Zach Koff named new COO of Shake Shack

by Monica Watrous
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NEW YORK — Zach Koff has been named the first COO of Shake Shack Inc. Jeff Uttz will retire as CFO in 2017, the company announced Jan. 5.

Founded in 2004, Shake Shack operates restaurants in 16 states and the District of Columbia, as well as in international markets, serving premium fast-food fare. Koff joined Shake Shack in 2010 and has held various roles, including director of operations, vice president of operations and senior vice president of operations. Previously, he held numerous operations roles at Bravo Brio Restaurant Group.

“I am beyond proud of Zach’s leadership over the last six years,” said Randy Garutti, CEO of Shake Shack. “He has built the team and systems that run our restaurants today and has been at the foundation of Shake Shack’s unique and powerful people culture. I’m thrilled for Zach to move into the COO role and further his impact around the greater strategy and execution of our rapid growth ahead.”

Uttz, who became CFO of Shake Shack in 2013, will remain in his role through mid-March to oversee the company’s fiscal 2016 reporting period. The company will initiate an immediate search to fill the position. Prior to joining the company, Uttz was CFO of Yard House, a subsidiary of Darden Restaurants, Inc.

“On behalf of myself, our board and all of our team members, I wish to thank Jeff for his many contributions during his time at Shake Shack,” Garutti said. “Jeff set a very high standard leading Shake Shack through its IPO and beyond, and we will now search for a new CFO to help guide us through what will be an unparalleled period of growth for our company.

“While we have not closed the books on the fourth quarter yet, we remain confident in the 2016 financial guidance ranges we provided in our third-quarter press release and earnings call, yet we did experience higher than expected labor in the Shacks in Q4 as we began to institute raises in concert with our labor strategy to support increased growth. We were happy to be able to pull forward our 20th Shack of the year in mid-December in Christiana, Delaware, ending the year on a high note.”

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