Five Guys sells itself as a high-quality fast-food burger restaurant.
Five Guys started out in Arlington, Virginia 1986. The name Five Guys comes from the father and four brothers who founded the chain. They now have over 1000 locations in the USA and now 27 in the UK. Obviously they have done this via the franchise route as opposed to my favourite quality burger place – In-N-Out Burger – who own and run all their outlets on the West Coast of the USA.
I recently tried the newly-opened location in Watford, Herts, UK – but my comments apply to all Five Guys locations. I’ve also visited the US outlets.
The PR about quality: The food is expensive and this is the PR to support those prices:
No freezers. No microwaves. No timers. No can-openers.
The prices vary from location to location but are generally these:
Hamburger UK £6.75 US$ 6.49
Cheeseburger UK £8.00 US$7.19
Bacon Burger UK £8.00 US$7.49
Bacon Cheeseburger UK £8.75 US$8.19
Little Cheeseburger UK £5.50 US$5.29
Little Bacon Burger UK £6.00 US$5.99
Little Bacon Cheeseburger UK £6.75 US$
Little Hamburger UK £4.75 US$4.59
Little Five Guys Style Fries UK £2.75 US$3.09
Five Guys Style Fries UK £4.00 US$3.99
Milkshake UK £4.75 (not sold in the USA)
The UK stores are charging significantly more than the US – for example a UK Cheeseburger is the equivalent of US$10.66 as opposed to the US version at US$7.19.
The fries are ridiculously expensive – even if they are hand cut daily and cooked in peanut oil. I’m guessing they are pretty good but I’ve never ordered them as I think they are disproportionately priced.
You can choose from a variety of toppings when you order and these range from ketchup to grilled mushrooms. You can choose to go ‘all in’ and have all the toppings, but I’ve found this makes for a pretty sloppy burger – the bun can’t hold everything and the whole thing falls apart.
The Cheeseburger is a pretty big burger and really should be sold as a double- or half pounder. The Little Cheeseburger is a more than adequate size (like a quarter pounder) and I’m surprised that Five Guys haven’t been criticised for encouraging obesity.
If I was really hungry, I’d order two Little Cheeseburgers as these hold together well when you eat them.
The Little Cheeseburger is a good burger, but then you would expect that for the price. In the UK the competition are McDonalds and Burger King and Five Guys are definitely better. However, in the US there is also Wendys and I would say that they are just as good for a much lower price.
You can order and pay for your food online, set a collection time and just pick up from the serving area. This works really well and also allows you more time to choose the toppings you want.
The take-away bag is just plain brown paper and I think that’s a nice touch.
The staff all seem friendly and smile at customers.
It’s certainly worth a visit to a UK Five Guys outlet and I’ll likely pick up a Little Cheeseburger from them again. I wouldn’t bother to seek them out in the USA, especially in California where you would do so much better finding an
58 High Street, Watford, Hertfordshire, WD17 2BS
01923 804 175