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Bad Root Beer Float at Shake Shack

Since I've been effected by the blackouts in Queens, I've been spending more time in Manhattan, and I found myself in Madison Square Park, hankering for my first root beer float from Shake Shack, which I've raved about in the past. I've pretty much given up on the burgers, but I love being able to "cut" to the front of the line to order my float. But something was amiss. The first clue was that my float felt lukewarm. And after the I scooped up the suds, I noticed the cup was only filled up halfway. And maybe about a teaspoon of ice cream in evidence, rendering the spoon useless. Seems like they poured a warm root beer bottle over a small scoop of ice cream and handed it over to me. I remember the first few root beer floats I've had at Shake Shack in the past, and they were pretty generous with the ice cream (the ratio of ice cream to root beer is key). If this is what they're dishing out now, I'd rather spend my money elsewhere.

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  1. This happens sometimes. My first float at SS last year was as you described.

    1. I've had both types (skimpy & generous) and figure which one ya end up with is pretty much a crap shoot.

      Now that ya mention it my last one was pretty skimpy on the ice cream. But, that day I can tell you they were slammed with corporate interns placing multiple lunch orders.

      I'm not a SS apologist but given the apparant lack of any sort of system, odds are good they just ran low on cold root beers and maybe were in such a rush so that they didn't hold the ice cream handle down long enough.

      3 Replies
      1. re: was_bk

        Handle!? I've never been to shake shack, but for the prices they charge (at an outdoor stand keep in mind) I would hope you get scoops of high quality ice cream, not something extruded. SS just fell about a hundred places down my things to do list!

        1. re: The Engineer

          It's not ice cream. It's frozen custard - which is much more like high quality soft-serve. Therefore, the handle.

          1. re: selizara

            Yeah, I understand. Still rather have ice cream.

            Granted people usually talk about root beer floats or orange floats, but I've never heard someone jones for a frozen custard float, while I have heard of ice cream floats being coveted.

            The idea of frozen custard vs ice cream in a float makes me think of my dad overenthusiastically eating burnt toast and swearing to us kids that "its just as good!" ;)

      2. Did you take it up to the pick-up counter and exchange it for a proper root beer float? I've noticed while waiting for my food that they're pretty generous at correcting their mistakes (i.e. they readily exchange an item, no questions asked).

        2 Replies
        1. re: Joe Food

          Me too. If I had received a shake/float in the condition described I would be running back up to the counter.

          1. re: fascfoo

            I have even brought back poorly assembled Chicago Dogs for replacement--lots of apologies offered. The consistency in prep is lacking but made up for in friendly service. I think they do alot of training/turnover is high.

        2. I went to the Shake Shack for the first time last December on a cold rainy day at 4 PM. The place was empty. They made my burger to order -- carefully, as they had nothing else to do -- and it was one of the best I have ever had. I bet if I'd gone on a very crowded day it wouldnt have been nearly as good. Maybe the same is true of floats. Though of course you might not want that float on a freezing day.

          1. I had a skimpy root beer float on Monday around 11:30AM. The foam was coming over the rim of the cup (but not overflowing). When I asked them to put a lid on it, the guy scraped the foam off into the garbage and then put the lid on. I wasn't sure what the alternative was, but it was a little strange.

            The float was 1/2 full and lukewarm. I don't think they would've run out of cold root beer that early in the day!

            Being an out of town visitor, I didn't think of taking it back. Goes to show you should always try!