ShakeAway, the global milkshake concept with an international following, is coming to the U.S. The company will make its debut with stores in California, New York, and Georgia, targeted to open in late 2013 and early 2014.

Self-dubbed as the original re-inventor of the milkshake, ShakeAway first opened in the U.K. in 1999 and grew to attract the attention of franchisees in more than 60 countries. In addition to upcoming openings in the U.S., further expansion is planned for Oman, Qatar, Dubai, Mexico, South Korea, Turkey, Malaysia, India, Pakistan, and the Philippines. This adds to stores already open in Saudi Arabia and Bahrain, with growth plans for more than 200 shops in at least 12 countries over the next few years.

The brand operates under a low build out costs and high profit margins model. ShakeAway’s concept offers the ability to maximize local business opportunity with a three-tiered, low-cost marketing program that drives brand awareness tailored to each market.

ShakeAway’s shops feature ShakeAway TV and ShakeAway radio channel that can be customized in any language to target the interests of each location’s customers. Each store has its own Facebook page, enabling interaction with the local customers on a daily basis. Promotions like the record deal competition with Nestle and the launch of “Battleship” with Warner Bros. help ShakeAway connect with customers even after they’ve left the store.

ShakeAway’s servers, known as Shakettes, walk customers through a process that allows them to customize their milkshake. Some customer creations have become staples on the menu—in fact, more than 255 items on the current menu came from patrons. One customer even blended a cheeseburger and fries, with surprisingly palatable results. ShakeAway has several blending techniques, and product information is kept on a secure server that is moved every month in an effort to thwart hackers.

ShakeAway’s menu also includes fat-free frozen yogurt. Combinations, like the Jennifer frozen yogurt made with raspberries, Chips Ahoy, and granola on top, are blended to disperse ingredients evenly.

The brand’s stores offer samplings at least three times a day, allowing customers to try new fizzy soda shakes and hot shakes, frozen yogurt, smoothies, and low-fat fries. ShakeAway offers more than 180 ingredients, including Nestle, M&M’s, Milky Way, banana, strawberries, pineapple, Oreo, Skittles, Nutella, tiramisu, and chocolate truffles. ShakeAway’s staple Millionaire Milkshake is made with edible gold, dark chocolate, roasted hazelnuts, and whipped cream. About 25 percent of each store’s menu is customized to the specific locations with ingredients not available elsewhere. For that reason, it’s said customers tout the phrase, “live forever and never have the same milkshake twice.”

Denise Lee Yohn: QSR's Marketing Guru, Desserts, Growth, News, ShakeAway