Former Chef Explains Five Guys’ “Outrageous” Pricing

As consumer discontent grows over rising meal costs, former chef Andrew Zimmern sheds light on why Five Guys Burgers and Fries might not be your cheapest fast-food option. Positioned as a premium fast-food restaurant, Five Guys has long been recognized for its higher price point compared to its competitors.

The Cost of Quality and Freshness

Five Guys prides itself on using high-quality, fresh ingredients. Unlike many other fast-food chains that opt for frozen goods, Five Guys uses freshly ground beef and fries cut from fresh potatoes every day. These are fried in pricey peanut oil, which not only gives a better flavor but is also considered healthier. This emphasis on quality contributes to the higher cost of their meals.

Comprehensive Service and Free Toppings

What sets Five Guys apart is its commitment to customization and service. The company offers a wide range of toppings, which, unlike at many other fast-food outlets, come at no additional cost. Zimmern notes, “While the burgers might cost more, any extras such as ketchup or pickles are included in the initial price, so there aren’t any extra charges for more toppings.” This approach enhances the customer experience but also adds to the overall operational costs.

Economic Challenges

The rising prices at Five Guys can also be attributed to broader economic factors. Zimmern explains that soaring meat costs, driven by reduced cattle numbers and increased feed prices, significantly impact the cost of ingredients. “The American Farm Bureau Federation is predicting that Americans may see the highest beef prices ever this year due to the lowest number of cattle in seven decades,” he highlights.

Furthermore, Zimmern discusses the importance of a fair wage for staff, which also contributes to higher prices: “I have been very noisy over the last few years over the fact that service and restaurant companies…has to start selling food and charging a price sufficient to keep their company in business, pay their employees a fair wage, give them fair benefits and operate as a real business.”

Customer Reactions

Despite the justifications, some customers express their dismay on social media. One customer recently shared a receipt totaling $24.10 for a single meal, sparking further discussion online. Another customer commented, “Given the price of bacon and beef if you’re paying less than ~ $12 for a burger you probably really shouldn’t eat it,” suggesting that higher prices can indeed be indicative of better quality.

Five Guys continues to navigate the fine line between maintaining quality and managing customer expectations in terms of pricing. As costs continue to climb, the dialogue between the value of quality and the impact of price increases is more pertinent than ever.

3 thoughts on “Former Chef Explains Five Guys’ “Outrageous” Pricing

  • April 15, 2024 at 5:38 pm

    If you’re not paying at last $ 12 for a burger, you probably shouldn’t be eating it ? Oh please stop it, that is the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard. However did a meal at 5 Guys ever be around $ 10 ? Quality of meat is laughable it’s ground chuck FCOL. The same meat you’ve been eating for decades. The price increase is nothing more than post pandemic Bidenomics of BS. Gouging is gouging. This is a cost of labor increase & not raw materials thing pure & simple. Just a decade back, a group from work would go to 5 Guys, that was the burger meal of the Obama-Biden era that was $ 5. Then as if it went out of vogue, our little group stopped frequenting 5 Guys. I probably was the last remaining holdout, I walked over to the fast food restaurant as it was in walking distance. The others, they drove somewhere else for their lunch.

    It’s like the Sonny’s Big Deal combo sandwich meal. There was a day that was $ 4.99. It’s closer to $ 12-16 today. The $ 16 is to add a $ 3.99 3rd side of whatever the combo deal didn’t include. End of the day there, would saying that someone shouldn’t be eating BBQ unless it cost them closer to $ 20 for the exact same quality of pork & fries that you paid for when it was $ 4.99 make any sense. Increased labor costs, gouging on raw materials to cook is just absurd to assert from a standpoint of food quality for a faster food restaurant chain.

    It’s even more absurd, when the chain replaces labor with self service order & pay. They barely clean the restaurants with paid labor. Most of these fast food chains are on an honor system for patrons to throw their garbage into the receptacles, and we’ve all seen those that won;t even take a plastic tray & garbage from their booth or counter chair in those places. Like others have said in similar articles, the sauces become rationed nonsense, even when paying $ 12 for a burger. America has become the land of fast food stupidity. The Biden-Harris era has become this inflationary monster of fraud, deceit & lies to charge more for less, & the nerve to call it better service even.

    • April 18, 2024 at 4:41 pm

      You mentioned Biden twice, once blaming him for the high prices and then citing him for being responsible for $5 burgers. Are you okay?

  • April 16, 2024 at 5:01 pm

    Five guys has THE BEST burgers!! I am ok with paying for quality products because it means I’m spending my $ in a smart way. I really enjoy eating at Five Guys from the first bite to the last it’s always delicious!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *