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Five Guys and Well Done Burgers

menton1 Mar 9, 2011 11:57 AM

I would still like a reasonable explanation of why they only cook well-well-well done. Apparently, when asked, 5G corporate answers "no comment".

  1. e
    electricsamurai May 5, 2012 02:24 PM

    Well-done red meat linked to aggressive prostate cancer: http://www.cnn.com/2011/11/23/health/... "The men who preferred their burgers well-done had double the cancer risk, while those who liked them medium (or rarer) had a negligible increase in risk -- just 12 percent. A similar pattern was seen with grilled or barbecued steak." There goes the false claim that well done means less health concerns.

    1. FoodFuser Mar 17, 2011 08:48 PM

      These debates are exactly why my frypan awaits
      my blend of home ground beef and of pork.

      But still room for negotiation with my sweet local Burger King
      over price of their un-filled buns.

      Such softness with good coat of sesame seed.

      1. j
        joe777cool Mar 17, 2011 11:10 AM

        "E. coli disaster

        Jack in the Box's success came to a halt in the 1990s because of two main factors: the national recession of 1990-91 (the company suffered an 81 percent decline in net earnings in 1991) and more importantly, the E. coli epidemic of 1993: Four children died and hundreds of others became sick in the Seattle area as well as California, Idaho and Nevada, after eating undercooked and contaminated meat from Jack in the Box. It was the largest and deadliest E. coli outbreak in American history up to that time.

        The chain lost millions of dollars in sales and revenue as a result of the disaster, and millions were paid out as settlements in wrongful death lawsuits. Moody's Investors Service downgraded Foodmaker's debt to junk status as it had no confidence that sales would return to normal levels. Bankruptcy was imminent."

        This is why the vast majority of chains serve hamburger medium well or well done.

        10 Replies
        1. re: joe777cool
          menton1 Mar 17, 2011 11:23 AM

          If meat is fresh and handled properly, it could be eaten raw.

          1. re: menton1
            j
            joe777cool Mar 17, 2011 11:45 AM

            "IF HANDLED PROPERLY" is a phrase that sounds so simple, but the truth is there are so many different ways that ecoli can be spread. Lets speak from fact here and not opinion

            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Escherichia_coli
            http://www.cdc.gov/ecoli/

            "An estimated 89% of US beef ground into patties contains some
            E. coli 0157:H7, although the actual amount may be extremely
            small, said Mark Powell, an epidemiologist with the USDA's
            Food Safety and Inspection Service."

            http://www.organicconsumers.org/irrad...

            1. re: joe777cool
              menton1 Mar 17, 2011 11:50 AM

              Wikipedia is your source for "facts??????" Omg...

              1. re: menton1
                j
                joe777cool Mar 17, 2011 01:39 PM

                I think the better question is where do YOUR "FACTS" come from? I view wikipedia as the cliff notes of research. It is a very good place for the uninformed to look before they write baseless statements on internet chatboards and make themselves look completely foolish.

                I provided 2 other links as well, feel free to empower yourself with this info.

                1. re: joe777cool
                  The Professor Mar 18, 2011 08:35 PM

                  Of course, it should be noted that Wikipedia is the source of much baseless informaion on the net.
                  Wikipedia is not to be taken seriously.
                  Seriously.

                  1. re: The Professor
                    j
                    joe777cool Mar 18, 2011 09:10 PM

                    Of course, we would all be so much better off if we got our information from random people on internet chatboards, right? I know wiki is an open source, edited by many, but we are dealing in facts here, not opinions.

                2. re: menton1
                  e
                  ediblover Mar 19, 2011 03:05 PM

                  Wiki isn't the issue in this case. If you had looked at the link, you would have noted that the quote wasn't from there and that it didn't contain and one-sided statements.

                  The issue was that the quote was on a site named "organicconsumers." Come on... The name is a dead giveaway of bias.

                  How is it bias? Well, the thing is, there are E. coli in your intestines right now. Heck, the majority of solid matter you, um... pass, is bacterium. Anyway, odds are, you're perfectly fine. That's because the majority of E. coli are harmless when ingested. And, that's pretty much why bias sites should be avoided - It's easy to take a scary word "E. coli" and inflate it when there's no cause for concern.

                  Back to Jack's, this is a guess, but I doubt they had the "consuming raw or..." warning on their menus at the time. If you have that warning, like every place does these days, that would free you from litigation.

                  1. re: ediblover
                    j
                    joe777cool Mar 19, 2011 07:41 PM

                    your statement supports my (original) argument - what I was arguing was the statement "If meat is fresh and handled properly, it could be eaten raw." is at best misleading and at worst completely false. Bacteria are on and in everything and no matter how careful you are if you eat raw meat you greatly increase your chance of getting sick.

                    The article actually supports your argument, repeatedly saying "in trace amounts." It did cross my mind if that "organnicconsumers" website was trustworthy or not, but it was a reuters story and was quoting "an epidemiologist with the USDA's Food Safety and Inspection Service." So I guess one can take from it what they please; as fact, as gibberish, or somewhere in between.

              2. re: menton1
                c oliver Mar 17, 2011 11:48 AM

                I know CHs who are nervous about grinding their own beef and cooking it rare. I think if a chain is going to have a doneness policy it's going to be well done. I think that's what suits the consumer as well as makes sense. As others have said, most "cooks" at fast food places are following a formula, not cooking. That's not disparaging what they do. It's the job.

              3. re: joe777cool
                f
                Fibber McGee Mar 17, 2011 11:23 AM

                Singular exceptions to the words vast majority does not mean the vast majority still don't do it that way. I remember Jack in the Box in Michigan as a kid. I think health issues is what drove them out but I have no info for that.

              4. menton1 Mar 17, 2011 10:36 AM

                Here's a CHAIN that will cook Medium to order. That blows out of the water reports that chains must do well done burgers...

                http://www.cheeburger.com/menu/main.asp

                8 Replies
                1. re: menton1
                  c oliver Mar 17, 2011 10:50 AM

                  menton1, your question was WHY do they do it. I gave you the link to their answer. I truly don't know what your beef :) is. 5Gs doesn't do it how you want it and you have alternatives. Easy peasy. I'm getting to be an old lady and try to pick my battles. Not always successful but I DO try :)

                  1. re: c oliver
                    menton1 Mar 17, 2011 10:57 AM

                    Very cute dog, c oliver. Gives kisses?

                    1. re: menton1
                      c oliver Mar 17, 2011 11:31 AM

                      Took about a year after we rescued her but gives and takes kisses. Shall I give her one from you??? :)

                      1. re: c oliver
                        menton1 Mar 17, 2011 11:45 AM

                        Absolutely! Looks like a real sweetie pie! Makes you wonder how anybody could be cruel to these simple sweet creatures...

                  2. re: menton1
                    a
                    Augie6 Mar 17, 2011 11:01 AM

                    You find the coolest chain burger places!!!--there is one of these about an hour away could make a trip once weather clears up. However I do not think anyone argues that chains must do well done burgers. Its more along the lines, that chains typcial automate the food preparation. This leaves the "cook" to NOT make any of thier own choices. THis is directly geared torwards the high turnover and talent of the cooks in kitchen.

                    However, in the midst of the cookie cutter places , a few stand that will acctually listen to a customer

                    1. re: menton1
                      alanbarnes Mar 17, 2011 11:02 AM

                      Nobody ever said that chains are required to serve their burgers well done. And you've already identified Smashburger as a chain that will cook meat to order. I'll go you one better and mention that In-n-Out will also serve a medium-rare burger on request. But good job "blowing away' those non-existent "reports."

                      1. re: menton1
                        a
                        AdamD Mar 17, 2011 11:03 AM

                        Speaking for myself, I never said they MUST as a matter of law. I said the there probably was a corporate directive at five guys requiring employees to cook burgers well done as a condition of employment and to minimize exposure to lawsuits. An individual corporate policy.

                        That being said, and as noted above, there are state laws that set minimum temp requirements.
                        It varies by state. You cannot make a sweeping generalization one way or the other. Some chains might cook to order where state law and corporate policy allows. Many don't take the chance given the risk of lawsuits or state penalties.

                        And Id like to see if that chain will serve a rare burger in SC.

                        1. re: menton1
                          e
                          ediblover Mar 17, 2011 01:47 PM

                          At this point I'm fairly sure that you're just out to bash 5G. CheeburgerCheeburger was already mentioned in this discussion, along with Fuddruckers (Who'll go rare).

                          No one said that chains must, but that it's about risk/reward and the market. As previously stated, Fudd went bankrupt not too long ago, while 5G seems to be spreading like wildfire.

                        2. c oliver Mar 14, 2011 10:15 AM

                          Are you at least glad to have your original question answered?

                          1. MsDiPesto Mar 13, 2011 09:38 PM

                            Thank you to bagelman01 and c oliver for shedding some light on this. Since it is a franchise and not a single restaurant, I can understand their desire to err on the cooked side of things, since they are widespread, and that single rule gives them protection from free-form cooking from people who didn't exactly attend the CIA. It is what it is.

                            1. c oliver Mar 13, 2011 09:24 PM

                              Well, golly, here's the link to their site with their official answer:

                              http://www.fiveguys.com/faq.aspx

                              It may not please you but it's nowhere like "no comment."

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: c oliver
                                f
                                fourunder Mar 14, 2011 07:00 PM

                                Thank you for setting it straight.

                              2. menton1 Mar 13, 2011 07:28 PM

                                Amazing. All over France they serve steack tartare, carpaccio, and raw milk cheeses. (illegal in US). No one in France ever gets sick from this stuff. All this stuff about rare meat is BS, or proves that we don't know how to handle meat properly.

                                Knowing that McD's sells millions of burgers daily speaks volumes about how we care little about what we eat, anyway... Give me a raw quality steak tartare over McD's any day of the week. (McD's burger is culled from over 100 steer, on average) (Yuk!)

                                5 Replies
                                1. re: menton1
                                  alanbarnes Mar 13, 2011 08:26 PM

                                  >>"No one in France ever gets sick from this stuff."<<

                                  You're joking, right? You believe that there's no food-borne illness in France? There's magic protection from germs for anybody who swallows consonants?

                                  I gladly eat steak tartare, carpaccio, and raw milk cheeses (whenever I can get them). I believe the risk posed by those foods is minimal, and well worth the reward. But anybody who pretends the risk isn't there is just as foolish as someone who pretends that eating a rare burger is a death sentence.

                                  Food poisoning has been with us since time immemorial. It's a risk we manage and adapt to, whether we live in France, the US, or a developing nation. Risk management may differ depending on the food supply, but the extreme positions - pretending that there is no risk, or claiming that no risk is acceptable - are equally foolish.

                                  1. re: menton1
                                    ipsedixit Mar 13, 2011 08:31 PM

                                    It's not raw beef that is the danger issue here (i.e. carpaccio, tatare, etc.), it's raw ground beef.

                                    1. re: ipsedixit
                                      c oliver Mar 14, 2011 08:33 AM

                                      Exactly. And to be more precise, raw ground beef from unknown/multiple sources.

                                      As an aside, we had our first 5Gs in DC a few months ago. It was definitely well done and juicy. It was tasty. We ate there because we were walking by one and thought, hey, why not? I probably would go again for the same reason I don't go to In N Out. When I eat 'fast food' I want it to be FAST. Neither of those are fast enough :) But it was tasty.

                                      1. re: c oliver
                                        menton1 Mar 14, 2011 09:15 AM

                                        Just got a Smashburger, medium rare. Hackensack, NJ. Much better condiments, too. 5G depends on the condiments ovepowering the grease of their lousy burger. Didn't get sick, either. NO 5G for me, ever again...

                                    2. re: menton1
                                      The Professor Mar 17, 2011 12:13 PM

                                      I don't think raw milk cheeses are illegal in the US...I buy them frequently (both domestic and imported). There are specific rules and guidelines though which dictate the required aging time for raw milk cheeses sold in the US.

                                    3. a
                                      AdamD Mar 13, 2011 09:50 AM

                                      USDA Recommended Safe Minimum Internal Temperatures

                                      * Steaks & Roasts - 145 °F
                                      * Fish - 145 °F
                                      * Pork - 160 °F
                                      * Ground Beef - 160 °F
                                      * Egg Dishes - 160 °F
                                      * Chicken Breasts - 165 °F
                                      * Whole Poultry - 165 °F

                                      Seeing Isn't Believing
                                      Many people assume that if a hamburger is brown in the middle, it is done. However, looking at the color and texture of food is not enough—you have to use a food thermometer to be sure! According to USDA research, 1 out of every 4 hamburgers turns brown before it reaches a safe internal temperature. The only safe way to know if meat, poultry, and egg dishes are "done" is to use a food thermometer. When a hamburger is cooked to 160 °F, it is both safe and delicious!
                                      http://www.fsis.usda.gov/is_it_done_y...

                                      By law, states cannot impose lower temps, only higher ones.
                                      There is no doubt in my mind that 5gs has determined the exact amount of cooking time to satisfy the standards outlined above and that there is a corporate policy directing the cooks to follow that policy as a condition of their employment. Compliance with USDA guidelines is a solid defense to claims that food was prepared in a negligent manner. That is why you cant get a burger cooked to medium.

                                      Why do other places do it?
                                      I dont know the exact answer, it may be that they are grinding the meat themselves instead of purchasing bulk ground beef from a beef processor. Maybe they have a proprietary blend that includes lower risk cuts and is freshly ground under specific handling instructions to minimize exposure. Pat Lafrieda would know.

                                      1. e
                                        ediblover Mar 12, 2011 11:52 AM

                                        For many reasons.

                                        Laws on ground beef vary state by state. Some don't have restrictions while others have a "medium" minimum. This is the reason why CheeburgerCheeburger cooks to medium and above. It's just a pain if you have to change the rules from place to place.

                                        PR. If you have the disclaimer about consuming undercooked meat/fish, you're off the hook legally, but the press can be a nightmare.

                                        Quality and market. A rarer burger demands more thinking when it comes to the beef that goes into the patty. That means a higher price that will drive many people away. Yeah, some people don't mind paying $10+ for a good burger, but most people would call that obscene. The $5 and below range offers a greater market.

                                        It's really, really thin. It's not really practical to cook small patties to a rare degree; I'd say you need at least a half pound patty to get a good rare burger (that or a small/tall burger). You'd pretty much have to sear both sides and hope that didn't overcook the thing.

                                        My favorite national burger chain, Fuddrucker's is struggling. So, while there is a market for a good burger, it's not a big one. Clearly, it's a business model that just didn't work with the times. On the flip side, you see both 5s and In&Out doing pretty damn good. So, in the end, they were right with their business philosophies. Simply put, 5s cooks their burger to well done because it's what the market demanded.

                                        12 Replies
                                        1. re: ediblover
                                          menton1 Mar 12, 2011 03:38 PM

                                          Not my market. They won't be seeing me again. Twice was enough.

                                          Re/Laws: Nah. In any state of the 50, you can go into a pub and get a rare burger. And 1/4 lb is sufficient to cook it rare. A "pain"???? Being in business is a pain, but that's the lay of the land...

                                          1. re: menton1
                                            m
                                            mpjmph Mar 13, 2011 09:30 AM

                                            I haven't ordered a burger in every state, but I have ordered plenty in my home state. In North Carolina restaurants are required by law to cook ground beef to an internal temp of 155 degrees. Period. No exceptions. You might be able to find a restaurant that will cook to a lower temp, but they risk legal ramifications. Restaurants that will cook to rare/medium are few and far between. I honestly don't recall ever being asked what temp I want by burger cooked to in NC.

                                            1. re: mpjmph
                                              menton1 Mar 13, 2011 11:17 AM

                                              No steak tartare in NC? Too bad. Very provincial.

                                              1. re: menton1
                                                Naco Mar 13, 2011 11:42 AM

                                                I can't recall having seen steak tartare on a menu here in NC recently, but the health code specifically singles out "ground beef" as having to be cooked to 160F. Steak tartare is usually minced, and there is a provision allowing for "beef steak" to be cooked however the customer wishes, so tartare should be fine. I have definitely seen raw beef dishes on menus, most recently at an Ethiopian restaurant.

                                                In any case, quite a few states have the ground beef restriction- IIRC there was a mild panic after the Jack-in-the-Box deaths in the 90s. As has already been mentioned, 160F is also the USDA guideline.

                                            2. re: menton1
                                              alanbarnes Mar 13, 2011 12:07 PM

                                              >>"In any state of the 50, you can go into a pub and get a rare burger."<<

                                              Sorry, but that's simply incorrect. Selling a rare burger is illegal in a number of states. You may disagree with that policy, but your disagreement doesn't change the law.

                                              1. re: alanbarnes
                                                a
                                                AdamD Mar 13, 2011 12:33 PM

                                                I think that there are exceptions within those laws-namely grinding your own meat on the premises.

                                                1. re: AdamD
                                                  alanbarnes Mar 13, 2011 12:44 PM

                                                  Presumably some of the laws have exceptions. I know that some don't. Any sweeping generalization about what's legal or illegal in the US is a recipe for misstatement.

                                                  1. re: alanbarnes
                                                    a
                                                    AdamD Mar 13, 2011 02:00 PM

                                                    Agreed. But since there are establishments in many states that serve burgers to order, I would like to know exactly what those exceptions are. Without access to lexis or westlaw, I am running into walls. Any suggestions?

                                                    1. re: AdamD
                                                      alanbarnes Mar 13, 2011 02:08 PM

                                                      As one example - in South Carolina it's illegal to serve a rare burger, but there's a statutory exception for customers over the age of 18 who specifically request it after being notified of the health risks. But that's just one state.

                                                      Surveying the laws and administrative regulations of all fifty states would be a daunting task, and it would only be the beginning - county and municipal governments can also regulate restaurants. It's a lot easier to address a specific locale than try to come up with generalities.

                                                      1. re: alanbarnes
                                                        ipsedixit Mar 13, 2011 02:12 PM

                                                        As one example - in South Carolina it's illegal to serve a rare burger, but there's a statutory exception for customers over the age of 18 who specifically request it after being notified of the health risks. But that's just one state.
                                                        ____________________________________

                                                        I believe that's also true in CA.

                                                        I'm wondering if a person in either CA or SC got sick from eating a med-rare burger if the "request" would constitute a waiver and shield the restaurant from liability.

                                                        1. re: ipsedixit
                                                          alanbarnes Mar 13, 2011 02:22 PM

                                                          It probably depends on the theory of liability. It'd be hard for someone who insisted on a rare burger in the face of an explicit warning to prove a products case. Negligence, on the other hand, would require an assumption-of-the-risk analysis. And if the restaurant were grossly negligent in its food-handling practices, it seems unlikely that it would be able to assert the customer's explicit or implicit waiver as a defense to liability.

                                                        2. re: alanbarnes
                                                          FoodFuser Mar 14, 2011 11:54 AM

                                                          More reason to wind up my sweet KA grinder
                                                          and twirl down the beef and the pork.

                                                          The beauty engaged from the exit from blade
                                                          tells me I'm gonna have some great burgers.

                                                          Why one needs Five Guys when just this just One Guy
                                                          can bring to be-broiled the finest of burgers.

                                                          It might be the buns but I've sought to displace em
                                                          with wonders from our local bakeries,

                                                          Butt hey who am I to decry of the buns
                                                          of Spandex-clad butttocks of Five Boys.

                                                          I give entreat and retreat to both buns and of burgers.

                                            3. t
                                              TarzanGo Mar 11, 2011 01:37 PM

                                              and they are FAST food, so they don't have time to specifically cook burgers for1000 people at lunch time. Everyone gets the same, and it speeds things up.

                                              1 Reply
                                              1. re: TarzanGo
                                                menton1 Mar 11, 2011 03:15 PM

                                                Smashburger, a big burger chain, will cook to temperature. Kinda blows that argument out of the water, eh?

                                              2. t
                                                TarzanGo Mar 11, 2011 01:36 PM

                                                The reason is, like the afore mentioned 4-star McD's, BK, etc, they don't trust the retards, teenagers, etc. to do a medium burger. Sure they can at say, AppleBees, but the big burger joints are all about prepared, prepacked-type food. It limits lawsuits as well (CYA). Do you think you'd actually find a Chef at Burger King? I've worked in some low spots, but for those with a culinary background, Chili's and AppleBees are the bottom.

                                                1. ckinna Mar 10, 2011 03:00 PM

                                                  Five Guys is a chain and is fast-food and I have never even considered the temperture of my burger. I have probably had 20 burgers at various locations in the DC/Baltimore area over the last 10 years or so and I suppose since they did not ask and since it is fast-food, I just went along with the program. While I am a fan and love the fries, I have to limit myself to the junior burger. The adult size is too much grease for me. They are good, but they are not a Rays or Good Stuff.

                                                  1. c
                                                    Cathy Mar 9, 2011 12:57 PM

                                                    http://www.ecolilitigation.com/ecoli_...

                                                    It is a Franchise. It is fast food. They have attorneys who advise them what to do.

                                                    1. r
                                                      ryanallday Mar 9, 2011 12:03 PM

                                                      well its a fast food franchise i mean if you walk into mcdonalds or burger ing you cant say medium rare please, it comes how it comes....i think 5 guys does it perfect, even though i really only have experience with one location, hopefully this staff is just as good

                                                      20 Replies
                                                      1. re: ryanallday
                                                        menton1 Mar 9, 2011 12:50 PM

                                                        Well, I've tried 5G at 3 different locations, and they were all consistently putrid. What their MO seems to be is grill the burger for 20 minutes, hope you'll fill up on peanuts, and then overload the burger with condiments that will mask the putridness. They won't be seeing me again.

                                                        Seems like they are quite popular though. But were that a measuring stick, McD's would be #1, they sell billions of burgers yearly. And McD's probably has staunch defenders on CH as well.

                                                        1. re: ryanallday
                                                          menton1 Mar 9, 2011 12:57 PM

                                                          I've been to 3 different locations of 5g, and they were all consistently putrid.

                                                          What their MO seems to be is cook the burger for 20 minutes on the grill, hope you fill up on peanuts, and overload the condiments to mask the taste of the burger.

                                                          But they are popular. If that were a measuring stick, McD's would be the top burger because of the billions of burgers that they sell daily. But McD's are the epitome of putridness, frozen burgers culled from over 100 steer each! (Yuk!)

                                                          But I'm sure, as with 5g, McD's will also have their staunch defenders here on CH...

                                                          1. re: menton1
                                                            a
                                                            Augie6 Mar 10, 2011 06:55 AM

                                                            Menton, it is ironic I have been to 2 different five guys previous to last night. My first two experiences I was dumbfounded on way so many people enjoyed thier food. The overload of slopy condiments and almost soaked through bun , did nothing except give me heatburn. (notice there wasn't any comment on how the meat taste because it didnt even come through) ...

                                                            Then a local branch open opened up and I was forced to eat with my younger cousins(last night). To my surprise was darn right tasty. The meat was not burnt to a crisp (still not med , but it is fastfood and some place have llegal issues with meat). The toppings were not overpowering and sloppy. Bun was lightly toasted and still airy not soaked down.

                                                            I cannot say I will be a regular at 5g , but last night for a brief moment I did get the craze.

                                                            1. re: menton1
                                                              bagelman01 Mar 10, 2011 08:43 AM

                                                              "What their MO seems to be is cook the burger for 20 minutes on the grill,"

                                                              While it may take 20 minutes to get your order, there is no way the burger sat on the grill 20 minutes.

                                                              I used to check 5 Guys franchise locations for compliance with corporate standards. I have a copy of the training burger cooking video, as well. The 'standard' for 5Guys locations is to serve the burger within 10 minutes of the order being placed. The actual cooking time from raw meat to fully cooked is approximately 4-6 minutes. The burgers are to be cooked well done, but juicy. The grill man can only even the burger out with the patty press one time after flipping. Burgers go through three areas of the griddle during the cooking process.

                                                              That said, I prefer burgers rare and would never order one at 5 Guys for that reason. It is virtually impossible to cook burgers that thin to assorted wellnesses. Dealing with raw ground beef (never frozen), cooking to well done avoids a great deal of potential health problems and the associated lawsuits or illnesses.

                                                              So, this is an explanation, not a defense of 5 Guys. I do however love their fries, and when my 14 year old wants to eat there, I order a hot dog.

                                                              1. re: bagelman01
                                                                menton1 Mar 10, 2011 01:31 PM

                                                                The bit about lawsuits and avoiding health problems is a pure guess on your part. 5Guys has always absolutely refused to give a reason for their insistence on well done burgers.

                                                                I can walk into any neighborhood pub and get a rare burger. I've had steak tartare many times at French restaurants. Never got sick, never heard of anybody suing these Pubs.

                                                                But yes, people love 5Guys. People also love McD's. Putrid, both.

                                                                1. re: menton1
                                                                  bagelman01 Mar 10, 2011 02:41 PM

                                                                  a pure guess on my part, not so. Unfortunately the confidentiality agreement I signed 4 years ago does not allow me to give direct quotes.
                                                                  But, my Juris Doctor degree and experience will let me tell you that suits against a large company that franchises and is perceoved to have deep pockets are more likely to be filed than against you neighborhood pub..............

                                                                  1. re: menton1
                                                                    a
                                                                    Augie6 Mar 11, 2011 04:44 AM

                                                                    Menton Fast Food places are all about creating the same experience at every location. And doing this in the most effiencent fool proof manner.... I would never expect to get a rare , med rare, burger at any fast food place.. Not even at a chain place..

                                                                    I personally do not see the huge lure of 5 guys , but is much much better than McD's-- comes down to realistic expectations..

                                                                    1. re: Augie6
                                                                      menton1 Mar 11, 2011 09:35 AM

                                                                      If you have a Smashburger near you, try it. A chain, MUCH MORE consistent than 5G, and they will cook to your temperature request.

                                                                      A medium rare burger is a "different experience" than a well done one? With that logic, maybe your MO of a chain also means coffee only one way, maybe 2 sugars and some whole milk. You want Splenda? Can't have it here, not consistent!!

                                                                      If being better than McD's was a criterion for a good restaurant, we've really sunk to 20,000 leagues below the sea...

                                                                      1. re: menton1
                                                                        a
                                                                        Augie6 Mar 11, 2011 10:56 AM

                                                                        Menton we are in agreement about 5guys, I wish I was able to try a Smashburger, checked out website and looks neat.

                                                                        Its just we are talking about a fast food chain... They are in the business to make a quick inexpensive meal as effienct and fast as possible. I am sure 5guys core customers are not concerned with rare or med rare burgers.

                                                                        1. re: Augie6
                                                                          menton1 Mar 11, 2011 01:20 PM

                                                                          I suppose not, just as the millions who patronize McD's every day don't care that the meat in one burger is culled from over 100 steer! (Yuk!)

                                                                        2. re: menton1
                                                                          ipsedixit Mar 13, 2011 12:54 PM

                                                                          If you have a Smashburger near you, try it. A chain, MUCH MORE consistent than 5G, and they will cook to your temperature request.
                                                                          ___________________________

                                                                          Really? They've never honored a request for medium-rare in my experience (albeit limited).

                                                                          I've known people who've opted for the chicken at Smashburgers b/c all the burgers are cooked well-done.

                                                                    2. re: bagelman01
                                                                      byrd Mar 10, 2011 02:35 PM

                                                                      "The burgers are to be cooked well done, but juicy."...?¿?

                                                                      1. re: byrd
                                                                        bagelman01 Mar 10, 2011 02:43 PM

                                                                        a direct lifting from the secret shopper form used by the company who previously had the contract with 5 Guys corporate. "was the burger well done but juicy?" is the only acceptable answer for the franchise being shopped. "Well done and dry" or "Not well done" were failing grades which brought more frequent secret shops for complainace and possible sanctions from the franchisor.

                                                                      2. re: bagelman01
                                                                        m
                                                                        Mark_K123 Apr 27, 2011 03:42 PM

                                                                        Bagelman how could one get a copy of the training burger cooking video?

                                                                        1. re: Mark_K123
                                                                          bagelman01 Apr 27, 2011 04:56 PM

                                                                          unless you were hired by a shopping company and given access in your training you would not get one without subjecting the giver to legal action.
                                                                          The shopper signs an agreement not to share training material.

                                                                          1. re: bagelman01
                                                                            m
                                                                            Mark_K123 Apr 28, 2011 09:07 AM

                                                                            I understand perfectly. Thanks.

                                                                            Are you able to share more info about the three cooking zones?

                                                                            1. re: Mark_K123
                                                                              bagelman01 Apr 28, 2011 05:15 PM

                                                                              In general, the raw patty goes onto the righ hand third of the flattop and cooks part way. It is then flipped over into the middle zone and the patty press is used once to flatten and even the patty. When about 2/3 cooked to well, it is moved to the left hand thid of the grill to finish cooking. You will see the grill man use the side of a spatula to cut into the patty to make sure it is well done (a practice I abhor). The finished burger is supposed to be well done, but juicy.

                                                                              1. re: bagelman01
                                                                                menton1 Apr 29, 2011 06:21 AM

                                                                                "Juicy" comes from the fat content. Still tastes like juicy cardboard. And they want you to overwhelm the burnt taste with overuse of condiments. Well done, bah humbug.

                                                                                1. re: bagelman01
                                                                                  m
                                                                                  Mark_K123 Apr 29, 2011 07:05 AM

                                                                                  Thanks again, I appreciate your help.

                                                                                  I wonder if they start with a cooler surface first and then the heat is higher in the middle zone ( to create a sear)

                                                                                  I'm with you, the practice of cutting into the meat makes the cook look like they don't know what they are doing. I've seen them cut into the meat while it's being cooked, I'm not sure why they wouldn't employ a digital thermometer that would do better job. Meat sometimes can turn gray without ever reach 160.

                                                                                  I think I'd love a job as a secret shopper, could you tell me if one should contact the company directly or do you need be employed by a company that provides this service. Thanks Again for your help!

                                                                                  1. re: Mark_K123
                                                                                    bagelman01 Apr 29, 2011 12:44 PM

                                                                                    A meat thermometre would be ineffective in a thin patty.

                                                                                    You never contact the company directly to be a secret shopper, they employ outsiders so employees don't know who is the shopper and when the shop takes place.

                                                                                    The video was supplied by a company that no longer does 5 Guys. I believe the current company doing the shops is called M*rk*tf*rce, you fill in the vowels.

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