Shake Shack CEO gets nailed on CNN for taking $10 million meant for small businesses despite having ‘$100 million on hand’

Shake Shack received a $10 million loan from a federal program meant to help small business survive amid the coronavirus pandemic. But the burger chain is now returning the money after facing a backlash.

During an interview with Shake Shack CEO Randy Garutti, CNN host Poppy Harlow summed up the reason for the outrage with a question: “Just looking at your numbers in your latest SEC filing, you guys had more than -- have more than $100 million cash on hand, 104 million. I think a lot of Americans looking at numbers like that would ask why did you even apply for the money in the first place?”

“For the very reason as it was intended,” Garutti replied, “to take care of our team and employ as many people. Look, our team members have equal value to any other team member and what we’re trying to do, as any company is, is make sure no matter how long this lasts, we’ve set up the necessary liquidity to take care of our team and continue to come out on the other side of this.”

According to CNBC, "The company runs around 189 restaurants in the United States, with about 45 employees in each outlet, and reported nearly $600 million in revenue for 2019. It has closed about half of its 120 locations worldwide, and furloughed or laid off more than 1,000 employees after sales fell 28.5% in March, the company said in a filing on April 17."

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