Five Guys is the quintessential American burger joint, with a history that dates back almost as long as burger restaurants have existed. It all started in 1980 when brothers Carl and Jack Welch opened their first fast-food burger stand in Wakefield, Maine. The brothers had a simple mission at the time: to provide excellent customer service at a fair price. The concept stuck, and the two brothers have never looked back. Today, Five Guys has more than 800 restaurants throughout the U.S. and abroad. The story at Five Guys is a family affair. Carl and Jack’s sons, Kevin and Brian, currently own the business together, and Carl’s grandson, Nick, works there as a manager. Carl has also given his sons the ability to run the business their way, with the support of loyal staff and a passionate community of customers.
Who Owns Five Guys?
For most of its history, Five Guys was owned by Carl and Jack Welch. In 2014, however, Carl and Jack’s grandsons Kevin and Brian took ownership of the business. After a long legal battle with the Welshes, the restaurant’s original owners, the original Carl and Jack are no longer with us. On December 8, 2014, Carl Welch died of pneumonia.
The Business of Burger-Making
The business of burger-making is actually very simple. The brothers ground beef, cooked it, and topped it with whatever kind of toppings they felt like. They also served it with a side of real, honest-to-goodness American cheese. This was the core of the burger business model: good, honest, quality food at a good price. Since there were only two of them, Carl and Jack had to work hard for those sales. Fortunately for the customer, this meant that the opportunity to get their hands on some of the best ground beef in the world was very limited.
How Carl and Jack Went From Timid Burger Stand Operators to Revolutionaries in Fast Food
Over the years, Carl and Jack’s company has evolved from a modest start to a multi-billion-dollar organization. The brothers’ meteoric rise to success is the stuff of legends. In their own words: “The things we didn’t know about the business, we learned the hard way.”
The Art of Service
A restaurant’s service is one of its most important factors in determining its success. Customers expect great service, and if a restaurant delivers, customers will come back for more. This is especially important for quick-serve restaurants like Five Guys, which do not serve dinner. At a Five Guys, servers are expected to be familiar with the menu and know how to appropriately fulfill each customer’s order. Though Carl and Jack were both successful businessmen, Carl was not as interpersonal or detailed-oriented as his son, Brian. As such, Carl’s Memory Lane has been left untapped by his sons, who have focused on building their company and growing their business.
Where You Can Eat – and Drink
As the name suggests, Five Guys specializes in burgers, but the restaurant also offers breakfast, lunch, and dinner. In addition to the standard menu items, each location also offers different specials, including items specific to that location. While most restaurants serve hamburgers, Five Guys also serves up variously-flavored sandwiches, salads, and other dishes. One of the restaurant’s most popular items is the FIVE, a half-pounder with cheese, bacon, fried egg, and ranch dressing.
Over the years, Five Guys has established itself as the go-to spot for outstanding, high-quality, American-style burgers in the United States and abroad. The business is incredibly family-friendly, with large sections for kids, as well as for adults who want a taste of home without having to drive too far. In fact, Five Guys is so family-friendly that it’s willing to let children as young as four eat dinner there. The restaurant even offers birthday celebrations for little tykes. What started out as a simple burger stand has grown into a multi-billion-dollar international organization. The brothers who founded the business remain its guiding lights, but now their sons and grandsons are running the show. The business is very much a family affair, with Carl and Jack’s sons, Kevin and Brian, current owners of the business together, and Carl’s grandson, Nick, working there as a manager. Carl also gave his sons the ability to run the business their way, with the support of loyal staff and a passionate community of customers. Consequently, Five Guys has evolved from a modest start to a multi-billion-dollar organization. The brothers’ meteoric rise to success is the stuff of legends. In their own words: “The things we didn’t know about the business, we learned the hard way.”