The Five Guys Story
Jeanne M. Catalano
This paper was prepared for Bus 508 Contemporary Business
Taught by Professor Dr. Nayak
Passion, creativity, and the desire for the Benjamin ignites the flame in which entrepreneurship grows. One such man, Jerry Murrell gave his kids an option: college or run a business, and thus, Five Guys and a Burger was formed in Arlington, Virginia. (Boone, 2012, p. 78). Like all other small businesses’, Jerry faced obstacles such as competition, supply and demand, and capturing market share all while trying to maintain an ethical and socially responsible business. Jerry has maintained this success by following one simple recipe for success: burger and fries (“Five Reasons,” 2010). This simple concept along with his 5 rules of the business: best salesman is the customer, every position has ownership, know what your good at and stick to it, quality is everything, and employee incentives has catapulted Five Guys into over 16 years of business. (“Five Reasons,” 2010). Since 1986, despite the recession, the beef crisis, and competition, Five Guys have not only sustained their business but have almost doubled in size.
Over the years, Jerry has stood by his original value to just sell burgers and fries and execute it well (Joiner, 2012). His philosophies have remained strong and his success can be attributed to three main factors: Product specialization, human resources, and branding. Product specialization, has given Five Guys the competitive differentiation they need in the market. Burgers are made to order and fresh never frozen with up to 15 free toppings (Boone, 2012, p. 78). This leads to over 250,000 burger combinations (FGH, 2012). Under FAQ’s they only use 80/20 chuck ground beef for quality and cow fat is absent. They always cook their burgers well done to ensure a consistent juicy flavored product across the board that meets health code standards (FGH, 2012). Buns are baked fresh from a bakery and toasted on the grill for a caramelized taste (“Five Reasons,” 2010). Fries are fresh cut from Idaho potatoes and employees even have to go to fry calibration classes in order to learn how to make the perfect fries (Burke, 2012). In order to maintain social responsibility to the public, FGH (2012) posts on their website a nutritional chart in order to aid the diet conscience. In the FAQ area, Five Guys supports humane treatment of animals. They also state warnings for consumers with peanut allergies and use no trans-fat and also only cook in peanut oil (FGH, 2012). Joiner (2012), reasons they pay higher prices for their food products to ensure quality. Like Joiner (2012) states, “the ability to deliver a consistent taste and flavor sensation or much tailored taste and sensation is critical to the long-term success" (Doing one thing, para. 2).
The second strength is Jerry’s human resources and social responsible of his employees. Boone (2012 p. 47) states social responsibility is, “management’s acceptance of the obligation to consider profit, consumer satisfaction, and societal well-being of equal value in evaluating the firms performance.” Jerry devotes a lot of time in developing a quality work force and rewards his staff through means of incentives, health compensation, and more instead of having a marketing budget (Joiner, 2012). This rewards hard work, ensures quality control, and motivates employees to continue their success (“Five Reasons,” 2010). Boone (2012, p. 9) emphasizes that “Effective, well-trained human resources provide a significant competitive edge because competitors cannot easily match another company’s talented motivated employees.” Joiner, (2012), quotes him saying, “Hire well-paid people and they’ll stay with you” (Treating para. 1). Relating to his philosophy of employee ownership, incentives and a voice are two powerful concepts to get accountability and loyalty from his people (“Five Reasons,”...