Five Guys first opened in 1986 in Virginia where Jerry and Janie Murrell began their fast food venture together with their four sons. The family run joint that served hand-made burgers and freshly cut fries in peanut oil quickly became a hit. The locals raved about the tasty new concept that perfectly mixed fast-food and freshness.
In the 1980-90’s, they began experimenting with new toppings and introduced seating areas to accommodate the growing clientele. A fifth brother also arrived and so the family and the business continued to grow.
Five Guys began franchising in 2003 and sold over 300 units in 18 months which caught the attention of the national restaurant industry. Now, there are over 1,000 locations nationwide and over 1,500 units in development. Today, all five sons, the current “Five Guys”, are involved: Matt and Jim travel the country visiting stores, Chad oversees training, Ben selects the franchisees, and Tyler runs the bakery.
Last year Five Guys opened their first site outside America – in Covent Garden, London. Their opening on Independence Day was a hit with expat American’s and eager Britons which resulted in endless queues. The Oracle Shopping Centre site in Reading was the second UK site that followed closely after. Now, in early 2014, Five Guys have opened another four sites in the UK; Islington, Guilford, Kingston and in the Bluewater Shopping Centre in Kent.
The next sites that will be popping up over the following few months are:
- Coming soon: Intu Tafford Centre, Manchester
- Coming soon: Bullring Birmingham
- Coming soon: Uxbridge High St
- Coming soon: Intu Lakeside, Essex
- Coming soon: Westfield, Shepherd’s Bush, London
Five Guys’ expansion has been aggressive to say the least and it’s safe to say that we will be seeing a lot more of them in the UK. It is also expected that Five Guys will begin their expansion planning ‘above Manchester’ in 2015.
Five Guys, with 41.5K followers on twitter, have seemed to form a cult like following with happy, loyal customers around the world sharing pictures and writing ‘thanks’ to the team. With almost a year since their first UK site, the following has become evident in London and the restaurant has even become a household name.
Five Guys Facts:
- There are over 250,000 possible ways to order a burger at Five Guys.
- Five Guys only use fresh roll stamped prime beef and only cook with Peanut oil.
- Five Guys provide complimentary peanuts in their restaurants.
- There are no freezers in Five Guys locations, just coolers. Nothing is ever frozen.
- President Obama’s favourite fast-food joint is Five Guys!
“When the President of the United States wanted to get Five Guys, he had to go get it himself,” Murrell says. “We really lucked out there.”