Five Guys' Name Might Not Be As Accurate As You Think

When you're craving a burger and fries, Five Guys has got you covered — and stands out from the pack for a number of reasons. For starters, the burger chain hand-forms each patty from fresh ground beef and freshly cuts its fries before cooking them in peanut oil, favoring real raw ingredients over frozen ones, according to its website. This unfrozen mantra is so serious that the company claims none of its stores have freezers, "just coolers."

If you've ever eaten at Five Guys, you might have noticed a few specific qualities of its food. PopSugar reports that employees are trained not to press down on the beef patties while they're grilling, allowing each burger to stay juicy. Plus, they're reportedly required to give every customer extra fries, per LADbible. The original location served only takeout orders, but due to demand from loyal fans, the restaurant expanded, allowing customers to sit and enjoy a meal.

Without knowing the history of Five Guys, you might assume the name was created because it was founded by five people. The truth, however, is that it was named for one number significant to its founding family — but the meaning of the name had to evolve after the restaurant opened.

The name has family significance

When Jerry Murrell started Five Guys with his family, he was a father of four (via Forbes). As his oldest sons — Jim, Matt, and Chad — approached the end of their high school years in 1986, they were reportedly not so keen on heading off to college. Matt even told Forbes he was "terrified" of the idea. Not wanting his children to miss out on work experience, Jerry offered the boys the opportunity to start a restaurant using their college money.

Though the three oldest boys were old enough to work in the restaurant, a fourth son had joined the family three years prior, in 1983: Ben. The restaurant was named "Five Guys" in homage to Jerry and his sons. However, a year after the restaurant opened, Tyler Murrell was born. Rather than change the name of the restaurant, Jerry decided to shift the meaning instead. He took himself out of the equation, so the name of the restaurant became an homage to the five sons instead. According to Inc., Tyler runs the brand's bakery operation.

Still, despite the heartfelt meaning, there are technically six guys in the Murrell family — not five.

The family created a successful chain

The family of seven — Jerry Murrell, his wife Janie, and the five boys — operated the restaurant as a family. Forbes reports that they did have a bit of a rough start, due to family arguments, the boys being late for shifts, and one fight that nearly escalated physically. Thankfully, the family was able to work through it, and the restaurant became a success. After the first Five Guys location opened and became a success in Arlington, Virginia in 1986, more locations opened in the Washington D.C. area over the next 15 years (the folks at the Pentagon are fans).

The chain has remained popular in the area, and former President Barack Obama even visited one location in 2009. Five Guys began to expand its franchise locations to more Northeast states, and after success at its stores, opted to explore additional regions with the encouragement of Matt Murrell (via Forbes). Today, the chain operates over 1,700 locations worldwide, serving up its signature handcrafted burgers and french fries.