How Five Guys dominated the “better burger” market

How Five Guys dominated the “better burger” market

(Image: Mustafa Khayat) 

Five Guys Burgers and Fries, the cult-favourite U.S. burger chain, has already set up shop in Scarborough and Don Mills, and is getting ready to open up its first downtown location at 329 Yonge St. later this year. The latest issue of Forbes has a fascinating article that breaks down how the company has managed to take a colossal bite out of the American burger market. Based out of Virginia, the chain has grown a whopping 792 per cent since 2006, and counts 1,039 stores under its name (it’s set to open another 1,500 in the U.S. and Canada). The uber-expansion is part of North America’s growing appetite for “better burgers” restaurants, i.e. those ”fast casual” spots selling patties in the $8 range. In the U.S., better burgers are a $2.2 billion industry, and Five Guys accounts for about half of that market. Part of their success is based on their simplicity: the sparse menu doesn’t go far beyond burgers, fries, hot dogs and the odd veggie sandwich. CEO and founder Jerry Murrell contends most franchises lose it when they over-expand their offerings. Of course, downtown Toronto is already saturated in “better burgers”—indeed, there’s a Big Smoke a couple dozen metres away from the new Five Guys spot. And there are all of these too. Read the entire story [Forbes] »