Shake Shack names COO

Jan. 6, 2017

Shake Shack Inc has appointed a chief operating officer, naming Zach Koff to the position. The company also announced the retiring of Jeff Uttz as CFO.

Koff has been leading operations at Shake Shack since the fourth Shack opened in Miami Beach, holding various roles, including director, vice president and senior vice president of operations, as well as serving on the company's executive team since it went went public. Before joining Shake Shack in 2010, he held numerous operations roles at Bravo Brio Restaurant Group.

"I am beyond proud of Zach's leadership over the last six years," Shake Shack CEO Randy Garutti, said in a news release. "He has built the team and systems that run our restaurants today and has been at the foundation of Shake Shack's unique and powerful people culture. I'm thrilled for Zach to move into the COO role and further his impact around the greater strategy and execution of our rapid growth ahead."

Uttz will remain in his CFO role through mid-March to oversee the company's fiscal 2016 reporting period. Shake Shack has retained Russell Reynolds to initiate an immediate search to fill the void.

"On behalf of myself, our board and all of our team members, I wish to thank Jeff for his many contributions during his time at Shake Shack," Garutti said. "Jeff set a very high standard leading Shake Shack through its IPO and beyond, and we will now search for a new CFO to help guide us through what will be an unparalleled period of growth for our company."

While Shake Shack hasn't yet closed the books on the fourth quarter, Garutti said he is confident in the 2016 financial guidance ranges that the team provided in its third quarter press release and earnings call.

Garutti admitted, however, that the chain has experienced higher-than-expected labor in Q4 as it began to institute raises in concert with its labor strategy to support increased growth.

"We were happy to be able to pull forward our 20th Shack of the year in mid-December in Christiana, Delaware, ending the year on a high note."

Topics: Franchising & Growth

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