Five Guys founder Jerry Murrell’s mother always told him, “If you can give a good haircut or if you can serve a good drink at a bar or if you can serve a good hamburger, you can always make money in America.”
Five Guys has been a Washington, DC area favorite since 1986 when Jerry and Janie Murrell offered sage advice to their four sons:”Start a business or go to college.” The business route won and the Murrell family opened a carry-out burger joint in Arlington Virginia.
Under the guidance of Jerry and Janie the Murrell family served only hand-formed burgers cooked to perfection on a grill along with fresh-cut fries cooked in pure peanut oil.
During the 1980’s and 1990’s the Murrell family perfected their simple system. Five Guys was “the place” to get a fresh, juicy burger with all the toppings you could stuff between fresh-baked buns. A fifth brother was born and, as their family grew, so did their business. Four more restaurants with sit-down seating were added to accommodate the growing clientele.
Early in 2003, Jerry and Janie, together with the “Five Guys,” began offering franchise opportunities. In just under 18 months, Five Guys Enterprises sold options for more than 300 units. The overwhelming success of franchising a local restaurant made national news, with articles in trade publications such as Nation’s Restaurant News, Restaurant Business Magazine and the Franchise Times.
Now, 30 years after Five Guys first opened, there are almost 1,500 locations worldwide and another 1,500 units in development. Five Guys continues to receive generous media attention and has grown a cult-like following around the world.