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5 Guys - it makes no sense.


dumpster
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I'm interested in your thoughts on Five Guys.  Yesterday I got a bacon Cheeseburger, large fries and a drink.  The burger was excellent.  The fries were horrible, dirty, and most were really short like the bottom of a bag of Aldi brand chips. They also give you loads of fries.  Rank.  Then I saw they were making a big deal out of the Coke Freestyle drinks machine even though from what I saw most people were just getting regular Coke from it.  Maybe the idea of Coke with vanilla, lemon, a shot of Dr Pepper etc has lost the novelty.  

 

But for one person, this simple order of fries, drink and burger, in a takeaway setting (not a restaurant) came to £17.25 and I couldn't quite understand it.  How on earth is this place so busy?  Families dining with their kids? £100 for a family that would be £20 at McDonalds.  

 

They're burgers are good, but they're just taking the piss, right? 

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Every time I've ordered a burger from them it's just been a wet soggy mess. I think Burger King's better and I've not had a BK for about 10 years. Chips/Shakes are pretty good though. 

 

5 Guys is well shit. 

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I've only had it about 3 times but I think it's great.

 

I think the burger is much better than your average takeaway. Yes it's more expensive by quite a bit. But I think it's also more substantial feeling to me. The toppings are much much better than the shitty excuse on McDonald's or Burger King. Yes it's messy but that doesn't really bother me at all.

 

I think the chips are fine (I mean they're a million times better than the shitty McDonald's ones) but nothing special. The only win there is that there's lots of them. If I was with someone else I'd only get one fries between us, maybe even between 3.

 

Freestyle cola is attractive to me. I mean I wouldn't go there for it (and my local BK does the same anyway). But it's a better range of drinks than McDonald's offers.

 

Price wise it's definitely not cheap and I can see what you're saying about families and the mounting cost but to me you get a lot more food than a McDonald's meal.

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I like a burger but Man v Food and the like built them up to be something they never were, of course you can get a better quality one but they get described and hyped up as life changing experiences, or tarted up with ludicrous social media pictures where the whole thing is held together by a stick or knife because you can't eat them as intended. It's some ground up beef in a bun, it has a ceiling on how good it can be.

 

The price almost became a reflection of the cool points you'd collect for posting a pic eating one rather than the quality of what you are getting.

 

A nice burger is delicious (shake shack my favourite) but I prefer ones I cook myself over charcoal in the garden to any of the branded shops

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It's popular because they serve food consistantly, usually very fast and in a way that's open to customisation but still very tight as a menu. I expect the reason it's so expensive is because there are 6-8 people in each kitchen compared to 2-3 in most McDonalds or Burger Kings. 

As a former McDonalds "chef" - it's clear from Five Guy's open kitchen that they are still very much fast food, but they are cooking their food fresh to order - your patties at McD's are coming frozen and are placed on a grill which locks shut and cooks them in about 90 seconds. All the toppings come pre-prepped in massive bags too.

I never buy from Five Guys because we've got an Honest Burger locally so that's my go-to, but the few times I've been in store I've enjoyed it. I like the cajun fries and the sloppy burgers are part of the appeal.

 

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Their fries are pretty good in my experience, and their shakes are excellent, but the drinks machines quickly lose their novelty. I assume 5 Guys exists to cater to people who want a "proper" burger but who aren't aware of, or have access to, decent street food vendors. Luckily for me there's no shortage of places I'd rather get a burger from in the area, if I'm in the rare mood for meat. I feel much more comfortable paying £15+ for a burger and fries when I'm supporting an independent business than a billion-dollar multinational.

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54 minutes ago, Gaz said:


I never buy from Five Guys because we've got an Honest Burger locally so that's my go-to, but the few times I've been in store I've enjoyed it. I like the cajun fries and the sloppy burgers are part of the appeal.

 

 

Honest is better than Five Guys by a long way I agree, but you can walk into Five Guys hungry and leave stuffed in less than 15 minutes, which is tricky to do at Honest Burger.

 

If Honest Burger did proper fast takeaway food I'd go there more.

 

As to the OP, I like Five Guys, they are the best chain fast food place I think. Anybody who orders anything other than a small fries is making a terrible mistake though.

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At the price point Five Guys is at, there are lots of far better options. Patty & Bun, Meat Liquor etc all have branches in areas I tend to go to and their offering is considerably better. I do quite like their fries and the shakes are decent though. 

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The pace they get the food out at is definately a huge benefit of Five Guys, although if you are in and out in 15 minutes you don't get to have five different drinks from the ridiculous machine which is the main draw for me. My local pub actually has a relationship with the local honest branch, so they run the bar in honest but also have the honest menu set up in the till so I can get it delivered at the pub without going into town, which keeps it as regular option for me.

Most places don't have a patty & bun or anything like that, five guys is all over the country which gives it a massive brand recognition, the same sort of thing as all the other chains that are vastly overrated like Wagamama and Nandos.

 

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No chain burgers are great and I haven’t been to one myself for about 5 years now, even Hull has a awesome selection of independent burger places so I assume every decent sized town/city has them too.

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4 hours ago, dumpster said:

I'm interested in your thoughts on Five Guys.  Yesterday I got a bacon Cheeseburger, large fries and a drink.  The burger was excellent.  The fries were horrible, dirty, and most were really short like the bottom of a bag of Aldi brand chips. They also give you loads of fries.  Rank.  Then I saw they were making a big deal out of the Coke Freestyle drinks machine even though from what I saw most people were just getting regular Coke from it.  Maybe the idea of Coke with vanilla, lemon, a shot of Dr Pepper etc has lost the novelty.  

 

But for one person, this simple order of fries, drink and burger, in a takeaway setting (not a restaurant) came to £17.25 and I couldn't quite understand it.  How on earth is this place so busy?  Families dining with their kids? £100 for a family that would be £20 at McDonalds.  

 

They're burgers are good, but they're just taking the piss, right? 

 

I really like 5 guys for what it is and that is a quick tasty burger and the novelty of the drinks machine. 

 

For what it's worth, on my own I'm entirely happy with little cheseburger, small fries and regular drink which comes in at £10.75. Now, I'm a greedy bastard but the little cheeseburger always seems so sufficient I've never even been tempted by the regular burger and you're right they always give you loads of chips so small is fine (perhaps regular if I'm feeling really hungry). 

 

I reckon, for quantity of food, that £10.75 is probably equivalent to big mac, large fries and drink at McDonalds so still pricier but not massively. 

 

What toppings do people go for? I go for:

 

Mayo, Lettuce, Pickles, Tomatoes, Grilled Onions, Relish and Jalapenos and it is a lovely messy ball of stuff. 

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17 minutes ago, McCoy said:

 

I really like 5 guys for what it is and that is a quick tasty burger and the novelty of the drinks machine. 

 

For what it's worth, on my own I'm entirely happy with little cheseburger, small fries and regular drink which comes in at £10.75. Now, I'm a greedy bastard but the little cheeseburger always seems so sufficient I've never even been tempted by the regular burger and you're right they always give you loads of chips so small is fine (perhaps regular if I'm feeling really hungry). 

 

I reckon, for quantity of food, that £10.75 is probably equivalent to big mac, large fries and drink at McDonalds so still pricier but not massively. 

 

What toppings do people go for? I go for:

 

Mayo, Lettuce, Pickles, Tomatoes, Grilled Onions, Relish and Jalapenos and it is a lovely messy ball of stuff. 

According to 'Burgerlad.com' (!) a large Big Mac meal is £5.19 (I was going to guess around £6), so it's plenty cheaper than Five Guys.  I'd say that even a little burger and small chips at Five Guys is a fair amount bigger than a large meal at McD's though.

 

I'd go for Five Guys over Honest myself.  Honest is good, but I prefer a trashy burger to a gourmet one.  Little bacon cheeseburger, 'all the way, no tomatoes', small fries.

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They've successfully married "fast food" with "quality" and offer a much better alternative to BK or McDonalds without the sit down wait for GBK et al.  As for the price, as the old saying goes, there is cheap, fast and quality, pick two.  

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They are really decent in my experience, better than any other fast food place and they know that so get away with the pricing - I’d say they are bette than GBK and Byron now they are both chains and a shadow of their glory days!

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As mentioned, Five Guys was way cheaper than here last time I was in the US.

 

That said, the fries I get from my local FG are the best fast food fries around so, if you hated them, chances are we've got little taste in common. They're somehow just leagues ahead of even the upmarket chains like MeatLiquor and AF, though without the ostentatious decorations. That said, could've been a shit branch.

 

I've got about 4 places in my monthly burger Deliveroo rotation, and only recently put Five Guys back in, but it's been consistently good every time. I wonder if everyone knows that the secret is yellow mustard AND hot sauce?

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40 minutes ago, Lovelyman said:

No way

 

I'm not sure if that's sarcasm or not, but the way it's been explained to me by Americans is that Five Guys is great for the price in the US. The fact that it costs like 3x as much elsewhere and people pay it was looked at with puzzlement.

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I've ordered far too many different types of burger and fries on Deliveroo and Five Guys would rank somewhere towards the bottom of my favourites. It's fine if you come across it on the high street but I don't think I'd actively choose it for delivery.

 

I do think their fries are amongst the best but their burgers are just ok for me. I'd rather have a burger from Meat Liquor, Shake Shack or Bleecker Burger.

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I've just looked at the calorie count on a bacon burger and regular fries and wow https://www.fiveguys.com/-/media/public-site/files/menus/full-menu.ashx but it's okay because the peanut oil is cholestrol free! :lol: 

 

I have eaten there a couple of times a few years back.  I usually get a little burger of some sort and have a few of someone else's fries.  

 

Also can you seriously add bacon to a milkshake?

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2 hours ago, sprite said:

I've just looked at the calorie count on a bacon burger and regular fries and wow https://www.fiveguys.com/-/media/public-site/files/menus/full-menu.ashx but it's okay because the peanut oil is cholestrol free! :lol: 

 

Ouch! That's ridiculous. Best part of your day's calories gone in one meal.

 

I've never been to one (never even seen one - I don't get out much), but looking at the menu - there's no veggie burger. Seriously? I know it would require a separate grill/hot plate/whatever to do it on, but for a place that's known for its burgers that seems odd. I mean basically, even if I did see one now I know not to go in it. (There's a veggie option, but why the fuck would I go to a burger place and not expect to have a burger?)

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9 hours ago, HarryBizzle said:

 

I'm not sure if that's sarcasm or not, but the way it's been explained to me by Americans is that Five Guys is great for the price in the US. The fact that it costs like 3x as much elsewhere and people pay it was looked at with puzzlement.

Brooklyn prices:

 

Burgers

Hamburger

US$8.15

840 Calories

Little Hamburger

US$6.49

540 Calories

Cheeseburger

US$9.05

980 Calories

Little Cheeseburger

US$7.39

610 Calories

Bacon Burger

US$9.75

920 Calories

Little Bacon Burger

US$8.09

620 Calories

Bacon Cheeseburger

US$10.65

1060 Calories

Little Bacon Cheeseburger

US$8.99

690 Calories

 

 

Fries

Little Fries

US$3.99

530 Calories

Five Guys fries are cooked in 100% peanut oil. - To ensure quality a...

Little Cajun Fries

US$3.99

530 Calories

Five Guys fries are cooked in 100% peanut oil. - To ensure quality a...

Regular Fries

US$4.99

950 Calories

Five Guys fries are cooked in 100% peanut oil. - To ensure quality a...

Cajun Fries

US$4.99

950 Calories

Five Guys fries are cooked in 100% peanut oil. - To ensure quality a...

Large Fries

US$6.59

1310 Calories

Five Guys fries are cooked in 100% peanut oil. - To ensure quality a...

Large Cajun Fries

US$6.59

1310 Calories

Five Guys fries are cooked in 100% peanut oil. - To ensure quality a...

 

Drinks

Regular Drink

US$3.09

0-360 Calories

Large Drink

US$3.29

0-520 Calories

Bottled Water

US$2.39

0 Calories

16.9 oz

Honest Tea Bottle

US$2.99

70 Calories

16 Oz

Simply Lemonade Bottle

US$2.99

160 Calories

11.5 Oz

Coke Bottle

US$2.99

240 Calories

20 Oz

Diet Coke Bottle

US$2.99

0 Calories

20 Oz

Sprite Bottle

US$2.99

240 Calories

20 Oz

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Yeah this whole thing about Five Guys being half or a third the price in the US is a total myth, at least if you're comparing to New York.

 

I went to the one in Manhattan whilst there for a business trip (I was drunk and stumbled across it) and it basically cost me the exact same amount in dollars as it would here in GBP.

 

Which given how weak the dollar is now is I guess about 35% less, but at the time was only about 20% cheaper, and we have extra taxes over here.

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I was in the US in 2008 and it was cheap to eat/drink out compared to London.

 

I went in 2012 and it was expensive to eat/drink out compared to London.

 

The exchange rate is what was different. In 2008 it was almost 2 USD to 1 GBP.

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I think Five Guys have basically perfected the original intention of the classic American hamburger in this context. Quite simple, a little bit sweet and basically a sandwich that's hot. In my mind, the 99p cheeseburger at Maccies sort of sits at the top of that family tree and all other modern fast food evolved from that. Now, it's obviously lost its way and is pretty grim, but the Five Guys one feels like the sort of spiritual successor of that style. I have a feeling if you had a McDonalds in the 50s it's probably what it would taste like. Or to put it a different way, before all of the ingredients were substituted for odd synthetic facsimiles of food. 

 

There's more elaborate burgers available, but in this country at least they're hands down the best fast food version.

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Five Guys is probably my favourite to be honest, the chips look nasty but they taste amazing, I like that it's all fresh ingredients, not loads of chemical preservatives, we don't have many alternatives round here apart from BK and McDonalds, couple of independents like Cheat Meals but while they are close they dont come close to the consistent quality of Five Guys.

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