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5 Guys does SUCK

  • d

Went to 5 Guys today for the first time. Paid $12 for a bacon cheeseburger, fries and a coke. The Burger was OK, nothing to write home about. the bacon was crispy as ordered. The fries were plentiful but very bland. Only ate a small handful of them. WIsh I would have went to Applebee's instead. I will not be visiting 5 guys again. In my option, its a ripoff. Bottom line is, its a fast food joint. Might as well save $7 and go to McDonalds! The free peanuts were nice.

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  1. I agree. I've been twice and I didn't think the burgers were special.

    1. i get a single cheeseburger with toppings. no fries, no coke. sometimes i split the burger and get a hot dog with my dh or dd. there is nothing else on the fast food market that has such fresh burgers that taste like really good diner food. i don't love their fries. i do think it's a lot better than applebees(blech) or mcd's (Fake food).

      1 Reply
      1. re: fara

        I'm with you Fara although I don't share mine.. Great bacon cheeseburger with a free ice water for me.

      2. if it was ok and nothing to write home about then ergo it did NOT suck!

        the little burger is big enough you'd find and if you share the fries they are big enough for two.

        1 Reply
        1. re: smartie

          I agree, smartie. I'm one of the fatties that Clams047 so eloquently refers to, and a little burger and shared fries are plenty for me. I'd prefer not to be eating fast food burgers in the first place, but the SO is a fan.

        2. If you really can't taste the difference between a Five Guys and a McDonald's burger, then you should definitely save your money and stick with the Golden Arches.

          11 Replies
          1. re: acgold7

            Same for the fries. If you prefer the frozen potato product at McD's, etc you should stay away from fresh fried. My complaint with Five guys is the huge portion sizes. Unless I have someone to share with, I avoid them (burgers, fries & drink sizes are geared for the obese).

            1. re: Clams047

              Reason number 1 Five Guys Burger sucks.. the roll .. my old sponge that I use at the sink has more body than this thing does.

              2. The cooking temperature ranges from Burnt to a crisp to incinerated.

              3. The Fries - inconsistent.. sometimes underdone undersalted, sometimes saltier than the Dead sea... Always dumped into the bag.

              Two good things about Five guys.. malt vinegar.. and the kosher hot dogs.

              1. re: cwdonald

                Fully agree that Five Guys rolls are terrible, although they are really not much worse than typical fast food burger rolls. Definitely a place to improve & move ahead of their competition. I've also found the quality of their fries do tend to vary from fair to excellent, but I've generally associated that with the fact that they use fresh cut potatoes vs. the manufactured potato products of mediocre quality used elsewhere.

                As for the salt, I appreciate the fact that their burgers & fries tend to be lower salted than other fast food places. McDonald burgers & fries, for example, are so salt ridden that I find they have little flavor beyond the salt.

                Five Guys variety in condiments is a definite plus, but as mentioned previously, I still have a problem with their huge portions to the point I rarely stop anymore, even though I usually like their fries & burger condiments.

                1. re: Clams047

                  Never really been a fan of 5G fries for the consistency reason. One place will be fine, the other stale or really greasy. Then you have to deal with getting them out of the bag ASAP before the steam builds up and they get all soggy. And just because they're fresh cut doesn't mean they're any good. Proper fries need to be fried twice; once at a low temperature and again at a high temperature right before serving. One of the reasons McDonalds fries are consistently crispy is that they're flash fried before being frozen. I'd rather have frozen fries that are cooked properly than "fresh" fries done poorly.

              2. re: Clams047

                ... the frozen potato product that's in the top 20 french fries, plain period? that one?
                if you're going to kvetch about it, kindly kvetch about beefy fries. that's a valid bitch.

                1. re: Clams047

                  When I eat alone at Five Guys, I often spell out "T-O-O M-A-N-Y" with my leftover French Fries. (I can't eat FFs without a burger, and I can't eat a burger without FFs.) If I remember, I ask for a half-order (for which they charge me full price) I can't tell you how many times I've e-mailed them asking for a smaller "small," but to no avail.

                  I think the only way to get them to do it is not to buy FFs, but if I'm not going to buy FFs, I'm not going to buy a burger, and if I'm not going to buy a burger...

                  1. re: Jay F

                    lol, i think that would be a problem on your end. toss the fries if you want to only eat 1/2

                    1. re: fara

                      Count me in. It's a problem on my end, too. Almost $3 to waste food? That's not right.

                      1. re: johnseberg

                        I gave some of my fries to 2 young guys a few weeks ago, they were very grateful.

                    2. re: Jay F

                      How about finding another person standing alone in line and offering to split an order of fries with them?

                      Or take the leftovers to go and leave them where a homeless person will find them?

                      1. re: Fydeaux

                        I have done this.......one day there was a lady behind me and we both commented on how we wish they had small fries. We split them and it was a win-win.

                2. I thought the Five Guys (now closed) in Woodstock, VA was pretty good. Their burgers had a nice meat & iron taste and their fries certainly had a nice nutty taste inside & out, as well as being crispy. When I went to the outlet in Park Slope, Brooklyn I found the same things were quite the opposite, mediocre and blah. Do different locations get their products from local sources, or does it all come from the same mega-warehouse? I ask because the difference between the two locations were quite striking.

                  4 Replies
                  1. re: David11238

                    If you check the other Five Guys threads, you'll see the biggest complaint after price is the consistency. One location will be fine while another down the road will be lousy. I think it's because of the franchising deal. You can't buy a single Five Guys franchise, you have to buy several within a certain region. My theory is that because of this initial cash outlay for those stores, it leaves some franchisees relatively cash poor, so the quality of service suffers.

                    1. re: monkeyrotica

                      Well Park Slope and Woodstock, VA are not what I'd call next to each other. But I do get your point.

                    2. re: David11238

                      Actually, I'm surprised the Woodstock location is closed as it is pretty close to their original store in NoVa.

                      To my understanding about FG, it is a nightmare to own the franchise from them as they are micro-management to the nth degree. The "Five Guys" are the father and four sons which are regional managers. I know about two years ago they performed a nationwide evaluation and ended up purchasing back the franchises from various owners as part of a failure of a performance-plan. I have read corporate charges a decent overhead (5% of income) for a marketing budget, but there is no active advertising plan. The funds actually goes towards mystery shoppers which critique the franchises highly and ends up putting so-so stores on performance plans to be eventually improved or closed.

                      So far, it looks like the chain has been successful as they have been moving into Wendy's territories pretty well. The big question is will Five Guys go through the same turmoil with the loss of thre CEO/father as Wendy's is going through with the loss of Dave Thomas???

                      1. re: atg106

                        Dave Thomas died in January 2002. Wendy's hasn't been going through turmoil for ten years.

                    3. "WIsh I would have went to Applebee's" and "Might as well save $7 and go to McDonalds!"....'nuff said

                      3 Replies
                      1. re: BiscuitBoy

                        Not really. is that an indictment on Five Guys or an indictment on the people makling those statements?
                        Opinions aren't official beyond the person making the opinion.

                          1. re: wadejay26

                            Until the secret menu is discovered, yes.

                      2. I would like someone who works for this chain explain why they think that putting their fries in a plastic cup & then in a closed paper bag (even if I didn't order "to-go") improves the product.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: cavandre

                          It forces the Franchisee to purchase proprietary paper products......

                        2. I like 5 Guys a lot. I just didn't realize they had so many locations in I'm-Never-Satisfied-With-Anything-Land.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: Samalicious

                            Went to 5 Guys once, when it was new here, liked the peanuts in the shell while waiting for your burger/ff; but as I hogged out on the free peanuts, the edge was off my hunger when the food was ready so I couldn't finish the burger/ff....I hate to waste food! As for the quality, it is o.k. fresher than some other places but not worth going out of my way. The portion of ff are enough for a family of 4..........

                          2. I don't get the FG love either. One opened nearby in the past year and my husband and I tried it out. For the wait involved and the price, I wasn't impressed. So a couple of months ago when my husband was going there with a neighbor kid he offered to bring me back a burger. I was kind of reluctant, but hungry, so I said yeah, I'll give it another try. This time I thought the burger was really tasty, turning around my initial opinion. Consequently the next time he went and offered to pick me up a burger, I was all in. And that third experience was anything but stellar -- the burger was tasteless. I like the choice of toppings feature but they seem to vary in taste too; last go-round everything was bland.

                            I realize that the same people aren't cooking every day but I'm adding this to say that product consistency is a real big problem within the same store, not just among different FG locations as other posters have noted. Will I go for a 4th sample? I don't know . . . it might be worthwhile to try a different location but that would only be if there's no place more interesting to eat in that area.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: bfish

                              I dislike five guys as the Bun is always smashed as its is wrapped in foil and gets steamed flat Grrrrr! I'll agree way over priced also.

                            2. You are fortunate to live in an area (presumably) that has many varied options for high-end yet inexpensive chain burgers. 5 Guys is a recent entry into the area I live in; with the possible exception of Culver's, 5 Guys out-does them all.

                              Are they all things to all people? Of course not. Personally, I wish Fatburger would open here. But preferring Applebees? Seriously?

                              4 Replies
                              1. re: Fydeaux

                                Just curious - Can one order how the patty is cooked at Applebees? If a medium-rare or medium was available, that would automatically place it above 5's.

                                1. re: ediblover

                                  I dont know, and I am not inclined to try to find out. If that is what is important to you, I hope you and Dexxa will very happy there.

                                  And speaking of the OP, this seems to have been Dexxa's first and only post on CH. He/She has not weighed in since, neither to agree with those who agree, nor dispute those who disagree. Curious.

                                  Regardless, of all the chain/fast food burgers near where I live and work, Five Guys Is at the top of the list. I envy you if have better burgers handy, but not if your idea of 'better' is Applebee's.

                                  1. re: Fydeaux

                                    Just to note: Almost two years later and this is still Dexxa's only post.

                                    1. re: Fydeaux

                                      Oh Im still here, I just haven't had any other bad experiences to report or anything to say! thank you for your attention though! There is really nothing to agree or disagree with. I simply stated my opinion and stand fast behind it, two years later.

                              2. I'm lucky enough to live down the street from a Smashburger. Far and away better than 5 Guys. I always feel gross after eating a meal from there, but Smashburger has just the right combo of indulgent and healthy(er) choices, I think.

                                1. Dexxa,

                                  I don't get Five Guys. I ate there once a long time ago, and I thought it was ok, passable. Later I found out that Five Guys is supposed to be very well-liked and respected. Last month, I went there again. Again, I thought it was ok and passable but not great.

                                  To be fair, Five Guys is better than McDonald and Burger King like, but it is not as cheap as those. Five Guys just aren't that great. So, I really don't get its popularity. I like In-N-Out Burger much better. Just my opinion.

                                  1. 5 Guys is overrated and overly expensive, but it doesn't suck and the peanuts are the coolest feature.

                                    I also like their seasoned fries, but not as well as In 'n Outs fries.

                                    1 Reply
                                    1. re: scottca075

                                      Wow, seeing your icon, we came from the same school. So, we have 5 Guys in Bay Area California, now?

                                    2. It's a hamburger. A fast food hamburger.
                                      And a very undistinguished one, not far out of the Burger King or Checkers league.
                                      Actually, the burger that Checkers sells for One Dollar is probably tastier than what 5 Guys offers for considerably more.

                                      Gotta hand it to the 5 Guys though, for creating such a hype and buzz!
                                      If only they'd put that attention to the food, they could be HUGE.

                                      2 Replies
                                      1. re: The Professor

                                        So where is the hype and buzz? I'm not sure I've ever seen an ad for Five guys. From what I can tell, it's mostly word of mouth.

                                        Some don't like them. Many do. Some like heavily salted $1 burgers with boring toppings and frozen french fries. Many evidently don't.

                                        1. re: Clams047

                                          You never visited one then. Because the phony awards are hung all over the walls in the place along with the phony potato stats.
                                          I guess this is what happened to all the circus's... They turned into 5 guys clown boxes.

                                      2. I think the problem with them, as others have mentioned is inconsistency. At the same location I have had very good and kind of gross burgers. We went one night late and a kid who was obviously new, was cutting our burger as it cooked to see if it was done. Needless to say it was totally dry and gross. Maybe they need to train their employees a little more. I also noticed it's not great in some places if too busy..there is another location at our mall and I will stick to that one if I want to eat there. They are consistently good. Maybe they need to borrow the mcd's training manual and standardize things a little more.

                                        1. Consider what you wrote: "The Burger was OK, nothing to write home about. the bacon was crispy as ordered. The fries were plentiful but very bland."

                                          Does that sound like food that did "suck?"

                                          Suck is a strong word with very negative connotations. I'd suggest you use titles such as "5 Guys was disappointing" or "I dont' understand the hype surrounding 5 Guys."

                                          Now, back to the subject of this thread: I've had 5 Guys burgers that were tasty and enjoyable if on the greasy side. For me it's a step up from McDonalds and your generic family style restaurant, but not as good as my homemade burgers.

                                          But the other posters are correct regarding the portions of fries. It's simply too enormous.

                                          1 Reply
                                          1. re: Roland Parker

                                            I believe the "sucking" comes in with the price points and at the meeting betwixt reality and hype. The OP probably wouldn't be complaining if he'd gone to Wendy's for a value meal of similar quality that cost 6 bucks.

                                          2. It certainly does.

                                            You can make better burgers at home with a broken arm and your eyes closed.

                                            No value at 5 guys
                                            All hyped window dressing
                                            Fake awards
                                            Free elephant food
                                            and tasteless muck wrapped and packaged by 4 year olds.

                                            Better off with a backyard grill and a drunk chef

                                            9 Replies
                                            1. re: HUNGRYMAN8

                                              5G is burgers for people who hate burgers. People who want to pile a TON of toppings on a grey mass of well-done grease and choke down 3lbs of soggy fries to get the taste of the burger out of their mouths.

                                              1. re: monkeyrotica

                                                You said it. I will never go there again. One and done!

                                                Fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice etc etc.

                                                And just so everyone knows vegetable oil is BAD for you and causes cancer:

                                                "vegetable oil". Google on this expression to find out why it's not good food (a "vegetable oil" most likely is some or combination of highly processed soybean oil, or cottonseed oil, or something similar -- these, nutritionally, are bad for you. Cotton isn't even a food crop, so you can imagine what you end up eating, it's completely unregulated).

                                                1. re: HUNGRYMAN8

                                                  What exactly does vegetable oil have to do with their hamburgers? Also, if not mistaken, 5G fries exclusively in peanut oil.

                                                  1. re: fourunder

                                                    Yup, the sacks of potatoes and cartons of peanut oil that sit out on their dining room floor are not just for show.

                                                    As for Five Guys overall, it's not a bad burger. There's not a single-standard of the perfect burger any more than the perfect pizza. Part of the fun of George Motz's "Hamburger America" and his TV series is seeing how many ways the same basic elements can be combined to create distinctly different burgers.

                                                    Have I had better burgers? Absolutely. Many times at many other places. Will I go back to Five Guys? Absolutely.

                                                    1. re: ferret

                                                      Enjoy the blandness and high prices while the owner laughs to the bank on your dime LOL

                                                    2. re: fourunder

                                                      Because all fast food and restaurants in general use processed vegetable oil of some sort. These are man made chemical processed oils not natural to nature. Peanut oil is way too expensive for a fast food joint to use. I'm sure they are a blend and not pure.
                                                      Only way to eat healthy fried foods is with natural leaf lard. Nature made it and nature never lies.

                                                      1. re: HUNGRYMAN8

                                                        Then this is your big opportunity to expose them. Their website claims 100% peanut oil. The cartons of oil in their stores say "100% peanut oil" but if you know different then file suit and prove your case.

                                                        1. re: ferret

                                                          They are not worth my time. Eventually their customer base will shrink and 5 guys will quietly fade away.
                                                          The terrible tasting food and high cost will alone do them in....

                                                        2. re: HUNGRYMAN8

                                                          In this particular case ...you are wrong.

                                                2. I'm no fan of 5G, but don't hate them either. Quality varies greatly between stores. Overall, they don't compare well to Hardee's, but are better than McD by light years, I think.

                                                  1 Reply
                                                  1. re: sal_acid

                                                    I can make the exact same tasting food at home for much less money and no effort. Bland is easy to replicate.

                                                  2. Thank you for your opinion.

                                                    1. The way 5G's serves their food makes no sense.

                                                      1. You toast the bun but then wrap the burger in metal foil so that the bun gets steamed and turns soggy.

                                                      2. The fries come out of the fryer & are immediately put in a plastic cup to start steaming themselves.

                                                      3. On top of the above, you then throw the entire order in a tightly closed bag to further steam everything to mush.

                                                      It's not my job as a customer to run & find a table and then quickly rip open everything in a vain attempt to overcome the inherent stupidity of your serving process.

                                                      2 Replies
                                                      1. re: cavandre

                                                        It don't matter how they prep the low grade food. Their ingredients are awful any way you deliver it. So changing their presentation - is as useless as putting windshield wipers on a goat's ass.

                                                        1. re: HUNGRYMAN8

                                                          @HUNGRYMAN8 ("...changing their presentation - is as useless as putting windshield wipers on a goat's ass...)

                                                          I just snarfed my tea.

                                                      2. Oh I agree, my husband and I wanted to like it, we've been two or three times... each time since the first we wonder why we bothered giving it another whirl.

                                                        I do like their fries and I like that they have malt vinegar. That's about it.

                                                        4 Replies
                                                        1. re: HUNGRYMAN8

                                                          Now THERE's a man with an agenda.

                                                          "Butter consumption at the turn of the century was eighteen pounds per person per year, and the use of vegetable oils almost nonexistent. Yet cancer and heart disease were rare. Today butter consumption hovers just above four pounds per person per year while vegetable oil consumption has soared–and cancer and heart disease are endemic."

                                                          Life expectancy has increased by over 30 years since 1900. To make any sweeping assumption about diseases at that time is hardly supportable. We are observing, diagnosing, treating and living with, and despite of, disease that killed our recent ancestors in middle age. (average life expectancy for a male in 1900 was under 50).

                                                          1. re: ferret

                                                            Shhhh. Don't try to ruin a good rant with facts.

                                                          2. re: HUNGRYMAN8

                                                            geeze, don't hold back now

                                                            It's absurd to conclude that at the turn of the century (guessing you mean the last, LAST century)heart disease and cancer were low because people ate lots of animal fat. People were more active, didn't blame corn syrup on johnnie's fat ass, instead of their own shitty parenting, did they even classify cancer as cancer back then? Wasn't it called "consumption?" Did lots of folks even make it past their 80's when the heart is simply worn out?

                                                            Coconut oil?! Oh yeah, that's just pressed without any chemical intervention...love me some saturated fat and cholesterol

                                                            Sell your bullshit somewhere else

                                                          3. I go a few times a year. Quality definitely varies by location but the one I patronize doesn't wrap the burgers up if I ask them not to which is nice. It's a tasty burger and better quality than most fast food choices.

                                                            1. We had a good experience with 5 Guts in the Atlanta area and were pleased when they opened one here. That quickly turned to disappointment. I'd rather have Burger King. 5 Guys meat is bland, buns are soggy and so are the fries.

                                                              I am not going back.

                                                              3 Replies
                                                              1. re: Candy

                                                                Like I was told. Let everyone find out for them selves. I will let my comments stand.

                                                                You are have been enlightened to the window dressing.

                                                                1. re: Candy

                                                                  Wow, I like that, "5 Guts" -- no doubt it was a typo, but for me it was thoroughly amusing. Although I have never tried 5 Guys, I do like Burger King. I suppose it takes five separate guts to completely digest the 5 Guts product.

                                                                  1. re: Tripeler

                                                                    Yeah it was a fortunate typo. I just noticed it.