It's not often a revolutionary concept in fast food comes around. While relatively young, the likes of Burger King and McDonald's have only been around for about 60 or 70 years. While there are QSR franchises with strong regional like In N' Out Burger, it is not often that a franchise selling burgers and fries gets the country talking. Until 5 Guys Burgers And Fries came along.
Whether or not you're interested in fast food franchises, you'll enjoy this great Businessweek/Bloomberg story on the rise of 5 Guys. It's a comprehensive, behind-the-scenes look at what makes this enormously popular chain tick. At the heart of their story is a challenge to assure the quality of their food and friendliness of their brand at a national level.
Five Guys may have gone from one Virginia restaurant to America's fastest-growing fast food chain, but the secret of their success is a stripped-down, simplified burger menu. As Karen Weise writes: "Five Guys serves up made-to-order burgers with beef that’s never frozen and absurdly large servings of hand-cut fries. The fresh, generous meals allow them to charge more than fast food chains such as McDonald’s and Burger King."
The story features in-depth interviews with the Murrell family and explains how this concept - which does advertise and instead relies on word of mouth hype - has grown so fast. They sell 2 million burgers a week, mostly to people, as Weise says, who've are skeptical about the burgers sold at the leading fast food chains. Five Guys can stand behind its food and the country has sat up and taken notice.
And though franchising has provided many challenges, the quality of their product has made its growth relentless. They're now even targeting Western Europe. If you own an individual burger joint or sub shack and think you've got a global sensation on your hands, check out this story. You might find a blueprint with Five Guys.