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Five Guys Burgers and Fries: Ingredients to Success

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Five Guys Burgers and Fries: Ingredients to Success Several characteristics of the national burger chain, Five Guys Burgers and Fries, sets it apart from other fast-food chains. These characteristics include the company’s philosophy, its original values, ethical and social practices, and its overall company culture. Without a doubt, a company who embodies all of the above characteristics is surely worth a more detailed exploration.
The Philosophy A company’s philosophy highlights the overarching goal of its operation. In addition, it can help a company set itself apart from its competitors. This is precisely what occurred at Five Guys Burgers and Fries. According to its website, www.fiveguys.com, the company philosophy is “focusing on a few items, and serving them to the best of our ability.” As opposed to most of their competitors, Five Guys Burgers and Fries invest their money into the quality of the food instead of marketing. Five Guys' owner, Jerry Murrell believes "Our best salesman is our customer. Treat that person right, he'll walk out the door and sell for you." (Welch) This type of philosophy clearly sets the company apart from others. Not only does Five Guys Burgers and Fries have a powerful philosophy, the company also has original core values that remain strong today.
Original Values Five Guys’ original values were created simple. "Sell a really good, juicy burger on a fresh bun. Make perfect French fries. Don’t cut corners." ” It is vitally important for a company to maintain its original culture and values. According to Harvard Business Review, " Companies that enjoy enduring success have core values and a core purpose that remain fixed while their business strategies and practices endlessly adapt to a changing world."
Factors of Success Three key factors greatly contributed to Five Guy’s success in such a short time. These three key factors were commitment to quality food, franchising to only financially sound franchisees and personally staying in the business as more than just a corporate name. The first factor contributed to the company’s success by serving the customers with food that is well thought out for quality. They purchase of the ingredients says much about the quality. They use only potatoes grown in Idaho not Florida or California where it would be cheaper to purchase from. Murrell states,” We like northern potatoes, because they grow in the daytime when it is warm, but then they stop at night when it cools down.” They also have a specialized method in which they cook them and have a certain type of oil that they fry them. They also use never frozen, 80% lean beef that is processed in plants that "are so clean, you could eat off the floor". (Welch) The second factor, franchising to only financially sound franchisees, contributed to the company’s success by keeping their reputation intact. If they franchised only to those businesses who could "weather the storm" without depending on the banks to lend them money, then the positive name of Five Guys Burgers and Fries would not be tarnished by a closing restaurant. (Welch) Adding to the company’s profitability was the third and last factor - staying in the business as more than just a corporate name. This factor allowed them to stay "on the same page" as the franchisees. Their personal restaurants would be a leader showing the franchise owners that they are not alone in the "pains" of the business. Murrell wanted to be able to tell them "Look, we are doing it." (Welch)
Surely, any company with the aforementioned factors should experience equal or greater success as that of Five Guy Burgers and Fries. They are leaders in the industry and an inspiration to entrepreneurs.
Ethical and Social Practices Ethical and social practices play a major role in Five Guys’ culture. Consider their commitment to providing society with great tasting burgers and fries without the use of vegetable oil which has trans fat added to it during processing. (unknown) With obesity being a national crisis, this social practice scores the company major brownie points in the eyes of many parents, doctors, and health providers. Alongside its social practices, the company prides itself on its strong ethical practices. For example, they have great emphasis on treating the customer right. This comes from receiving smiles from the staff, getting great food and having clean bathrooms to use while they are in the restaurant.
Conclusion
Five Guys Burgers and Fries has experienced major success in a short time due to many factors such as its philosophy, it original values, ethical and social practices, and several key factors. Undoubtedly, the company Five Guys Burgers and Fries truly exemplify what it looks like to have entrepreneurial leadership.

References:
(n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.fiveguys.com/about-us.aspx
Welch, L. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.inc.com/magazine/20100401/jerry-murrell-five-guys-burgers-and-fries.html
Collins, J. "Building Your Company’s Vision - Harvard Business Review." Harvard Business Review Case Studies, Articles, Books, Pamphlets - Harvard Business Review. N.p., n.d. Web. 21 July 2013. <http://hbr.org/1996/09/building-your-companys-vision/>.
"Talking About Trans Fat: What You Need to Know." U S Food and Drug Administration Home Page. N.p., n.d. Web. 22 July 2013. <http://www.fda.gov/Food/ResourcesForYou

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