4.03.2006

5 Guys x 87 = A Whole Lotta Burgers

Today's Washington Post reports on the rapid expansion of homegrown chain Five Guys. There are now 87 locations of the burger joint with 1,000 more in the works, the Post reports.

I was a little dismayed to walk into the food court at SouthPoint Mall in Durham, N.C., a year or so ago and see the bright red Five Guys sign glaring back at me. Its proximity to a Subway and Taco Bell seemed, in my mind, to knock it of the pedestal the chain enjoys locally.

However, in the Post story, one franchise owner, Todd Stallings, sums up why Five Guys isn't like all the other burger chains out there: "At McDonald's, the food waits for you. Here you wait for the burger. By doing that, the burger is just coming off the grill. People just appreciate that kind of special quality."

Do you think Five Guys' expansion makes it seem like less of a hometown treasure, or do you look forward to driving crosscountry and bragging every time you see one that it all started here?

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

Five guys is def loosing its charm by growing into chain status. Being able to shop at Target and then walk across the parking lot to pick up a five guys burger definitely cheapens what I once treasured as a greesy local delight.

Anonymous said...

On one hand I am really happy for the family and their success. On the other- it used to be something special and a novelty treat, as a secret to share with people. Now it will be commodicized with everything else. Not as special anymore.

Anonymous said...

So if there were only a couple Macdonald's it might be a really cool place? You might crave the fries and it would be considered a novelty?

If the quality of 5 guys stays the same, we are not willing to eat it as much because it is too convenient? Wouldn't it be great if there were no more Macdonald's? If all those crappy places were replaced by the stores we consider charming and a novelty? Or that means they would all be crappy too?

Sounds like people who only think a band is cool if they aren't popular. Anti-globalization protesters by chance? Or just people who consider themselves positively different than most other people, so they can't like anything mainstream because it by definition reduces their individual uniqueness? I'm intrigued.

Anonymous said...

Having eaten at the Southpoint Five Guys in question (as well as other satellite locations in Fredericksburg and Herndon, VA), I can say that the burgers and fries don't lose their quality just because they're not served at Columbia and Glebe. Sure, you can't throw the peanut shells on the ground at Southpoint, but it's still the same good food, and that's really the important point. In fact, I like the fact that I don't have to wait until I visit NoVa for a Five Guys burger.

Anonymous said...

Quit whining about their success... We should be happy. It’s the first place I take visitors. Glad there’s more options. I mean does Dave Grohl (sp?) suck because he's famous? As long as the quality is good, I’m pumped about not having to wait as long – in theory of course.

Amanda said...

McDonald's started as just one store back in the 50s.

But the fact that Five Guys can enter a market as seemingly saturated as fast food burgers and compete is great for them. As long as the product stays the same, you can't fault them for expanding.