Shake Shack joins the ranks of the calorie conscious

It's a weighty issue for Shake Shack fans.

With Danny Meyer's upscale burger joint opening its 15th U.S. outlet last week in New Haven, Conn., the New York chain reached a threshold moment: Shake Shack is now required to post calorie counts on menu boards at its seven city locations, just like bigger chains such as McDonald's and Starbucks.

The bliss of biting into a ShackBurger—a quarter-pound of beef, American cheese, lettuce, tomato and a special sauce—is no longer accompanied by ignorance of its 490 calories.

A vegetarian option fancied by the more health-conscious, the 'Shroom Burger—a fried portobello slathered in Muenster, cheddar and sauce—has 570 calories, 20 more than a McDonald's Big Mac.

And a meal consisting of a double-patty ShackBurger, regular fries and a chocolate shake is just shy of 2,000 calories—what the U.S. Agriculture Department recommends the average adult consume in an entire day.

The calorie counts weren't top secret, having been listed on Shake Shack's website for months. But they have been an eye-opening addition to display menus since Sept. 11, when the restaurant began quietly posting the numbers in a discreet white-over-black font all over the city. Read More