Lining up for burgers—and voting | Lifestyle.INQ

OCTOBER 27, 2022

The wait is over. Shake Shack, the modern-day “roadside” burger stand known for its 100-percent all-natural Angus beef burgers, opened its first outlet in the Philippines at Central Square in Bonifacio Global City (BGC). But the wait is actually while lining up to order the famous burgers. The order line at Shake Shack is longer than the line to vote in the recent midterm elections!

Good thing, Store Specialists Inc. (SSI) anticipated a massive demand and prepared outdoor air-con units for the comfort of Shake Shack fans.

The Shack’s BGC outlet serves one-of-a kind menu items available only in the Philippines for the Manila community. Ube Shake and Calamansi Limeade are some of the Pinoy delights being offered. Other goodies include chocolate brownies from Bucky’s and Auro chocolate and Calamansi Pie Oh My, by my fave local restaurant, Wildflour Bakery.

In keeping with the company’s mission to Stand for Something Good, 5 percent of sales from the pies goes to Children’s Hour. Shake Shack has also partnered with Hope in a Bottle to help build public school classrooms.

Finally, to offer treats for those with four feet, Shake Shack has partnered with Whole Pet Kitchen on ShackBurger dog biscuits in both its Bag-O-Bones and Poochini (ShackBurger dog biscuits, peanut butter sauce, and vanilla custard).

Lulu Tan Gan and Margie Moran-Floirendo
Lulu Tan Gan and Margie Moran-Floirendo

“As we spent time exploring Filipino cuisine, we were inspired by the flavors and artisans we met along the way, and by the food they’re passionate about,” said Shake Shack culinary director Mark Rosati.

He added: “From halo-halo, lechon, adobo and garlic rice to calamansi and ube, Manila is serious about its love for great food and ingredients! We’re thrilled to introduce our Manila-exclusive menu that features some of the flavors and ingredients we fell in love with.”

‘Fine casual’ dining

Building on Shake Shack’s fine-dining heritage and commitment to community building, hospitality and sourcing premium ingredients, and the SSI Group’s proven track record in bringing the most rewarding, curated lifestyle experiences to Filipino consumers, Shack fans in the country are able to enjoy “fine casual” dining at reasonable price points.

ElizabethQuiambao, Zenaida Tantoco and AC Legarda
ElizabethQuiambao, Zenaida Tantoco and AC Legarda

“We’re thrilled to bring the NYC Shake Shack experience to the Filipino community, and are proud of the company’s mission to Stand for Something Good,” says Anton Huang, SSI Group president. “Our burgers and hot dogs use 100-percent all-natural beef, free of hormones and antibiotics, non-GMO potato buns, and the custard is made from real sugar, no corn syrup, and milk from dairy farmers who pledge not to use artificial growth hormones. We’re proud to finally unveil our Manila menu that was created with high standards of excellence.”

Specialty Food Retailers Inc., a member of the SSI Group, is the exclusive franchise holder of Shake Shack in the Philippines.

Thank goodness, I was invited to the preopening launch, where they served unlimited burgers, fries and ube shake. Robby Carmona, who directed the launch, says that Shake Shack served over 4,000 burgers on the first day of sales.

AntonHuang, US Ambassador Kim Sung and Felix Ang
AntonHuang, US Ambassador Kim Sung and Felix Ang

Even after opening day, the line at Shake Shack is around two hours, while at my voting precinct, there was no line at all! After missing out on my right to vote in past elections, I was thrilled I was able to vote again. Feeling patriotic, I wore a stylized terno by young Filipino designer Tracy Dizon.

Calendula products

I wore another outfit by Tracy for the launch of the newest Kiehl’s product, Calendula Serum-Infused Water Cream. Kiehl’s Philippines invited special guests to the launch at Gallery by Chele, Taguig City.

Charmaine Palermo and Sea Princess
Charmaine Palermo and Sea Princess

Kiehl’s introduced its customers to the Calendula Petal in the 1960s with the launch of Calendula Herbal Extract Toner, currently Kiehl’s best-selling toner globally. Ever since, Kiehl’s chemists have continued to harness the time-tested, efficacious benefits of Calendula through the 2014 launch of the Calendula Deep Cleansing Foaming Face Wash and in 2017, the addition of the Calendula & Aloe Soothing Hydrating Mask.

Guests enjoyed light activities, and brand representatives from Kiehl’s Philippines were stationed throughout the venue to allow people to experience the product.

Happy Birthday, Virgie!

This weekend is the birthday of one of my favorite boss moms, Virgie Ramos of Swatch Philippines. At the launch of the newest collection of Swatch timepieces, a mother-daughter theme party, select mothers and daughters posed for portraits by photographer Sara Black and took home a box of Ladurée.

The buffet spread and table setting was by Happy Ongpauco-Tiu. There was porchetta, a pasta bar with cheese wheel, a pizza corner, and stations of burger, corndogs, popcorn, snowcone and churros.

Virgie Ramos with Hindy Weber’s daughter Zoe
Virgie Ramos with Hindy Weber’s daughter Zoe


In attendance were four generations of women—Margie Moran with her mom Rosario, her daughter Monica, and her granddaughters Adriana and Cosima, who got her first Swatch there.

“Spent the afternoon at the @swatch_ph to celebrate mommyhood with my rainbow girl Zoe,” wrote Hindy Weber. “I remember the first -ever Swatch I got. It was all-white. Zoe won one at the raffle and she got so excited! So special to see this full-circle milestone. . . This photo was taken by my lovely gal Sara Black, and I told Zoe I’m going to frame it to remind her that she loves me sooooo much.”

In closing, may I invite you to the special Yin Yoga Immersion by Joshua Dubrin of Bikram Yoga Manila. Joshua will teach how to improve your flexibility and teach you breathing techniques to activate your life force, prana and energy channels.

Bikram Yoga Manila, tel. 5768391 , 0917-5086810



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