What Makes Five Guys a Tasty Franchise Investment?

The Origin of  Five Guys Burgers and Fries

The self-described ‘fast-casual high-quality’ burger restaurant was founded in 1986 by Jerry Murrell in Arlington, VA. Murrell is the chief executive and founder. The original concept was a burger joint, plain and simple. He started the first burger restaurant with his five sons, hence the name—Five Guys Burger and Fries. Murrell and his five sons have remained integral to the process throughout the entirety of the company’s growth.

The oldest son Jim helps oversee the entire operation while second in command (and age), Matt is in charge of opening new sites. Chad, next in line, does manager training across the 1400 locations in 8 countries while Ben is the IT guy. Tyler, the youngest, supervises the bakeries that supply Five Guys restaurants’ buns.

The Five Guys menu has not changed much over the years. Every franchise location offers various size burgers with a selection of 15 toppings. The company website boasts that there are over 250,000 ways to order a burger. Fries come two ways—Five Guys style or Cajun style. Hot dogs and veggie sandwiches are also available.  Other than the addition of milkshakes the menu selection has stayed true to the original wishes of Murrell and his sons.

Franchisees have attempted to expand the menu trying to offer additions like chicken sandwiches and coffee. After some trial and error, Five Guys has stood strong and maintained close as possible to core company concepts—burgers and fries.

  • Initial Investment: $152,000-$360,300
  • Net Worth Requirement: $500,000
  • Liquid Cash Requirement: $150,000
  • Franchise Fee: $25,000
  • Royalty Fee: 6%

Rapid Franchise Expansion

From the years 2006 to 2012 the company has grown 792% opening almost 1,400 locations in the U.S. and Canada. The franchise plans on continuing its spreading of the burger empire overseas. Locations have opened frequently in the United Kingdom and checkered across the rest of Europe.  200 of the locations are currently company owned with the latter 1,239 shops owned by franchisees.

In 2017, the company’s first quarter total income ended in $388.09 million. A typical Five Guys franchisee owns 10 to 15 restaurants which cost anywhere from $350,000 to $500,000 to open and on average make around 1.2 million in annual revenue. From this, an initial $25,000 franchise fee and 6% royalty fee is taken. The company has high standards—quality is everything, both in product and in the franchisee.

What Makes the Five Guys franchise appeal to the Masses?

Outside of intelligent business decisions, Five Guys has been recognized and awarded by varied media sources most notably the Washingtonian. In 2013, the franchise won the esteemed #1 Burger Chain Honor over Smashburger, In-and-Out, and Shake Shack.

Two famous political stories have added to the burger lore that already mystifies the company’s origins. The first is an order placed by the Pentagon for 15 burgers. Murrell spoke with an admiral explaining that the restaurant didn’t deliver and even went as far as hanging a 22-foot-long banner embroidering the words, “Absolutely No Delivery” over the restaurant. The admiral called Jerry Murrell personally telling him “Mr. Murrell, everyone delivers to the pentagon.”

Another anecdote in the franchise’s history is when former President Obama showed up a to a Five Guys in D.C. and ordered, “A cheeseburger with lettuce, tomato, jalapeños, and mustard.” Obama also ordered burgers for his team starting a series of articles about the love affair between the former president and cheeseburgers. This earned him the title President O’Beef back in 2009.  

What makes a strong and competitive franchise grow at the rate Five Guys has been able to? Strong brand, support, training, and consumer appeal.

What have other franchises in other industries share the same success story?

Splash and Dash Groomerie & Boutique  

  • Initial Investment: $110,750-$177,600
  • Net Worth Requirement: $350,000
  • Liquid Cash Requirement: $125,000
  • Franchise Fee: $48,500
  • Royalty Fee: 6.5%

Just as Americans go crazy for double cheeseburgers they do the same for their pets. In 2009, one man recognized the growing trends of dogs making their way from the backyard to the living room and began new concepts in the pet franchise.

Dan J. Barton became the founder and CEO of Splash and Dash for Dogs (now known as Splash and Dash Groomerie & Boutique). The company started as the answer to a market gap. Catering to pet parents who viewed their animals as more than just an animal. Barton himself was sick of taking his own dog, Mercedes, to industrial feeling big-box pet stores for grooming. The service was bad, the groomers were impersonal, and the pricing made it all seem not worth it. Barton began taking business concepts perfected in the Gym Franchising world and tweaking them for the pet industry.

The concept was simple. A convenient place that pet owners could trust to pamper and love their dog while they got a great cut and could purchase all the necessities of owning a dog. The stores smelled great. The service was warm and knowledgeable, Pets felt relaxed and the prices were fair.

Many became intrigued with opening a small business as a pet franchise owner during the Great Recession. The industry was impervious to the financial decline that was affecting the rest of the economy. The pet industry actually thrived during the recession growing 23.44% from the years 2008 to 2012. Not only was it a financially savvy decision, but franchisees found freedom in the haven of owning their own pet franchise—unrestrained by the limitations of corporate America.

From a franchisee perspective, it feels very similar to Five Guys—a model for success. Investing in Splash and Dash is a continuation of one’s professional development. Shop owners take their business minds, creative ideas, and passion for animals fused with proven business models to become leaders in their community.

With low investment fee, shop owners are able to break even after six months after opening. How is this done? With recurring revenue streams, uncompromising quality in service and products, and love. These core values create the atmosphere of every Splash and Dash location. When you sign on as a franchise owner, Barton and the corporate team help you along the whole venture.

Take it from the shop owner John, ” I spent 20 years in corporate America, and was completely burnt out. I was looking for something that I could do on a daily basis that made me happy. I love Splash and Dash because I spend my days being covered in slobbery puppy kisses and making my clients happy. There’s no better feeling than when you reunite an owner with their freshly groomed, clean furbaby! Also, the corporate office is always there when I need them – which is so important when you’re a new owner and learning as you go.”


Follow Splash and Dash Groomerie & Boutique: