Claire Corlett

Fish Food, Fish Tanks, and More
The Untold Truth Of Five Guys

The Untold Truth Of Five Guys

The growth of the Five Guys Burgers and Fries
chain is nothing short of amazing, and the story behind it will make you believe anything
is possible. With founders who have remained an integral
part of their company, franchisees who aren’t just buying a brand name but an entire formula,
and a company built from the ground up, Five Guys has a story that embraces what the American
dream once was… and still can be. Choosing to cook Five Guys’ founding father Jerry Murrell hails
from a middle-class Michigan family, which encouraged him to go to college. He didn’t enjoy his own educational experience
much, though, so when it came time to send his sons to college, he gave them a choice. The money he’d saved for their education was
theirs, and they could either each go to college, or — as a family — decide to pool the
money to start a restaurant. Not only would it give his kids a legacy,
but it would let them work together, and their limited-menu concept was a sweeping success. “We stuck to our guns, kept it simple and
the press liked us.” What’s in a name? The name Five Guys couldn’t be more straightforward. Murrell and his sons decided on the name to
describe themselves: father Jerry, sons Matt, Jim, and Chad from his first marriage, and
son Ben from his second. But when youngest son Tyler was born, the
name didn’t quite fit anymore, so he unofficially removed himself from the name roster so that
the “five guys” he refers to are his kids. And all remain key players in the business. While their father oversees everything, Jim
and Matt travel the country and visit locations, Chad is in charge of training, Ben works with
the franchise owners and selects new applicants, and Tyler runs the bakery. Murrell’s second wife, Janie, is also involved
in the business as their bookkeeper. Finding a franchise Five Guys opened its doors in 1986, and it’s
only continued to grow ever since. The chain saw an almost unthinkable 792 percent
growth between 2006 and 2012, but that global expansion almost didn’t happen. At first, the Murrells — especially Jerry
— were content with opening just a few restaurants in the same area. They had complete control, kept the menu the
same, and experimented with very few new things. But Matt bought a copy of Franchising for
Dummies, written by Wendy’s Dave Thomas… and at the same time, former Washington Redskins
kicker Mark Moseley was pondering the future of his own burger joint. In a case of, “right place, right time,” Moseley
got on board with Five Guys and kicked off their franchising efforts. They found out quickly how right of a decision
it was when franchising rights in Virginia sold out in three days, and the rest is fast
food history. No timers There are a ton of things to keep track of
in any kitchen, but take a close look at any Five Guys kitchen and you’ll notice there’s
something missing: timers. Jerry Murrell says they’re not necessary because
good cooks know when a burger is done. Those burgers are thin for a reason, too,
and that dates back to the early days of Five Guys. The first burgers they experimented with were
thicker, but they dried out too fast. So, thinner burgers gave them the taste and
texture they were looking for – and patrons seem to enjoy the choice. No VIP deliveries Getting a phone call from the U.S. government
might ordinarily throw a restaurant into a tailspin, but when Five Guys was asked for
15 burgers to be delivered to the Pentagon, Murrell refused. He told QSR: “We’ve never had a delivery service. We don’t believe in it. We think it cheapens the product.” Not only did they refuse, but they hung a
massive banner outside their Arlington store that read, “Absolutely No Delivery.” “Putting a sign in your window that says ‘We
deliver’ is probably a sign that you’re maybe in trouble.” The move was risky, since the Pentagon’s 26,000
employees were a huge part of the location’s customer base, but it worked. Business reportedly went up about 20 percent,
and even Barack Obama stopped by 2009 — after they also refused to offer any delivery service
to the White House — because some foods are worth trekking out for. “We’re gonna go get some burgers.” Fresh fries Five Guys gets their potatoes almost exclusively
from Idaho — and only north of the 42nd parallel to boot. “Those potatoes grow slower than potatoes
from the south which makes them denser.” They buy so many of them they account for
5 percent of the entire state’s potato sales. Two months of the year, however, the growing
season dictates they switch to Washington State potatoes. And the reason their fries are so tasty goes
well beyond source consistency. After hand-cutting them, Five Guys fry crewmembers
give the raw potatoes a 3-minute power wash to get rid of the extra starch, and they’re
pre-cooked for two and a half minutes before being cooled for anywhere from 10 minutes
to a few hours. Once they’re ordered, they’re finished off
with another two or three minutes in the frier, shaken off exactly 15 times, and served up
to the customers. Mystery shoppers There’s a lot about the way Five Guys does
business that’s unconventional, and that includes their approach to getting the word out. According to BestMark, the reason you’ve never
seen a Five Guys commercial or billboard is that they use that cash to hire mystery shoppers
to visit their restaurants and do a full evaluation. This keeps employees on their toes, ensures
their customers have a great experience, and those experiences turn into word-of-mouth
advertising. Anyone who’s worked in retail knows just how
terrifying the prospect of a mystery shopper is, but Five Guys turns it into a major rewards
program. Director of Communications and Marketing Molly
Catalano told QSR Magazine they hand out a huge amount of money as bonuses for meeting
mystery shopper goals. Every week, the top 200 restaurants are each
given between $900 and $1,300 to split among employees, which means there’s a chance they
can win a bonus every single week. That’s quite an incentive to hustle. So, if your local Five Guys crew seem to keep
some serious pep in their steps during your next visit, it might be because they suspect
you’re a shopper spy that might earn them some extra cash. Thanks for watching! Click the Mashed icon to subscribe to our
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100 comments on “The Untold Truth Of Five Guys

  1. Five Guys could've been great…but they insist on making their burgers well-done (read: overly dry). Their website says it's 'well done and juicy', an oxymoron if I ever saw one. I get that they do that for liability purposes, but c'mon, burger places from Shake Shack to Gott's to little mom & pop joints will cook a burger medium or medium rare for you….but Five Guys refuses to. Anyone who knows anything about meat knows that you don't cook meat well done…you just don't. This is why I haven't gone back. If you're going to try to compete with the value provided by places like In n Out Burger, but charging way more, you better cook people's burgers the way they want them.

  2. I'm a manager at five guys. The AMOUNT of times I have to hear jokes about how, wow, youre not a guy 😐 I am worth 5 guys thank you ✌🔥

  3. five guys is good but overpriced which keeps me from returning …i preffer fudruckers when i want a burger

  4. Is five guys on the west cost ? Or just D.C? It's good to see Obama getting burgers he look too skinny since his wife does not what him to eat anything but plants

  5. mcdonalds and burger king has cheap shit that is gross but five guys I can see someone making it unlike mcdonalds. I hate mcdonalds

  6. Hard to find a well seasoned hand pressed burger patty now days. I don't mind paying a little more if it means my burger wasn't rolled out and stamped by a machine by the 100 thousands, flash frozen, and stacked 15 high in a cardboard box before being shipped cross-country.

  7. Ok first…. no one in charge approves all applicants. That's just stupid to say which is only highlighted by you saying fries are hand cut as a cook uses a tool to just pull a level. You do realize what hand cut means right?

  8. Their burgers are okay I make better burgers off of my grill of course and they charge you three times as much for some little ass burger not worth it I don't go there waste of money I could do much better myself

  9. Worked here and I fucking hated it. Everyone treated me like shit. Very clean workplace but nothing special

  10. To all you broke asses saying 5 guys is too expensive if you dont like it go across the street to McDonald's where your guessing if your food is going to be warm your paying that extra money for the quality and guarantee that your food is going to be fresh and hott you'll never get a burger thats been sitting in a hott tray we put your burger on the grill as you order it so remember there is reason for things not everyone in life is trying to rip you off

  11. Horrible burgers. Cant believe people pay for this shit. I can get a pound of some grass fed beef, some potatoes and make 4 burgers and fries for the price of 1 their "combos".

  12. Overpriced and not just a little bit. Cheeseburger, fries and drink cost over $15.00 in Southern California. At these prices FG will not last here.

  13. five guys is sooooo good. i’m so sorry cows. it’s expensive asf. so it’s definitely a rare treat. but i’ll always come back when i’m cheating on my no red meat kick

  14. I remember the day before I ate these I got into a fight with a dude who sold me sold wack ass Oxys.

  15. We enjoy 5 guys very much… its so much food my wife & i can split a burger & fries and be totally satisfied… one of the cleanest restaurants out there. My wife & i are FOODIES and we give each place a list of requirements to meet. There is so much competition out there if a restaurant doesnt meet your approval we just move on and find another place..5 guys has been a repeat performer for us for several years…Good Job 5 guys…

  16. I've eaten at 5 Guys maybe 7-10 times. Never had a bad experience. Always enjoyed burger. Always loved the fries. But I haven't made a return visit in approx 6 yrs. I guess I expect value more now than I did 10 yrs ago. Too many competing burgers out there. $10-$12 is a fare value for me and restaurant owner for burger/fries. To be honest, I drive by a 5 Guys at a hopping shopping area location daily and it appears this location isn't nearly as crowded as it was 5-6 yrs ago.

  17. 5 guys is disgusting and overrated… last 2x so bad i won't go back. Dicks drive in Seattle and In n Out are the 2 best burger joints in the 🇺🇸

  18. No one:
    People with nut allergies: wait a sec dude i cant go in five guys ill dye pls lets just to go maccies but no almond shakes, wait is that a snickers?

  19. I used to work at five guys for about 4 months and I remember when I first got hired I had to watch countless amount of videos on how to cook the food and how to conduct myself while working. The secret shoppers if you score a 100 percent you split 100 dollars between the people who you were working with. Before we open the doors we clean EVERYTHING and when we close we do the same thing it took my team about 2 hours which is a pretty good time. We check the temperature of meat and topping every two hours. Five guys is the cleanest fast food chain ever and I will live by that statement. Five guys don’t give out discounts too because the owner believes that it belittles the final product. Everything you eat in that restaurant is NEVER over the expiration date. The back of the house (the area that has the walk-in and were we soak the potatoes and prep everything else is spotless never is it semi clean no it’s spotless. We also clean the bathrooms everything 20 to 30 minutes just so it has a clean smell but also to prove to everyone that we care. One last thing everything I did as an employee after that task I had to clean my hands with soap and water at about 100 degrees even tho we wear gloves after you wash your hands and put on a new pair of gloves

  20. The french fries at 5 Guys are f ing horrible. Greasy, limp, no taste except for too much salt

  21. Yes its super expensive.i work i get free meals but if ur willing to spend more for quality then i recommend it. Not alot of places have quality for a hamburger and it shows but just my personal opinion. Alot of hamburger places r pretty rude and five guys r friendly. For the fries u honestly get alot.we put extra scoop of fries n the bag. But like i said i do understand how alot of people r saying about prices.its whatever u prefer and ultimately choose but highly recommend trying it once.

  22. I had their burgers a few times. Burgers are mediocre just like the fries. If I want a good burger I go to a couple different local owned mom and pop shops.

  23. I’ve worked for Five Guys for 3 years and I’ll say the foundation of the business is great. However corporate has ruined it. They lose employees like me and my GM ( worked for 9 years) because of how things are ran. Of course this may very for region to region but all I can say is it’s a decent restaurant but terrible work choice.

  24. Totally agree they are so overpriced and the price is the only reason why I don’t go I refuse to waste my money on something that I could buy cheaper

  25. I compared Five guys to In -N-Out a few times. Winner is always In-N-Out, in taste, price, service, and options. Just got hungry. . .VROOOOOM. .

  26. I personally feel not offering delivery service is dumb. You are trying to control customers choices when you do this. I say give your customers WHAT THEY WANT. ACTUALLY BUSINESSES SHOULD MEET AND EXCEED THE EXPECTATIONS AND DESIRES OF CUSTOMERS. Being rigid and uncooperative with the people actually purchasing their products MAY BE WHY THIS UNDER VALUED CHAIN IS NO WHERE NEAR ITS POTENTIAL. These Five Guys are going to ruin their baby being so uncopperative. So sad

  27. 1)Five Guys 2)Wich Wich 3)Yoshinoya Beef Bowl are under valued restaurant chains with enormous profit potential. These chains need investors for capital for massive marketing and advertising campaigns. In my oppinion they are literal Gold mines of profitability

  28. No delivery service? I just had a double chesseburger brought to my home from Door Dash. Capitalism and a dollar always eventually win out

  29. Five guys lifehack, bring a friend then share fries with him, ask for the cups of water then turn them into coke at that magic soda box. There, guys, it is no longer as expensive.

  30. All 3 times I went the fries were cold, the buns get soggy quick, and was way too expensive. Hot, fresh, and fast is the holy grail. Fries Have to be HOT!!

  31. I at times go get my burger fix and haven't gone wrong but once. In 2011 I went there and ordered a burger and dog, around 5 pm, by 8 I got violently sick and lost all that food. By 10:30 I went to the ER. They gave me a cocktail of several oral meds and a shot and by 5:30 am went home. Stayed home for 4 days. I called the rep and told them what happened. He said
    that you can't get sick in that time frame . Oh really? that was an outright rejection. I could have sued them. Luckily, haven't had that experience again.

  32. Skip the bacon, get a small fry (unless your partner "ain't hungry" then ya gana need the large, ask for a water cup (why you drinking soda any ways ya glutinous filth?) and Boom, five guys for under around $11. Seeing as burger meals from fast food burger queens are around $9ish now, I say fuck the noise you uncultured swines are making

  33. Burgers not so great and prices incredibly stupidly high..big once and never will return..Ripoff burger joints due to price: 5 Guys..Burger Street…Mohyah Burger…best fastfood burger: Whataburger

  34. called 5 guys as most of the time there is only 5 people in them ! shit place and wendys was so much better

  35. I never had it cuz they. Are. Expensive. As. HECC.
    Like, it's 2.50$ for a SMALL CUP. WITHOUT ANYTHING IN IT.

  36. I was at the airport in Atlanta and there was a five guys across from my gate, so I ordered a single burger and a small soda. The gal said it would be $9.50, I told them to keep it.

  37. I can go to a Dairy Queen and get their five buck lunch. You get a double cheeseburger, small fry, soda, and a Sunday. Now that is value and it is good.

  38. 5 guys really is delicious, but the price makes it rare for me to take take the family there. Feeding a family of 4 is the same price as going out to Olive Garden or some other decent chain

  39. Five Guys Burgers is delicious 😋 the best burgers I've ever tasted the fries are also delicious. 😋

  40. I've only gone there once. Paid $14.50 for the regular burger with cheese, an absurd amount of fries and some 2nd or 3rd rate soda fountain pop. Never again. Talk about a bland burger. I've heard they don't season their meat. Anyone who knows how to use an iron frying pan can make a far better burger at home. I do all the time.

  41. Five Guys burgers and fries have 0 taste to them I've been there twice and its just not that good I don't see what the hype is about. Maybe It's just me I'm not sure, but that's just my opinion.

  42. none of these facts are untold, many are common knowledge for those that eat at five guys – one of the worst presentation (wrapped in foil) burgers but probably one of the most delicious burgers you can get from a QSR

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