Best Fast-Food Chains in the World– America: Five Guys
This comparatively small American chain (750 locations), with a cheery red-and-white theme and open kitchens, excels at two things: made-to-order burgers with fresh beef on a squishy bun and hand-cut French fries. This limited focus and meticulous attention to detail has catapulted Five Guys to the top of the fast-food burger game, often beating rivals like In-N-Out and Shake Shack in taste tests or customer surveys.
Sell a really good, juicy burger on a fresh bun. Make perfect French fries. Don’t cut corners. That’s been the business plan since Jerry Murrell and his sons opened Five Guys Burgers and Fries in 1986. Today, there are 570 stores across the U.S. and Canada, with 2009 sales of $483 million. Though we weren’t able to coax out his secret recipe, Murrell shares with us five things that helped him expand one lone burger joint into a national franchise.
Virginia-based chain Five Guys takes top honors among Zagat voters.
According to the latest Fast Food Survey by Zagat, the best burger in America comes from Virginia-based chain Five Guys.
The results of the survey were revealed live on TODAY Monday. The survey covered 136 fast-food and full-service chains nationwide. Voting on zagat.com, 6,518 voters weighed in on everything from chicken and cheeseburgers to smoothies and seafood. Full survey results are available at zagat.com/fastfood.
“I think the headline is Five Guys,” Zagat Survey CEO Tim Zagat told TODAY’s Ann Curry. “It’s a chain that has 500 outlets, but that’s small. But it’s growing.”
Along with his sons, Jerry Murrell of Five Guys Burgers and Fries built a 570-store chain that enjoys a cult following.
Sell a really good, juicy burger on a fresh bun. Make perfect French fries. Don’t cut corners. That’s been the business plan since Jerry Murrell and his sons opened their first burger joint in 1986. When they began selling franchises in 2002, the family had just five stores in northern Virginia. Today, there are 570 stores across the U.S. and Canada, with 2009 sales of $483 million. Overseeing the opening of about four new restaurants a week, the Murrells are proof that flipping burgers doesn’t have to be a dead-end job.
There was this little hamburger place where I grew up in northern Michigan. Almost everyone in our town, except the uppity uppities, ate the burgers. Even though the owner had a cat, which he’d pet while cooking. People called them fur burgers, but they still ate them because they were good.
I studied economics at the University of Michigan. I had no money and needed a place to stay, so I ran a fraternity house’s kitchen. I got the cook a raise and let her do the ordering. We started making money, because she knew what she was doing.
Obama made a surprise lunchtime stop at Five Guys Burgers and Fries, a fast-food restaurant in Washington, D.C.
The president ordered a cheeseburger with lettuce, tomato, jalapeno peppers, and mustard, and placed several other to go orders for his staff. He also ordered a cheeseburger for Brian Williams, the anchor and managing editor of NBC Nightly News. The network is filming a day-in-the-life program, “Inside the Obama White House: Brian Williams Reports,” a two-night special airing June 2 and 3, at 9 p.m. ET.
The president snacked on peanuts, and chatted with surprised customers while he waited for his order.
There are “more problems than we thought,” Obama told a man who asked him about his first months in office.
After paying at least $80 in cash and a group picture with the Five Guys staff, Obama walked out, carrying two very large brown paper bags.