If you’re a burger fan, you most likely have strong feelings about Five Guys. Some are cultishly devoted to its never-frozen burgers and heaping piles of fries, while others deride it as too greasy and too expensive. But no matter your opinion, you have to admit that it’s made quite an impact on the national fast food burger scene.
Five Guys was founded by the husband-and-wife team of Jerry and Janie Murrell in 1986. The first location was located inside the Westmont Shopping Center in Arlington, Virginia (it closed in 2013), and the chain expanded slowly, opening four more by 2001. But in 2003 the Murrells decided to franchise, and the chain took off; by the end of 2004 more than 300 locations had either opened or were in development.
Like its rival In-N-Out, the menu at Five Guys is quite small: burgers, hot dogs, fries, and a handful of sandwiches cobbled together from what’s on hand (like grilled cheese and vegetable sandwiches), along with free peanuts and, in most locations, those cool Coke Freestyle machines that let you create thousands of soda combinations. A handful of locations serve breakfast items like bacon, egg, and cheese sandwiches. All beef is fresh-ground 80/20 ground chuck and fries are fried in peanut oil, and because nothing is ever frozen, no freezers are necessary. There are well over 1,000 locations in the U.S. (in every state except for Alaska, Hawaii, and Iowa), as well as outposts in Saudi Arabia, Canada, The United Kingdom, the United Arab Emirates, Ireland, and (coming soon) France.
It’s hard out there for a burger chain these days, thanks to such a huge amount of competition and the fact that burgers and fries are really unhealthy. But Five Guys is still going strong, and doesn’t appear to be slowing down any time soon. Read on for 13 things you didn’t know about this little chain that could.