Shake Shack has no problem selling its sandwiches in Japan, but it’s decided to give away over a million yen in food anyway.
Ironically, two of the most frequently repeated axioms point to conflicting truths. “The best things in life are free,” our more optimistic mentors try to teach us, but at the same time, their more cynical counterparts are reminding us that “You get what you pay for.”
Clearly, the only way to reconcile these convincing yet conflicting arguments is to arrive at the conclusion that the best things in life are those which people ordinarily have to pay for, but that you can get for free. Furthermore, if said free thing is food, clearly you’re approaching the loftiest levels of fulfillment possible for human beings, and that path to bliss is being offered by premium burger brand Shake Shack in Tokyo over the next few days.
The New York-based chain opened its first Japanese location in Tokyo’s Aoyama neighborhood in 2015, and quickly earned a reputation for serving up delicious sandwiches that were more than worth their above-average price and waiting time in the line stretching out the front door.
▼ The first Shake Shack in Japan
In short order, Shake Shack locations were added in the Ebisu and Yurakucho neighborhoods, and the chain is set to open its fourth restaurant in Tokyo, in the Shinjuku district, this summer. You won’t actually have to wait that long to munch on Shake Shack’s culinary creations in Shinjuku, though. From May 3 to 5, the company is holding a popup event at the Shinjuku Southern Terrace, across the street from the southern exit of Shinjuku Station, and this sneak preview is absolutely free!
The event is officially called PortoHello Shinjuku, and each day Shake Shack will be handing out 500 free ‘Shroom Burgers. While the chain’s standard menu has multiple carnivore-friendly meaty burgers, the ‘Shroom Burger is actually an entirely vegetarian option, with a thick Portobello mushroom subbing for the patty and accompanied by three kinds of cheese, lettuce, tomato, and Shake Shack’s proprietary house sauce.
The ‘Shroom Burger ordinarily sells for 930 yen (US$8.40), meaning that Shake Shack’s 1,500-sandwich gesture of generosity has a total market value of nearly 1.4 million yen. The burger hand-out starts at 11 a.m. each day, so if you’re in the mood for an early, and free, lunch, head on over.
Follow Casey on Twitter, where every time he walks past a Shake Shack in Tokyo, he finds himself wishing In-N-Out Burger would hurry up and come to Japan already.
[ Read in Japanese ]