Randy Garutti, B.S. 97, grew a global brand from a NYC food stand. Shortly after graduating from Cornell's School of Hotel Administration in 1997, Garutti met restaurateur Danny Meyer. Together they started a Madison Square Park hot dog cart that has evolved into Shake Shack—a successful fast-casual dining chain with locations in more than 25 states and a dozen countries. Garutti serves as Shake Shack's chief executive officer.
"Shake Shack was born in a New York City park—an oasis in the craziness and concrete of the city. We're trying to re-create that fun, welcoming gathering place for kids and their parents, people on dates, investment bankers and cops in all of our Shacks around the world. Cities are truly the future! Whenever I travel, I'm amazed at how fast the world is urbanizing. I also believe that young people today value a sense of place more than space. They want energy, connection, places to gather. Where better than NYC? Where better than Cornell Tech, where new ideas are happening by the minute? And with whom better than Cornell grads? There's always that special bond and understanding we have after spending time in Ithaca," says Garutti.