Five Guys Famous Burgers and Fries is a 120-unit chain that is based out of Lorton, Virginia.  They have developed a great reputation for fresh burgers (nothing kept frozen) and fresh-cut fries.  There are 8 locations total in Henrico, Richmond, Chesterfield, and Mechanicsville.

Yesterday, Nation’s Restaurant News did an "Operational Spotlight" on the chain to highlight how they keep their health standards high.  A lot of it had to do with the open kitchen (no hiding anything) and the risks inherent in using only fresh ground beef.

I especially liked this quote, and I think that all businesses can benefit from the wisdom:

In fact, if a customer notices something awry in terms of food
safety and cleanliness, they are encouraged to speak up. "We really
look to our customers to be our first line of defense," says
Chamberlain. There are signs posted prominently listing the number to
call for customer comments.

This is not a new practice, but the sincerity behind it goes a long ways towards making it work the way it is supposed to.  The signs for this aren’t hidden in a corner of the drive-thru window.  They are hard to miss, in fact.

We all ask for feedback (or at least we all SHOULD be), but how many of us are brave enough to ask for customers to call us when they notice a problem.  I know there are some that do, but we need to be sure to ask for it — criticism and all.

In light of that — please give me feedback, especially if you see me missing something, or screwing something up (but be gentle!).


One Thought on “Lessons from “Five Guys””

  • Of course, not everyone is thrilled about other aspects of the “Five Guys” concept. — see
    Main complaints from the post:
    -simplistic decor
    -grossly overportioned
    -hardly any menu variety
    -unhealthy food
    -unhappy employees
    (I would add high prices to the list.)
    I can’t say that I agree or disagree with all of unKnown’s points, but at the same time, the market speaks volumes and the success celebrated by Five Guys says a lot about what the market wants.

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