The Five Guys Burger and Fries restaurant chain was opened in 1986 serving only handmade burgers with a single location in Arlington, VA. It was opened by Jerry Murrell together with his four sons, who still run the business to date. Today, the business has expanded to more than 1,000 locations in 47 states and six provinces in Canada (Burke, 2012). The firm’s mission statement is aligned to the philosophy that if you plan to sell hamburgers and French fries in the restaurant industry, which is already concentrated with competitors, you have to ensure that your hamburgers and French fries outstand in the industry. Their mission is to sell burgers. The company’s goal is to sell the best quality possible (Boone & Kurtz, 2011). In order to achieve this goal, Five Guys focus on quality, service, and cleanliness.
Five Guys philosophy that sets it apart from other fast-food chains
The firm operates on the philosophy that if you are going to operate in an industry that is crowded with fat food chains, you must produce French fries and hamburgers that are better than any anyone else. The goal of the firm is to sell quality burgers they can possibly make, and order to achieve this; they focus on quality, service, and cleanliness (www.fiveguys.co). In order to ensure quality, the firm ensures that their products are consistent in all its stores and with the promise. The customer is the core of their business philosophy and considers customers as part of their business and not outsiders. Five Guys aims at meeting or exceeding health standards for the meat they use in their products. The firm gets its meat from major meat suppliers in the United States who are require to follow to the point the procedures set by the USDA and treat the animals humanely (Boone & Kurtz, 2011). In addition to these, Five Guys only uses quality ground meat that contain heifer and steer meat, which excludes any fatty trimmings or cow meat. Also, they do not use ammoniated procedures in treatment of their ground meat.
The company follows the philosophy of focusing on a few items which type serve to the best of their ability. According to the officials of the chain, they serve limited menus that can also be customized to meet the requirements of specific customers. According to Five Guys website, customers are able to order a burger in 250,000 ways. The chain focuses on fresh food made using quality ingredients. They also use peanut oil their cooking and the foods are not frozen but kept in refrigerators. A national restaurant reviewer, Zagat reported that their burgers were the best in 2011. The official also said that the firm is a privately owned company and has no plans of going public.
The original values for the start-up company and how it remains strong today
Five Guys values their customers and treats them right since they believe that customers are the best salesmen. According to Murrell, they wanted customers to be aware that they are the first priority and they put all the money into the food. That is the reason they have a simple décor with white and red tiles. The chain remains strong because of their focus on the core product, which is the food. The company values its employees and every position is important. Murrays makes it a point that it is essential to make employees feel some sense of accountability and ownership. This makes employees motivated, which in turn results into customer satisfaction (Northhaft, 2011).
The original value for the business start-up is to produce products that outstand in the market that is crowded with hamburger and French fries chains. The company is determined to excel on selling hamburgers. In order to achieve this, they focus on service, quality, and cleanliness. Murray stresses that it is important to know what you are good at and concentrate on it. The company remains strong and successful since they have concentrated on serving hamburgers and fries to their customers since its inception. The firm values quality and that has been the magic of their excellence. Since its inception, the firm toasts their buns on a grill, and the beef they use is 80% lean and never frozen (www.fiveguys.co). Their burgers are made on order, which differentiates them from competitors. Their premises are also very clean. All these values make the chain remain strong today.
Factors that contributed to Five Guy’s success in such a short time
One would ask how family-run businesses became an international success so quickly. The company prides itself in using only fresh ingredients for making their burgers. According to their website, only fresh ground beef is used, and the beef is refrigerator and not frozen. Murray puts it that there are over 250,000 ways of ordering a burger and that they make their fries using only 100% pure peanut oil, which the fries a unique and distinct taste. Five Guys’ burgers and fries have been criticized for high fat and calories. However, customers are more loyal and like the food because it tastes good and that no artificial substitutes are added to reduce the calories.
Another factor that contributed to the success of Five Guys is that when they started franchising, Mark Moseley, a former Washington Redskins kicker was working for Fransmart, the first company the group approach when considering franchising (Allen, & Albala, 2007). Both his star power and enthusiasm for the chain helped in selling the franchises faster. Another reason for the success of Five Guys is the fact that they rekindled the “food” component of the equation in the “fast food” by recognizing that quality is paramount, even in the first food industry. Evidence from the multitude of followers that they received is a manifestation of public acceptance.
Assessment of ethical and social practices of Five Guys
Five Guys believe in the significance of international labor and human rights and are committed to ethical, lawful, social, and fair business practices. To start with the company does not employ trafficked persons or slaves. In addition, Five Guys require their suppliers to comply with the laws within their countries of operation. All contractors and employees of Five Guys are required to comply with all applicable laws in the country of operation including laws on slavery and human trafficking (Burke, 2012). Incase Five Guys becomes aware of violation of violation of laws by any of their suppliers, the firm reserves the right to terminate any such supplier agreement. Five Guys only buy beef from suppliers who are humane in treating animals. Five Guys provides nutritional information of their hamburgers and fries through their website.
Allen, G.J. & Albala, K. (2007). The business of food: encyclopedia of the food and drink Industries. Santa Barbara, CA: ABC-CLIO.
Boone, E.L., & Kurtz, D.L. (2011). Contemporary business. NY: John Wiley & Sons.
Burke, M. (2012, August). Five guys burgers: America’s fastest growing restaurant chain. Forbes.com. Retrieved from http://www.forbes.com/forbes/2012/0806/restaurant-chefs-12-five-guys-jerry-murrell-all-in-the-family.html/
Northhaft, H. (2011). Great again. Harvard: Harvard Business School. www.fiveguys.com