How Shake Shack Leveraged Branch’s Mobile Linking Platform To Accelerate Growth






increased app downloads


increased click-to-install rate


increased average order value

Shake Shack’s story

Founded in 2001 by restaurateur Danny Meyer as a hot dog cart in Madison Square Park in New York City, Shake Shack has grown into a popular fast-casual restaurant specializing in burgers, hot dogs, and milkshakes. Shake Shack quickly gained its reputation for serving high-quality, made-to-order burgers and shakes using locally sourced, sustainable ingredients. 

In 2017, Shake Shack launched their mobile app allowing customers to order and pay for their food before arriving at the restaurant, which was especially useful during the COVID-19 pandemic. Shake Shack’s digital thought leadership has set the standard for other fast-casual chains, and the company remains committed to using technology to enhance the customer experience.

Today, Shake Shack has grown into a global brand with more than 470 locations worldwide and continues to be a leader in the industry. 

Finding the right solution

As Shake Shack continued to expand its digital presence, it became evident that app acquisition would be a crucial focus for the business. Shake Shack realized that, in order to enhance their digital platforms, they needed a partner that would help them meet the needs of their guests by providing a seamless user journey on mobile. This would include providing easier access to their favorite menu items and offering personalized incentives to enhance the app experience.

In addition, Shake Shack also recognized the need to better measure and understand the effectiveness of their campaigns in order to continually optimize their campaign ROI. This required a partner who could provide them with robust analytics and insights into their digital campaigns. 

By selecting Branch as this partner, Shake Shack could leverage attribution data to drive guest engagement, loyalty, and revenue growth. 

Shake Shack’s partnership with Branch drives digital adoption and enhances the guest experience

With the help of Branch’s mobile linking platform (MLP), Shake Shack is able to capture installs through various methods such as Quick Links, QR codes, and digital channels like push and email. They also leverage tools such as Journeys mobile web smart banners to promote limited time offers and to geo-target mobile web customers for new store openings.

Shake Shack also utilizes Branch attribution data and custom exports to feed their performance marketing tools and analyze their spend more efficiently for campaign optimization. In addition, they are looking to roll out deep linking across marketing automation and paid channels to further enhance the guest experience. 

“As a high-growth company, both in footprint and digital adoption, we need to constantly optimize our campaign ROI and drive the best digital experience possible for our guests. By using Branch as a mobile measurement partner and linking platform, we can better understand which sources are driving the highest return and most efficient cost per install while simultaneously removing friction from our digital guest experience.”

Shannon Reilly, Senior Manager, Lifecycle Marketing
Shake Shack

Delighting customers and boosting app installs with Branch-powered Journeys smart banners

In a 2022 campaign, Shake Shack implemented Journeys smart banners to create a unique experience to promote their limited-time offers, such as The Bourbon Bacon Cheddar Burger – a burger more than six years in the making. To ensure they were grabbing their customers’ attention, Shake Shack used beautiful creatives and stand-out CTAs across their smart banners to drive web visitors to install their app. 

During the Bourbon Bacon campaign, Journeys smart banners played a significant role in driving over 100,000 installs.

Bourbon Back Cheddar burger advertisement on a smartphone: An image of burger and drink, labeled "Bourbon Bacon Cheddar." A link at the bottom saying: "Skip the line"

Web-to-app powered by Branch Journeys smart banners

Alt Text: Graphic labeled: "Web-to-app powered by Branch Journeys smart banners" Image 1: smart banner advertisement for White Truffle Burger on website with "Skip the line" link (label: eye-catching creatives and CTAs) Image 2: Shake Shack app in app store (label: Takes the user directly to the App Store) Image 3: White Truffle burger in the Shake Shack app (label: Opens to the corresponding page inside the app)

Next up? Shake Shack plans to continue to test and roll out new Journeys smart banners, such as post-purchase web Journeys. They also plan to roll out deep linking across all of their Lifecycle and Performance marketing channels.

The results were impressive

By integrating with the Branch platform, Shake Shack was able to optimize their performance marketing efforts effectively, guiding high-intent mobile web users to their app. 

The implementation of Journeys smart banners yielded significant results, contributing substantially to the growth of app installs and showcasing an impressive click-to-install rate. Furthermore, users who converted from Journeys smart banners demonstrated a higher average order value (AOV) compared to the AOV of the average digital guest. This collaboration with Branch proved to be a valuable addition to Shake Shack’s marketing strategy, enhancing their mobile app presence and driving positive outcomes for their business.

“By leveraging Branch’s custom exports to feed our digital agency’s performance marketing tool, our marketing continues to become more efficient.

We’ve looked at the data, and we’ve quickly realized that not only does the Shack App offer our guests a better experience, but their engagement and conversion rates were significantly higher — making mobile web journeys instrumental to driving digital success.”

Shannon Reilly, Senior Manager, Lifecycle Marketing
Shake Shack

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