For you being the ceo now of a global company?
The biggest surprise is that shake shack started as a hotdog carts in madison square park.
The fact that we just opened our 41st restaurant in harvard square in boston a few weeks ago in itself, the scale that we have been able to achieve, the way that people associate with shake shack has been a blessing and a great surprise.
Biggest thing you have learned so far?
Stayed true to what started this thing.
The bigger we get, the smaller we need to act.
That is how we talk of a company.
That means looking back and saying -- what we make the same decision we made today that we made when we had one shake shack?
And if we do, that is going to merit our success.
Ask biggest mistake you made and how did you recover from that?
One of the biggest was early on, we started to grow a little fast and we started to go to sun communities before we were ready or before the community was ready.
We went to a community in new york and london that community was not ready for the lines and the big buildings of shake shack to be there, and we pulled out of that deal.
That was a very early mistake that taught us so much about the kind of sites we need to do and the way we enter and the way, most importantly, that we connect with our communities through our charitable efforts and -- you work in a community within a whole hospitality group, union square, which is danny meyer's group.
What has it been like working with danny meyer?
Danny is great.
I have worked with him for 14 years.
I met him when i lived in seattle, and he gave me the reason to move back to new york, where i was from, 14 years ago.
I worked in a fine dining company.
I think the best part about shake shack is that we are -- most of us are a bunch of people who started in fine dining.
So when a shake shack manager starts, they get to hang out with a chef from gramercy tavern.
They get the egos in the training that our fine dining, union square company is known for.
One thing about your restaurants -- i notice you have expanded more overseas, and i think we have a map of all of your locations around the world.
You have expanded more overseas than you have in the united states.
We have done it earlier than most companies would.
It is an opportunity in the beginning.
It has turned out to be one of the best things.
We decided that the world is a collection of great cities, and shake shack as an urban experience belongs in those great cities of the community grad during -- a community gathering place.
Last year, we opened in london, is simple, and most recently moscow.
And you were there at every opening.
I have been to all of those.
Is it just because you want to travel?
Just ask my wife that.
We have to go, we have to understand it, and we have to understand how shake shack spaces at how the community wants it to work.
You have gone through your most difficult decision, from frozen fries to fresh fries.
Why was that so difficult?
The bigger we get, the smaller we need to act.
Most countries are looking for easier ways to do things.
We are looking for harder ways to do things.
The goal is, you know, when we can look ourselves in the mirror and know we can do something better, and we can have frozen fries that our guests love for nine years but know that they can be hand cut in-house fresh, we know it can be better, we have to admit to ourselves that -- does it taste different?
Frozen fries taste like frozen fries, and the ones not taste like potatoes.
And as much as i and so many of our guests love the original one, we have to make that change was of about of the -- make that change.
So about a third of the chains have changed.
We have covered mcdonald's quite extensively on this program.
Is fast food going through a transformation, a secular transformation, where people are no longer enjoy eating is much as they did years ago?
I think the difference is -- they are still enjoying it, but companies like shake shack allow an opportunity for someone to say i do not eat fast food, i cannot take my kids there, but still of a burger, i so want a shake, so when i do it, i want to know i am putting good ingredients in my body.
That has allowed for people who know more about their food and are requiring to know where their food came from to come over to places like shake shack.
I think that is what is what we help to define in the industry here.
All right, randy, great to see you.
Thank you for joining us.
Randy garutti, the ceo of shake shack here.
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