Five Guys Burgers and Fries

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In 1986 when the two oldest sons of Jerry and Janie Murrell decided not to attend college, they made a decision that ultimately changed their family’s lives forever. As supportive parents, the Murrell’s used the money intended for their tuition to open a hamburger take-out shop in Arlington, Virginia to keep the boys close to home and employed (Boone and Kurtz, 2012, p. 78). The restaurant was named Five Guys and a Burger, after their family of five sons. With hard work and dedication, Five Guys has flourished to over six hundred franchises in America and Canada, and has persistently multiplied despite the recent economic issues.

Five Guys’ Original Values From the beginning, Five Guys’ “values [have always reflected] their aspirations and ideas” and influenced the decisions made (Hellriegel and Slocum, 2011, p. 336). According to the Five Guys Corporate Identity and Brand Standards Manual, the following are the company’s values and attributes: * Taste. [Five Guys] make and sell [their] burgers and fries with the best taste ever. * Comfortableness. [Five Guys] provide [their] customers with a very comfortable environment. * Cleanliness. [Five Guys] conserve [their] establishments clean and with good hygiene. * Quality. Five Guys] provide [their] service as well as [their] products with the best quality possible to [their] customers. * Friendship. [Five Guys] interact with [their] customers in a very friendly manner.

That makes them feel satisfied and good. These values statements reflect what [Five Guys] should live, breathe, and reflect in [Five Guys’] daily activities. They are the parameters for driving every associate’s day-to-day decision making and they also are the tools to help bring our brand to life (Five Guys, Inc. , 2009, p. 6). 3 Factors for Five Guys’ Success The Murrell’s developed an entrepreneurial culture within Five Guys Burgers nd Fries. As a result, their beliefs led them to measure the success of their business on three factors: the quality of their food products, the satisfaction of their customers, and their employees’ sense of ownership and accountability. To compete with the large and well established fast food chains, Five Guys concentrated on the quality of their product by selling a really good, juicy burger on a fresh bun, making perfect French Fries, and not cutting any corners (Boone and Kurtz, 2012, p. 78). This premise paved the way for customer satisfaction. Five Guys spent its money on quality food, in order to keep the customers satisfied. Read also battle of the sexes questions

According to Boone and Kurtz (2012), Jerry Murrell was quoted saying, “We figure our best salesman is our customer. Treat that person right, he’ll walk out the door and sell for you” (p. 78). Also, Five Guys has a rewards system that motivates its employees to live, breathe, and reflect on the company’s values daily. “Motivating people is the key to progress no matter what you’re trying to achieve” (Luntz, 2011, p. 252). Consequently, Five Guys’ employees are rewarded one thousand dollars (above and beyond their hourly pay) to divide amongst their five to six people crew, if their store earns a good score during the audits.

This motivational tool offers the employees a sense of ownership and accountability within the Five Guys organization. Five Guys’ Philosophy versus Competitors According to Boone and Kurtz (2012), an entrepreneur is a risk taker in the private enterprise system, a person who seeks a profitable opportunity and takes the necessary risk to set up and operate a business (p. 184). As a risk taker, Jerry Murrell gambled his sons’ tuition money to start the family’s now $570 million fast food chain (Boone and Kurtz, 2012, p. 78).

The business plan was quite simple – sell a really good, juicy burger on a fresh bun, make perfect French Fries, and don’t cut any corners. This philosophy has set Five Guys apart from all other fast-food chains. Murrell knew that in order for Five Guys to compete within the private enterprise system of fast food burger chains, the competition would be oligopoly. An oligopoly is “a market situation in which relatively few sellers [like Burger King, McDonald’s] compete and high start-up costs form barriers to keep out new competitors [like Five Guys Burgers and Fries]” (Boone and Kurtz, 2012, p. 0).

Within this competitive fast food burger industry, the main product being offered is a hamburger. However, one of Five Guys’ unique features compared to Burger King and McDonald’s is to only offer fresh, never frozen, eighty percent lean meat burgers that are made to order. Many of the traditional fast food burger restaurants, only offer frozen patties cooked in advanced, and stored under heated lamp until ordered by the customers. They also offer the customers seventeen free toppings for their burgers. Additionally, they use the same kind of bun for the burgers; as well as the original baker.

Subsequently, Five Guys does not sell dehydrated French Fries unlike its competitors. Their potatoes are slowly grown in Northern Idaho, where the weather conditions are quite favorable for growing solid and tasty potatoes. Many of the competitors reduce their costs by purchasing potatoes from California or Florida, where they are grown fast and are a lot cheaper. Five Guys guarantees freshness by cutting the potatoes every morning while leaving slivers of skin on.

Ethical and Social Practices of Five Guys’ Culture Five Guys is an organization that is very attentive and concerned about the ethical and social practices within its culture. An organization that wants to prosper over the long term is well advised to consider business ethics, the standards of conduct and moral values governing actions and decisions in the work environment” (Boone and Kurtz, 2012, p. 36). Their ethical and social responsibilities play intricate roles in developing and maintaining respectable, sound, and trustworthy relationships with its stakeholders – customers, investors, employees, and the public. Therefore, Five Guys has implemented philosophies, policies, procedures, and actions to characterize and distinguish its brand.

As stated by the Five Guys Corporate Identity and Brand Standards Manual, “A Brand is the promise, the experience, and the big idea of a company, organization, or corporate that is created in the mind set of the [stakeholders – customers, investors, employees, and the public]. A product can be copied by a competitor; a brand is unique” (Five Guys, Inc. , 2009, p. 3). To live up to its brand, Five Guys’ primary focus is always on quality, service, and cleanliness. In the midst of the dire economic times, Five Guys consistently spends its money on quality food, instead of fancy decor and elaborate advertising.

Without compromising the quality of their products, their menu prices are based upon the costs of the products from their suppliers and vendors. Murrell refuses to bargain and negotiate its brand by not using quality ingredients. In addition, they utilize third party audits in each store every week to encourage and promote customer service and cleanliness. One of the audits entails secret shoppers portrayed as customers to audit and rate the employees on customer service behaviors, food preparation, and bathroom cleanliness.

Also, the safety audits are conducted to inspect the kitchen appliances in each store. Conclusion Needless to say, Five Guys Burgers and Fries demonstrates the significance of never compromising on its company values. Throughout the years, these values have remained consistent within its culture. During these dreadful economic times, Five Guys’ success has its competitors struggling for answers, while it remains unfailing, committed, and dedicated to providing the best quality burgers.

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