Five Guys launches Lotus Biscoff milkshake in UK

September 17, 2020

Five Guys has announced the addition of a brand new milkshake to its menu… and we’re already drooling.

Ever since its launch in the UK in 2013, Five Guys has made a name for itself among the heavy hitters in the fast food industry.

 
While the franchise is best-known for its burgers, which are bought for a set price with any number of free toppings customers would like, Five Guys is also famed for its wide variety of milkshake options, with flavours including strawberry, Oreo cookie pieces, salted caramel and bacon.

On Tuesday 15 September, the restaurant revealed that a new flavour had been added to the mix in the UK – the Lotus Biscoff shake, made – as the name makes abundantly clear – from Lotus Biscoff biscuits.

Related: Food Franchises – Search Franchise Reviews Directory

The news was announced by Five Guys and Lotus Biscoff on social media, much to the excitement of consumers.

“Willing to drive five hours to my nearest Five Guys just to try this,” one Twitter user said.

“Oh, my life! That sounds amazing,” someone else said on Instagram.

Related: Five Guys Franchise

The indulgent milkshake is now available in all branches across the UK for £5.50.

In May, it was reported that Asda had begun selling Lotus Biscoff ice cream with brownie pieces inside for £3 a tub.

Several Instagram users responded with delight to the news, with one person stating: “Holy mother of God,” and another writing: “This is definitely an essential.”

By Sabrina Barr 

Source: Independent

Five Guys launches new milkshake flavours (and you can get them delivered)

July 15, 2020

Five Guys has launched three new desert milkshakes ahead of the summer holidays.

 
Swindon’s Outlet restaurant reopened two weeks ago after closing due to coronavirus but the business has not slowed down with its new offerings.

Related: Food Franchises – Search Franchise Reviews Directory

Banoffee Pie, Millionaire Shortbread and Strawberry Cheesecakes have followed the Gingerbread milkshakes the burger chain introduced last October.

The new milkshakes are only the third new addition to the menu since the franchise launched in the UK in 2013.

Related: Five Guys Franchise

Each milkshake costs £5.50 and is available on Deliveroo and all of the components, including Oreos and salted caramel, are available to mix-and-match.

By Connor Mountford

Source: Swindon Advertiser

How Five Guys conquered the UK burger market

September 23, 2019

When Five Guys was preparing to open its first UK restaurant in Covent Garden in 2013, it seemed to be facing an uphill battle.

Despite trading from over 1,000 restaurants in the US and Canada, the brand was lesser known in the UK. London’s ‘better burger’ market was booming, with the likes of Byron and Gourmet Burger Kitchen on the expansion trail, and the team was uncertain if there was appetite for another burger chain.

 
“I remember standing in the restaurant with no idea if anyone was going to show up,” says John Eckbert, Five Guys’ Florida-born UK CEO. “We don’t advertise, so I kept thinking, is anyone going to care about a new American brand?”

Adding to the pressure was Shake Shack, the New York-based burger chain created by hospitality entrepreneur Danny Meyer, which was set to make its own London debut just 24 hours later.

Related: Fast Food Franchises in the UK – 10 Things Every Would-Be Franchisee Must Know

But Eckbert’s fears were unfounded. When Five Guys opened on 4 July 2013 the first customer showed up at 4am, and there was soon a queue around the block. It quickly became the number one Five Guys in the world.

Not just phoning it in

Launched in 1986 by Jerry and Janie Murrell and their sons – the original ‘five guys’ – in Arlington, Virginia, the chain now has over 1,500 restaurants worldwide. The UK business is backed by Carphone Warehouse mogul Sir Charles Dunstone, who believed it could thrive on a struggling high street. So far, his hunch has paid off.

Six years since its arrival, Five Guys’ red and white branding has become almost as ubiquitous as Pret a Manger in some parts of London. The Covent Garden restaurant has been so successful that sites have opened all around it in Charing Cross, Oxford Circus, Piccadilly and Tottenham Court Road.

While Shake Shack has cautiously expanded to nine London restaurants and one in Cardiff, Five Guys has steamed ahead to 99 nationwide locations and will break the 100 mark by 2020. It initially expected to open 10 stores this year, but Eckbert says it could reach twice that.

Related: Food Franchises – Search Franchise Reviews Directory

“We’re confident enough to go at a faster flow, but we don’t want to be on every street corner,” he says.

The cost of opening so many sites has not come cheap. The company posted a pre-tax loss of £3.9m​ in the year to 31 December 2018, but operating profit rose to £5.8m in the UK. Eckbert describes the UK business as ‘essentially self-funding’. A £100m bank facility from Goldman Sachs, secured last year, is largely being used to support wider European expansion in to Germany, France and Spain.

“If you see same store sales falling maybe you’ve grown too fast,” he says. “Right now, we’re seeing meaningful like for like sales in our restaurants. Our oldest sites are growing quite robustly. To me that is a real indication of the health of the brand and encouraging that we’re doing the right thing.”

Challenges to growth

This burst of activity has come amid a malaise settling across parts of the UK casual dining market. Byron, a former sector success story, was sold to private equity firm Hutton Collins​ the same year Five Guys debuted in London but has since shuttered sites and is undergoing a rebrand. GBK and northern-based Handmade Burger Co have similarly closed several restaurants.

Related: Five Guys Franchise

So why has Five Guys excelled where others have failed? Unconventionally for a fast food brand it has no freezers in its kitchens, litters stores with sacks of free peanuts for customers and doesn’t advertise. Eckbert says the best marketing strategy is a ‘happy customer’, and the Murell philosophy is to redirect ad budget in to sourcing ingredients. He claims less than 1% of beef in the UK meets the brand’s standards, which specifies meat must be grain fed, and fries are hand-cut in-store every day. Then there’s the price. A regular-sized burger starts at £6.75 but is customisable with 15 free toppings.

“What Pret did for fresh sandwiches Five Guys has done for burgers,” says Eckbert. “The idea you can have a burger made exactly the way you want it is very American, but it’s becoming more important in the UK, particularly to millennials. We have 15 free toppings, so that’s 250,000 different combinations, but also 249,999 wrong ways to make your sandwich.”

Eckbert is keen to play up Five Guys’ family-owned credentials and says this is partly why it has avoided the decline which has hit several restaurant chains backed by investment funds.

“We have a very different time frame to some of our competitors,” explains Eckbert. “If you’re owned by private equity you have a specific window to build, grow and sell, but we’re not constrained by that. Our objective is to build a business for the long term.”

He adds that Five Guys has not had it easy in the UK. “Essentially every aspect of the business has been challenged, from rate increases on property, rising minimum wage and currency pressures. But we seem to have gathered strength amid headwinds that have caught out other brands in the space.”

One obstacle in reaching 100 restaurants has not been finding sites, but enough staff to run them. “That was a big hurdle at the outset and still is today,” says Eckbert. “Our restaurants are only as good as our in-store leadership.” The company is working on developing its future managers, and each store is mystery shopped twice a week. Five Guys says it pays out approximately £3.1m in incentives and rewards to staff in the best-performing sites each year.

American invasion

Since Five Guys landed seven years ago numerous other North American burger players have crossed the pond, but not all have lasted. Both Steak n Shake​ (over 500 US sites) and BurgerFi (around 100) have exited the UK​ less than three years after arriving. Smashburger opened in Milton Keynes in 2016​ boasting plans to launch 35 sites, and has so far reached seven, while Fatburger initially said it was targeting 15 restaurants when it landed on these shore but has launched just two since 2015.

Even more US brands have arrived this year, with movie star Mark Walhberg’s Wahlburgers, Eggslut, Halal Guys and soon New York’s Sweet Chick hoping for a cut of the market. Eckbert believes many North American chains see the UK as a “friendly” launchpad to global expansion, as was the case with Five Guys, but points to the mixed success rate as a cautionary tale.

“It’s a risk to treat the UK as the 51​ state in terms of expansion, without taking the time or effort to understand the market,” he says.

“There is a lot of pride and some arrogance mixed in there that is not helpful. Every aspect of the business has meaningful differences, if you think it will be the same or easy, you’ll be surprised.”

Growth plans

Going forwards, Five Guys is looking at growth beyond its high street sites. Delivery was not initially on the company radar due to a perception by the Murrells that it was associated with cheaper, lower-quality food in the US, but Eckbert says it is now a small but “increasingly important part of the business” and one he believes will “outpace the growth of the overall restaurant industry” going forwards.

Five Guys’ partnership with Deliveroo also led to the introduction of a breakfast menu​ in student-heavy Bristol earlier this year. Available from 8am-11am, the range includes coffee, orange juice and burger buns with a combination of egg, cheese and bacon fillings priced from £3.95 to £6.45. Breakfast was previously trialled in a handful of UK locations a few years ago, but Eckbert says it could be rolled out to further sites in future.

“It is a narrower offer so I don’t think we’ve completely nailed the breakfast menu that Five Guys could do, but interestingly we end up selling a surprising number of burgers in the morning,” he says. “We have some great locations where we could definitely pull some breakfast customers in to the store.”

He will also not rule out Five Guys taking a spot in a Deliveroo Editions ‘dark kitchen’ and has seen opportunities to expand in to transport hubs under franchise but has resisted both over concerns around controlling kitchen standards. Five Guys’ site at Paris’ Gare du Nord – another location serving breakfast – has been “blowing the doors off”, according to Eckbert, who still believes transport hubs can be a “great opportunity” for the brand. 

The future

So just how big can Five Guys get? Eckbert insists the company is not looking to ‘take over the world’, but how about the UK? He quotes a Savanta BrandVue survey of 4,711 people conducted between February and July this year that hints the chain is not even halfway towards its ambition.

“About 45% of the UK is familiar with Five Guys, and only a fraction of those have even gone in to a store,” says Eckbert. “We know there’s a massive opportunity for the UK to discover us. How big that can be I don’t know. I do know we’ll keep opening stores and feeding hungry customers. If we keep doing that, I think we’ll be alright.”

By Sophie Witts

Source: Big Hospitality

Five Guys plans 10-15 further UK restaurants by 2020

July 7, 2019

US Burger chain Five Guys is planning to open a further 10-15 restaurants in the UK this year, despite posting a pre-tax loss for 2018.

Recent filings on Companies House for Five Guys JV Ltd, the operating company for its UK restaurants, show the group recorded a loss of £3.9m in the 12 months to 31 December 2018, compared to a £3m loss in 2017.

 
But operating profit rose to £5.8m, up from £5.1m the previous year.

Five Guys had a total of 88 UK restaurants at the end of 2018. Two sites have closed so far in 2019, but the company says it is planning further growth after securing a £100m bank facility from Goldman Sachs to aid UK and European expansion last year.

Related: Fast Food Franchises in the UK – 10 Things Every Would-Be Franchisee Must Know

Writing in the accounts Five Guys UK CEO John Eckbert says the directors believe there are “strong growth prospects in the premium burger market and intend to continue the rapid roll out of Five Guys in the UK”.

He adds that delivery is proving an “exciting new revenue stream” helping the brand reach new customers.

Related: Food Franchises – Search Franchise Reviews Directory

Five Guys was founded in Virginia, US in 1986 and made its UK debut in Covent Garden in 2013​ as a joint venture with Sir Charles Dunstone, the British founder of mobile phone retailer Carphone Warehouse.

Its UK expansion has been rapid compared to its other US counterparts. Danny Meyer’s Shake Shack also opened in Covent Garden in 2013​ but has grown to just 10 sites. Smashburger, founded in Colorado in 2007, launched in the UK in 2016 and now operates seven restaurants.

Related: Five Guys Franchise

Actor Mark Wahlburg’s Wahlburger’s chain opened in London this year and is planning 15 sites in the next five years.

By Sophie Witts

Source: Big Hospitality

Popular US burger chain Five Guys to expand internationally – with Australia rumoured to be next

June 12, 2019
  • Five Guys has announced its official plans to open an outlet in Singapore
  • The US franchise will further expand in Asia between October and December
  • The burger brand will be brought in by the Zouk Group as part of expansion plans

Popular US burger chain Five Guys has announced it will further expand internationally, with official plans to open an outlet in Singapore.

Famous for its made-to-order burgers with 15 free toppings to choose from, the American franchise is set to roll out the new burger joint between October and December after opening its first Asia-Pacific outlet in Hong Kong last year.

Rumours are also swirling that the franchise will open in Australia.

Related: Fast Food Franchises in the UK – 10 Things Every Would-Be Franchisee Must Know

The cult burger brand will be brought in to Singapore by the Zouk Group as part of expansion plans.

‘Today, the Zouk Group takes its first big step towards diversifying our F&B offerings as we welcome Five Guys to Singapore,’ CEO of Zouk Group Andrew Li said in a statement.

‘We have been very cautious when it comes to curating our lifestyle portfolio, in the sense that the brands we take on must share a similar synergy with the Zouk brand.

‘Five Guys, quite simply, ticks all the boxes – customer-centric, true to its vision and a commitment to providing only the best.’

President and CEO of Five Guys International said: ‘We are delighted to be working with Zouk Group as we continue the Five Guys expansion in Asia-Pacific.’

It’s not known whether the American chain will head Down Under – but foodies have long been rallying to bring the outlet to Australia.

Related: Food Franchises – Search Franchise Reviews Directory

Daily Mail Australia has contacted Five Guys for comment.

Five Guys is just one of many US burger chains with a cult following in Australia.

The popular American franchise will begin to roll out the burger joint between October and December after opening its first Asia-Pacific outlet in Hong Kong last year

The popular American franchise will begin to roll out the burger joint between October and December after opening its first Asia-Pacific outlet in Hong Kong last year.

In recent years, In-N-Out Burger has been teasing foodies with its one day pop up stalls around Sydney.

But in 2016, the popular American fast food giant confirmed it will never open a permanent outlet Down Under.

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‘We do these pop-ups in various countries to get our name out there and familiarise people with the brand so they know about us when they visit the US,’ an In-N-Out Burger spokeswoman previously told Nine News.

‘This pop up is no indication that we are going to open a store in Australia. We are a family owned business and we only operate in six (US) states right now and all the produce we use needs to be delivered fresh from our distributors.

‘We have been approached by other areas regarding franchises but it’s just not something we would do.’

By CINDY TRAN FOR DAILY MAIL AUSTRALIA

Source: Daily Mail

Five Guys near The Forbidden City? The homegrown burger chain looks east.

May 10, 2019

Five Guys Burgers and Fries appears to be ready for mainland China.

The Greater Washington-born burger chain is preparing to open a location this year in a high-end mall in the Xidan commercial district of Beijing, according to The Beijinger, an English-language site covering China’s second-largest city. The location would be just less than 3 miles from The Forbidden City.

Related: Fast Food Franchises in the UK – 10 Things Every Would-Be Franchisee Must Know

We’ve reached out to Five Guys’ corporate office in Lorton for confirmation and will update this space when we hear back.

It would be the chain’s second franchise location in China. The first opened last year in Hong Kong, which is a special administrative district of the world’s most populous country and has separate economic and governing systems from the mainland.

Five Guys currently counts nearly 1,600 locations around the globe and it posted $1.7 billion in systemwide sales in 2017. Last year, the burger chain opened franchises in Oman, Belgium, Bahrain, Italy, Luxembourg and Switzerland, in addition to Hong Kong.

The restaurant was founded in Arlington in 1986 and started franchising locations in 2003. It opened its first European location in the United Kingdom in 2013. It was named the U.K.’s most popular fast-food chain in 2016 and 2018.

Related: Food Franchises – Search Franchise Reviews Directory

The international rollout has been swift, but it hasn’t always been smooth. Last year, city officials in Amsterdam refused to give Five Guys a license to open in the city’s center because the restaurant concept ran against the area’s zoning plan. The largest city in the Netherlands has been looking to reduce the number of fast-food restaurants, and Five Guys was a textbook example. The chain has nine locations elsewhere in the Netherlands.

Founder Jerry Murrell told Washingtonian in 2016 he was originally reluctant to open locations abroad, fearing it might hamper the quality of the product.

Ultimately, Five Guys didn’t have to change a thing on its original menu. “The product over there is just like here,” Murrell told Washingtonian.

Related: Five Guys Franchise

To maintain the quality established at his original restaurants, Murrell has held onto many of his original suppliers as the chain has pushed overseas.

By Drew Hansen

Source: Biz Journals

Peterborough’s Five Guys restaurant opening date revealed

April 10, 2019

The opening date for a new Five Guys restaurant – the recently announced addition to the Peterborough city centre eating out scene – can be revealed today.

The fast-growing burger and fries franchise is currently taking shape, hidden from view, in the former Chimichanga Tex-Mex restaurant premises in Church Street, overlooking St John’s Square, where doors and windows are blocked out by promotional material.

Creating 25 jobs, recruitment is already underway for the 70-seat restaurant which will open on June 3 – the latest for the brand which only launched in the UK in 2013.

Related: Fast Food Franchises in the UK – 10 Things Every Would-Be Franchisee Must Know

Five Guys prides itself on using the freshest ingredients, and customers can find out which local farm the beef and potatoes have come from by checking out the restaurant’s notice board.There are 250,000 possible combinations to order your burger at Five Guys as well as over 1,000 possible ways to customise your milkshake.

News of the opening follows a number of recent developments – an as-yet unnamed franchise grill restaurant is planned for the the other side of St John’s Square on Exchange Street, Italian restaurant Flame will open this month on Broadway, replacing Samba Brazil, and this week it was revealed a lavish tapas, cocktails and shisha bar – called Forty Two – will open in May, also in Broadway.

By BRAD BARNES

Source: Peterborough Today