Five Guys makes my list

. . .of places I likely won’t return to. It’s a shame, really, that they have allowed their quality to suffer like this. I stopped for a burger today. When I opened it to add a bit of salt and pepper, I gazed in horror upon a flat, dried out piece of meat that only a McDonalds could be proud of. WTF? I thought.

I scooted to another chair where I could watch the grill, and was again horrified to see the cook grab a stack of pre-formed burgers from under the grill and peel them off. To add abuse to insult, when he flipped the patties, he then mashed them down with what looked like a concrete trowel: I don’t mean a gentle thing, but an all-out assault to insure that whatever juiciness may have remained from forming them into patties in the first place, would be banished from the meat, and the patty rendered into a paper thin burger-like thing that was then allowed to cook into total tastelessness.

Back in the day, when this business was just two holes-in-the-wall in the DC Metro area, with no seating and exposed pipes overhead, you could be assured that the cook would grab a ball of burger out of the fridge, slap it on the grill, allow it to caramelize, then flip it over and mash it gently to brown the other side, then flip once more to finish off the patty. The result was juicy, tasty burgers.

Additionally, they don’t twice-fry the potatoes, which makes for an overdone exterior and a mushy interior.

In conclusion, Five Guys, this is one guy who’s had his last sandwich at your now glittery, smiley, assembly-line franchise that is no better than any other fast-food entity. And you can keep the peanuts, too. :mad:

You should go to their website and restate these complaints. Maybe it’s just the management at this one Five Guys that is screwing up.

Are you sure about that? We had a discussion about this recently, and the best I could find is this source which states:

Then again, lots of fries in independent Chicago burger and hot dog joints are double-fried, and they’re similar to Five Guys fries, although the local ones tend to be creamier on the inside and a good bit more greasy. So it could be a matter of what I’m used to.

I don’t know anything about how they normally make their patties, but, for fast food burgers, I actually prefer the smashing and squishing technique–it makes for a much more caramelized and beefy tasting exterior, because the juices you’re squeezing out brown very nicely. Not something I would do on a grill, though.

Totally not my experience when I visited a Five Guys on a busy night last week in northwest Florida. I second the suggestion to call the franchise quality control folks on this guy’s butt.

I’ve never been a fan.
It’s overpriced and mediocre food.
Perhaps the original is far better but by the time they got to Illinois it must have lost something.
A good parallel is Uno’s pizza chains. The original is quite good, the chain is…something else…

The patties are formed in the morning from fresh beef, they don’t get them shipped in pre-formed. It’s just a lot easier from a prep standpoint to do it that way.

To each, their own, but I’ve had them in multiple locations here in Illinois, and I think they put out an exemplary fast-food burger.

Well that we can agree on :slight_smile:

But I have to say it’s been my experience that in pretty much any town you can find a family run shack called Mickey’s or Jimmy’s or Billy’s or the like and you’ll get a better burger for 1/2 the price.

I love my local 5 guys, one more suggesting it might be a local issue at that store.

It’s been hit-and-miss for me. I did leave a comment card in one that they weren’t giving enough fries for a large order, which I expect to feed me, my wife and 1 kid, and that improved.

And the first Chicago location is great, but other ones haven’t been amazing. They expanded too fast without getting the corporate philosophy successfully infused in each.

Sure, but you gotta know where to go. Five Guys, for me, is a known quantity. I’ve had a disappointing amount of average-to-bad fast-food style burgers here in Chicago and its environs. Now, I’m not saying Five Guys is great, but it’s solid for what it is. It’s not an Edzo’s burger or a Top Notch burger, but it’s better than the burgers at the average corner hot dog/burger/fries joint.

I hope it’s not a nationwide problem–the first one in my area is supposed to open sometime this month. I’ve been sooo looking forward to it. :frowning:

The Five Guys in my suburb of D.C. has turned out some wretched burgers lately. We rarely go there, so I don’t know if these were all flukes, but I wouldn’t recommend our particular branch anymore.

I’ve noticed a trend amongst fast-food places that make good food and end up expanding their operations. At some point they hit a point where they start cutting into the quality of the food, so that tastyness takes a dive. My theory is that at some size point expanding or making the food better to increase sales at existing locations becomes a less effective way to raise profits then cutting back on ingredient quality, staff training, etc. in all locations.

Granted I might just be over-generalizing from local franchises, but I’ve noticed the same progression for several different chains. Most recent example I can think of is Papa Johns, used to be a much better pizza ten years ago.

Or it’s possible your tastes have changed, too, over the years. I never thought Papa John’s was any good, so if it’s really worse now than ten years ago, then :shudder: (Although it’s been about 15 years since I’ve last had it.)

I have to reluctantly agree with the OP. They have started sucking post-expansion, but I also agree that it might be a store-by-store issue. The one I’ve gone to since the old days (corner of King St. & Beauregard) is still good, but the one’s I’ve been to in DC and elsewhere were just shite. The meat didn’t taste as fresh.

The frustrating thing is that it’s a really simple concept, and they still managed to fuck it up. Boo on expansion; I hope all 5 guys DIAF.

Not to hijack, but what is it about Five Guys and slippery floors? I’ve been in 3 different Five Guys and all three have floors that I can barely stand up on. Is it accumulated aerosolized grease or what?

I suppose it could be the franchise, and I did send my complaint to burger central. You have to understand: this thing was like a chunk of shoe leather, and he was making every one of them the same way. If those fries are twice-fried, then they are doing something terribly wrong with the heat of the oil. I was an avid customer in WDC, but that was probably 15 years ago. My recollection of that was that the burgers were terrific and the fries not so much, and for the reasons stated above. Back then, they were practically burnt on the outside. There’s really no excuse for screwing up potatoes when you make so many of them.

When Five Guys opened a location here that was walking distance from work, I gave them three or four tries. The burgers were OK–close to being worth the price, albeit the condiments were in random clumps–but the fries, by the time I walked back to work with my bag of food, were pretty much inedible.

I’m debating about going back to try a hot dog or grilled cheese, but they probably shouldn’t hold their breath waiting for me.

I recently had my first 5 Guys burger in Sandy, UT. It was quite tasty, and they do give you one huge helping of fries, but I wasn’t really paying attention to the cooking protocols. As to the slippery floor issue, I didn’t have any problem during my visit.