How to Determine Your Shake Shack Wait Time

My 11:45 am trip to Shake Shack (on 44th and 8th Ave.) on Monday morning was smooth sailing (great for me!), but that relatively short line on the first real day of Midtown Lunch service wasn’t a very good indication of what the mob scene has now become. As the week has gone on reports have poured in between Noon and 2pm from the new Shack- and, no surprise, it can get pretty bad.  It’s only a matter of time before they Disneyland the sidewalk up with a rope line and “Your Wait Time From Here…” signs.  In the meantime, as a service to Midtown Lunch’ers, we have created a thorough guide to determining how long the wait is going to be.

So before you throw your arms up in disbelief and head to Schnipper’s, gauge how long the wait will really be after the jump…

Wait time to getting your food

Traditionally in Midtown burger spots get more and more popular as the week goes on.  We’re kind of in new territory here with Midtown’s first Shake Shack, but if past indications hold- Monday and Tuesday will be the shortest line, and things will most likely peak on Thursdays. (Although Fridays could go either way.  Summer hours mean less people grabbing a long lunch, but its proximity to Port Authority could mean big business as people leave the city. And of course, there is always the tourist factor.)  Yesterday, the line bended back onto itself to avoid blocking the entrance to Lace Gentlemen’s Club (these two establishments really need to get together for some kind of promotion). If you’re behind the bend, you’re looking at 35+ minutes before you’re enjoying your burger, and hot dog, and fries, and custard. (50 minutes if the line bends around all the way back to 44th Street.)

If you’re right at Lace’s storefront, or forming the bend yourself, that’s a 35 minute wait to actually getting your food.

If you’re drooling over the custard schedule in the window, then you have another 30 minutes until lunchtime.

Once you hit the big menu in the window, you have 25 minutes left to go and should make use of that menu to start serious order preparation. Hear that tourists? Don’t hold up the line waiting until you get to the register to decide what you’re going to order.

If you’re at the threshold and can feel the air conditioning, you’re just 20 minutes away from the revered Shake Shack grub.

And don’t let the snaking line inside scare you, it moves quickly. About ten minutes… and the average wait time after ordering seems to be around 9 minutes.

So, what have we learned? Shake Shack, even in its first week, can definitely be done in an hour, as long as the line isn’t too long, you work pretty close, and your boss isn’t too strict. Then again, bringing Shake Shack burgers back for the whole office should get you excused from anything. (Except the anger of the customers waiting behind you.)

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