When you want a great hamburger, Five Guys is a spot to check out.
There are locations all over the United States, and they are ready to handle any of your lunch or dinner wants and needs.
There are millions of fans of the Five Guys chain and some who eat there weekly, but most will agree that Five Guys can be a bit expensive.
When you step back and take a look at the overall product and what you get for what you pay, you may wonder why the pricing is so expensive.
We have put together a guide that will help you understand where this pricing comes from and whether or not you can do anything about it.
After all, the best meals out are those that are both affordable and great tasting.
Why Is Five Guys So Expensive (Top 10 Reasons)
1. Premium Product
Five Guys is fast food, yet it is considered to be premium fast food.
At one time, fast food was just fast food, but that has changed quite a bit through the years.
Today, fast food is divided into different categories, and some are considered cheap while others are rated as more premium.
The other thing that you will notice changing from one restaurant to another is the quality of the food.
When you are buying cheap fast food, you have to understand that the pricing is lower because the quality is not nearly as good.
At Five Guys, the quality of the meat is at a different level than the quality of the meat at the lower end fast food joints.
For some people, this will not matter, but for others, it makes all the difference.
If you care about only putting better quality food in your mouth, then Five Guys could be a smart choice for your next meal.
Lastly, there is a health factor that is going to separate some fast food joints.
Although a burger and fries are certainly not one of the healthiest lunches on the market, people will assume that the Five Guys meal is healthier because it is better quality food.
Although there is something to be said for consuming fresher ingredients, the fat and calorie content at Five Guys is still relatively high.
Five Guys wants to be a premium fast food company.
They have worked to gain this prestige because of the work that they have put in to become a premium fast food organization.
With all that is done to gain this kind of reputation, one of the components is charging higher prices.
When you charge higher prices, people will associate your product with quality.
The quality of the product is something that should be considered when trying to determine why the Five Guys are so expensive.
2. Image And Branding
Five Guys has worked very hard to improve its image and its branding.
Believe it or not, a lot of what a company can charge for their product depends on how they represent themselves.
If you take two of the same products and brand one properly, it could sell for quite a bit more money than the other.
The image and branding of Five Guys are very sleek, clean, and premium looking.
You can tell by the colors they use that they are looking to bring in higher end clientele that has no issues paying the premium prices for their burgers.
You will also notice the consistency in the Five Guys branding.
Each location uses the same colors and the same setup inside the actual restaurant.
This helps people become comfortable with the chain and want to revisit it time after time.
When you know that a product is going to be the same and that you enjoy that product, you are more likely to give it a try when you go out.
Overall, the image and branding of the Five Guys brand are better than many of the cheaper brands on the market.
This enables them to charge more money for their products, but it also costs more money to maintain.
As you may imagine, the marketing and advertising employees at a brand like Five Guys are well paid and well qualified.
In order to afford the work they do while still allowing plenty of profit at the end of the fiscal year, Five Guys must charge more for its hamburgers.
This is not the only restaurant or product that does this.
In almost every product that we purchase, there is a cost of advertising and marketing that we are paying for.
3. High Cost Of Waste
At a chain like Five Guys, there is a lot of waste in the daily operation.
Typically speaking, fast food restaurants that use fresh ingredients tend to have a lot of waste.
At the end of the day, the fresh food will not carry over into the following day, making it difficult for the restaurants to save on food costs.
Things like lettuce, tomato, and even the cheese used on the Five Guys burgers need to be fresh.
This goes along with the company’s image and mission of offering some of the freshest and best tasting burgers on the market.
Since Five Guys knows that they are going to have a high cost of waste, they must incorporate this into the pricing that they charge for the food they sell.
When you pay for a hamburger, you are also paying for some of the lettuce that they are going to throw out that night.
This really does seem ridiculous, but it’s just the way this entire fast food world works.
Many Five Guys locations will have a general idea of how many customers they might see in a day.
They will follow trends and information based on the history of the restaurant and the numbers they have done through the years.
This information is going to help them predict the exact amount of food that they will need for a busy day at the restaurant.
Certainly, waste is something that all companies want to avoid, not just for the cost but for the principal as well.
However, sometimes there is no way around this, and a company needs to protect itself from the costs associated with food waste.
4. Better Quality Meat
If you have been to a Five Guys, chances are you have noticed that the patty of meat that you get is quite a bit thicker than it is at other fast food restaurants.
In addition to getting a larger patty of meat, the meat is also of higher quality.
Five Guys is very open about the fact that their meat is not organic, but it is only sourced from certain farms where the quality has been known to be good.
They claim that in order to reach their full potential as a company, the only way to do that is to have better quality meat.
If you eat a burger at a restaurant, you know that the meat is going to make all the difference in the way the burger tastes.
Hamburgers with an excellent quality of meat are going to have much better flavor and texture as well.
When you have a McDonald’s hamburger, you will notice that the texture of the meat is a bit different.
This is because of the quality and the way that they make the patties.
Some people don’t mind this taste, and they are fine with the lower quality to keep the pricing down.
However, others recognize that the higher-quality cut of beef makes you feel better and enjoy your meal quite a bit more.
This is going to come down to a matter of preference for many people.
However, there is no question that the better-quality meat that Five Guys offers leads to some higher pricing for the consumer.
5. Fresh Ingredients
In addition to the higher quality meat, Five Guys only uses fresh ingredients as toppings on their hamburgers.
Five Guys offers lots of different toppings that you can add to your burger.
These toppings are going to cost you extra money, but many people justify the expense because of the way the burger will taste with these additions.
The thing about the extra ingredients you pay for is that at least you will know that the ingredients are fresh.
As we mentioned when we talked about the waste that the Five Guys brand has to deal with, every day, the fresh ingredients are restocked to make sure that people are getting what they want.
If you think about it, would you want a tomato on your burger that has been sitting in the kitchen for a few days?
Chances are you would not, and the food is also not going to have the consistency that people expect from Five Guys.
To get that consistency and the premium taste, the ingredients are going to need to be restocked quite often.
Although you will pay for this issue at checkout, it is hard to complain about getting fresh ingredients to eat.
6. Large Portions
If you are really hungry, Five Guys is a great place to go.
This is not one of those high-end restaurants that give you two pieces of shrimp and expects you to be full.
The size of the Five Guys burger is quite large but what will really impress you is the fries.
The number of fries in a small order is certainly enough to split with another person.
Of course, if you really love fries, you may want to keep these to yourself.
However, you won’t be hungry by the time leave Five Guys.
This is a good thing for those who have a busy day ahead of them and know they will burn a lot of calories.
However, others who are not all that hungry may end up having leftovers from the meal that they ordered at Five Guys.
If you can plan for this and bring some of the food home, that is a great thing, but if not, you may find that you waste a good portion of your expensive meal.
The Five Guys brand is known for being generous when it comes to portion sizes.
Some customers find this frustrating and would rather get a cheaper meal with a slightly smaller size.
Others will have an easier time justifying the costs they pay at Five Guys simply because the portion sizes are so large.
When you have a large plate of food in front of you, the amount you spend will hopefully be a bit easier to understand and deal with.
7. Interior Maintenance Of Facility
If you have been to a Five Guys restaurant, you know that they have very clean looking interiors.
The inside of the facility is built to make customers feel comfortable and safe in the environment.
Although this is a takeout restaurant where all food is given as a takeout item, you can choose to sit at one of the tables afterward and eat.
The interior of the facility also allows customers to watch their food being prepared.
This is an excellent concept for those who are worried about proper food preparation and the accuracy of an order.
However, to have a setup like this, the restaurant needs to be even more careful about cleanliness and safety within the facility.
The interior maintenance of the Five Guys calls for quite a bit of upkeep and cleaning costs.
These systems and functions are all really important for those who are eating in the restaurant, but such a system is going to cost more for the end user.
Chances are when you go into most Five Guys locations, you are going to feel as though you are eating at more of a restaurant than a fast food restaurant.
This is a concept that keeps people coming back, even if the pricing is higher.
As we have noticed with many of these fast food restaurants, as long as people keep coming back, the pricing is not going to change.
Customers justify the prices they pay because they are happy with the product they receive, so at the end of the day, they are still going to pay the higher prices.
Five Guys knows that the customers who understand their branding and their quality of product are going to continue to return and look for more options from them.
With this being a nationwide chain, even when people travel, they feel comfortable with the Five Guys brand, and that can only help the company even more.
8. Employee Training
Five Guys employees have to go through a good amount of training before they are ready to start their first full day of work.
The employee training is very rigorous with Five Guys because a quality product is not the same if the customer service is terrible.
Instead of running into potential problems with employees and their ability to handle the job, Five Guys spends quite a bit of time on employee training.
Of course, while employees are being trained, they are also being paid.
In addition, the trainer is being paid at the same time.
This means that payroll costs will be quite high, and a lot less actual work will be getting done than would get done on a normal day.
In addition, employee training programs need to be developed and put together by those who are in charge.
These programs take time and money to develop, and again, they will add to the overhead costs of the business.
With higher overhead costs, you can always expect that the burgers and fries that you get as part of your meal are going to come at a higher price.
Another critical factor to consider with the pricing of Five Guys is the packaging.
As we have mentioned, you can eat inside the Five Guys location if you so choose.
However, even if you are eating in the location, your food is still given to you as if you were ordering takeout.
Each food item is given in a paper bag regardless of where you plan on eating your meal.
Although this keeps things consistent and allows for best operating procedures from Five Guys, it is an additional cost.
Many people wonder what the cost savings would be if Five Guys could find a way to eliminate all the bags they are using and allow people who are eating in the restaurant to use a plate or something.
Chances are the price probably would not change much in the end, but it is certainly something to think about.
All fast food brands try to save money on packaging whenever they can, but it is an expense that is incorporated into what you pay for your food product.
Think about how much packaging is used in a day at a Five Guys and how that could lead to you paying higher prices for your food.
10. Peanut Oil For Frying
Last but certainly not least is the peanut oil that Five Guys uses for frying their food.
If you haven’t noticed when you are at a Five Guys eating, you are able to have peanuts along with your meal.
This is a good option for those who are waiting for their food and need something to snack on.
However, in addition to these peanuts, Five Guys also uses peanut oil for all of the frying that they do in the restaurant.
This may not seem like a big deal, but it actually creates a significant increase in the price of the food that you pay.
Peanut oil is one of the more expensive oils on the market.
If you haven’t seen this, take a look the next time you go to the grocery store.
When you compare canola oil or vegetable oil with peanut oil you will see a significant difference.
Peanut oil is supposed to be a bit better to cook with and can potentially be a cleaner oil as well.
Cleaner oils leave less fats in our food and help make it easier for our bodies to process the meal we have just eaten.
These are essential things to keep in mind when trying to figure out why your Five Guys burger was so expensive.
Hopefully, you can now see why Five Guys is so expensive.
Sometimes understanding the reasoning behind these costs can make you feel a bit better about what you are paying for.
In the end, it comes down to what you feel like eating.
If you love Five Guys and you enjoy the way the meal tastes, don’t worry about the extra money that you have to pay.
The great thing about Five Guys is that you will certainly get plenty of food for the money that you pay, it’s hard to leave the establishment hungry.