When restauranteur Danny Meyer first launched Shake Shack in 2001, the founder and executive chairman of the Union Square Hospitality Group began with a simple premise: “Stand for something good.”

Opening the future chain in New York City’s Madison Square Park as a hot dog cart, the Trinity College graduate had previously cut his teeth in a variety of traditional restaurants, notably the Union Square Café.

The park was in disrepair and overrun by drug addicts and riddled by crime. Establishing a food site was part of a grand plan to restore and rejuvenate the neighborhood. It worked.

Shake Shack is now a global concern with over 500 restaurants located all over the world. It’s signature burger is a favorite, drawing lines and widespread acclaim.

In a recent interview, Meyer was sharing the chain’s philosophy of hiring, noting the restaurants distinctive is making sure its employees are “fifty-one percenters” — servant minded leaders whose skill sets are lean slightly more towards the emotional intelligent than the tactically or mechanically inclined.

When interviewing prospective employees, Shake Shack manager look for hires to possess six emotional qualities.

The company doesn’t claim a Christian foundation, but as we cultivate skills to both witness and engage culture, we’d be wise to develop and embrace these qualities ourselves:

Kind Optimism

Despite the grim and foreboding realities of a sinful and fallen world, believers should be optimistic. If we’re trying to draw people to Christ, dour and downcast temperaments will turn people away. In contrast, recognizing the glory and gift of faith in our Heavenly Father should put a spring in our daily steps.

“I believe I shall look upon the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living,” wrote the Psalmist. “Wait for the Lord, be strong, and let your heart take courage, wait for the Lord!” (Psalm 27:13-4).

Intellectual Curiosity

Do we express interest in other people — or are we self-consumed and self-absorbed? When we ask questions and listen we’re demonstrating our love, care, and concern for others.

“Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others,” urged the apostle Paul.

Amazing Work Ethic

Christians should be excellent workers, never slacking off or giving reason to question our commitment. The greatest witness can be a job well done.

It was the apostle Paul who advised, “Serve wholeheartedly, as if you were serving the Lord, not people” (Eph. 6:7-08).

High Empathetic

Compassion is an important Christian virtue. The famous novelist Harper Lee once rightly observed, “You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view.”

Highly Self-Aware

Most people think they know themselves, but the reality is often otherwise. We all have blind spots, which is why we often sabotage ourselves any number of ways.

“The purpose in a man’s heart is like deep water,” wrote Solomon. “But a man of understanding will draw it out” (Proverbs 20:5). Be brave enough to be honest with yourself.

 High Degree of Integrity

Man is measured by many things these days — but none more important than his integrity.

“Integrity is doing the right thing, even when no one is watching,” wrote C.S. Lewis. Dr. David Jeremiah takes it one step further, noting, “Integrity is keeping a commitment even after circumstances have changed.”

Happily married and father to four children, Danny Meyer ‘s hiring criteria has served him and his company well. As Christian believers, these same biblically based qualities  will likewise better prepare us to reach and communicate the love and grace of Jesus.

And maybe even over a Shake Shack burger.