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Shake Shack Is Quietly Building a Global Restaurant Empire

Shake Shack (SHAK) may be best-known for serving fancy burgers and frozen custards to huge crowds at its locations in New York City's Madison Square Park and the New York Mets' Citi Field, but it's also quietly amassing a restaurant empire overseas.

"In the next two weeks, we will open our first restaurant in Japan, in Tokyo, with the people who originally brought Starbucks to Japan," said Shake Shack CEO Randy Garutti in an interview outside of the company's busy Madison Square Park hot-spot.

Grabbing a cheese-covered crinkle-cut French fry, Garutti added, "we will have some fun Japanese ingredients, [but] the core menu of Shake Shack remains what it is. You may see some macha [powdered green tea] in there, you may see the best chocolate you can find in Tokyo."

In December 2014, Shake Shack entered into an exclusive licensing arrangement...