Score one for frozen food.
Shake Shack, the better-burger chain that has become the growth vehicle of Danny Meyer’s Union Square Hospitality Group, has abandoned its efforts to serve hand-cut, housemade French fries and has returned to its frozen, pre-made crinkle-cut fries.
As Eater New York put it, “Shake Shack Ditches Fresh-Cut Fries That No One Liked.”
Shake Shack chief executive Randy Garutti posted an open letter on the chain’s website explaining the move:
“About a year ago, we decided to convert our classic crinkle cut fry to a fresh, hand-cut, russet potato. The motivation was simple: whenever we believe we can improve something as Shake Shack, we take the task seriously even if it’s a big challenge. Our commitment to freshness, all-natural ingredients and straight-up yumminess drove our passion to change our fries.”
But it turns out that cutting thousands of russet potatoes in-house, soaking them to remove excess starch and frying them twice is no easy task.
“No matter how hard we tried, inconsistency remained and we found ourselves unable, 100% of the time, to deliver what our guests loved most about our crinkle cuts.”
So the crinkle-cut fries will be brought back in November, minus the “artificial ingredients” that apparently were in them previously, he said.
The news was greeted with minor hysteria.
“Crinkle cut fries will return to @shakeshack and all is right in the world!” Brooklyn food writer Jordana Rothman declared on Twitter, and soon created a hash tag, #crinklewire, so everyone could share in the excitement.
“Crinkle-Cut fries are coming back to @shakeshack and this is right and this is good and all you naysayers shut up and drink your New Coke,” Eater writer Helen Rosner tweeted.
Crinkle-cut fries are coming back to @ShakeShack and this is right and this is good and all you naysayers shut up and drink your New Coke— Helen Rosner (@hels) August 8, 2014
“Good news. They never should have left,” The Daily Meal executive editor Arthur Bovino tweeted.
Not everyone welcomed the change.
“Crinkle schminkle: they’re FROZEN” tweeted New York Times food reporter Julia Moskin.
But overall, the announced return to what NRN’s Ron Ruggless described as “corrugated taters” has been very well received.