11,678

INVESTING ACTIVITIES
 
 
 
 
 
Purchases of property and equipment
(28,515
)
 
(16,194
)
 
(11,036
)
NET CASH USED IN INVESTING ACTIVITIES
(28,515
)
 
(16,194
)
 
(11,036
)
FINANCING ACTIVITIES
 
 
 
 
 
Promissory note

 
313

 

Proceeds from revolving credit facility
32,000

 

 

Payments on revolving credit facility

 

 
(1,925
)
Deferred financing costs
(398
)
 

 
(246
)
Member distributions
(27,070
)
 

 

NET CASH PROVIDED BY (USED IN) FINANCING ACTIVITIES
4,532

 
313

 
(2,171
)
DECREASE IN CASH
(10,399
)
 
(2,957
)
 
(1,529
)
CASH AT BEGINNING OF PERIOD
13,076

 
16,033

 
17,562

CASH AT END OF PERIOD
$
2,677

 
$
13,076

 
$
16,033



Supplemental cash flow information and non-cash investing and financing activities are further described in the accompanying notes.
See Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements.
57

SSE HOLDINGS, LLC
NOTES TO CONSOLIDATED FINANCIAL STATEMENTS
(Dollar amounts in thousands, except unit, share, per unit and per share amounts)




NOTE 1: NATURE OF OPERATIONS
SSE Holdings, LLC and its subsidiaries (collectively, "we," "us," "our," "SSE Holdings" or the "Company") operate and license restaurants in the global restaurant industry, serving hamburgers, hot dogs, crinkle-cut fries, shakes, frozen custard, beer and wine. We own and operate Shake Shack restaurants ("Shacks") in 10 states and the District of Columbia. As of December 31, 2014, we had 31 company-operated Shacks in operation in the United States. We also have license arrangements with affiliated and unaffiliated operators to develop and operate Shacks. As of December 31, 2014, 32 licensed Shacks were in operation under license agreements in North America, Europe and Asia.
Shake Shack Inc. (the "Corporation") was formed as a Delaware corporation on September 23, 2014 for the purpose of facilitating an initial public offering and other related transactions in order to carry on the business of SSE Holdings and its subsidiaries. On February 4, 2015, the Corporation closed an initial public offering ("IPO") of 5,750,000 shares of Class A common stock at a public offering price of $21.00 per share. The Corporation received $112,298 in proceeds, net of underwriting discounts and commissions, which was used to purchase newly-issued membership interests from SSE Holdings at a price per interest equal to the initial public offering price of $21.00. Subsequent to the IPO and related organizational transactions that occurred in connection with the IPO, the Corporation is the sole managing member of SSE Holdings and, although they have a minority economic interest in SSE Holdings, they have the sole voting power in, and control the management of, SSE Holdings. As a result, the Corporation will consolidate the financial results of SSE Holdings and report a non-controlling interest in the Corporation's consolidated financial statements. See Note 19, Subsequent Events.
NOTE 2: SUMMARY OF SIGNIFICANT ACCOUNTING POLICIES
Basis of Presentation
The accompanying consolidated financial statements have been prepared in accordance with accounting principles generally accepted in the United States of America (“U.S. GAAP”) and include our accounts and the accounts of our subsidiaries. All intercompany accounts and transactions have been eliminated in consolidation. Certain reclassifications have been made to prior period amounts to conform to the current year presentation.
We do not have any components of other comprehensive income recorded within our consolidated financial statements, and, therefore, do not separately present a statement of comprehensive income in our consolidated financial statements.
Fiscal Year
We operate on a 52/53 week fiscal year ending on the last Wednesday in December. Fiscal year 2014 contained 53 weeks and ended on December 31, 2014. Fiscal years 2013 and 2012 each contained 52 weeks and ended on December 25, 2013 and December 26, 2012, respectively. Unless otherwise stated, references to years in this report relate to fiscal years.
Use of Estimates
The preparation of these consolidated financial statements in conformity with U.S. GAAP requires management to make estimates and assumptions that affect the reported amounts of assets and liabilities and disclosure of contingent assets and liabilities at the date of the financial statements, and the reported amounts of sales and expenses during the reporting period. Actual results could differ from those estimates.