Customer Experience Makes Five Guys the Top Ranked Burger in the US

<This is my post which originally appeared on>

Burgers are a big business in America. Half of Americans have a burger once a week. Which means that in over a year we’ll down over 13 billion burgers nationally. This is a $40 billion dollar business, and fresh consumer research suggests that a great customer experience — and a tasty burger with free peanuts — can trump more established brands. Five guys has done this with and advertising budget of zero. Another case of brands that demonstrate value before claiming it.

In a survey of 7,600 consumers, Market Force Information, a Boulder, Colorado-based market research company, found that Five Guys Famous Burgers and Fries is the most preferred burger chain (quick  service restaurant) in the US.

Favorite Burger Chains

The upstart brand was the top chain across all five U.S. regions, receiving the highest marks across all major service attributes measured, except value. And that’s exactly the recipe to support value pricing, to the victor belong the spoils of high margin.

Favorite Burger Attributes

Janet Eden-Harris at Market Force noted in the study, “Five Guys does zero advertising but by delivering consistently great customer experience, they’re able to build a word-of-mouth buzz that continues to bring new customers through the door.”

And though Five Guys started as a family run burger restaurant in Washington DC, it now has a reported 1,000+ franchises around the US. So, building the kind of quality and culture to gain this standing is a sign of a real commitment.

Delivering a Shared Passion
From the time you enter a Five Guys their intent is clear – to make the burger you’re about to order be the best you’ve ever had. That’s why their press clips immodestly encircle the restaurant. It’s a value claim that everything inside those walls is for.

Five Guys Burgers

Every company has the chance to have a shared passion with their audience; Five Guys wants burger fanatics. They’ll provide free peanuts, free sandwich toppings resulting in 250,000 different choices to make your idea meal.

Unlike most of the other quick serve restaurants in the survey, Five Guys puts their kitchen right in plain view. You can watch your burger being made to order. Stores aren’t allowed to have freezers, which means all burgers are made with fresh beef.

Five Guys Burgers

Food portions get “over delivered” with a third more fries in every container than they can hold, so the bags holding your meal are stained with peanut oil before they get to the table.

Cultivating the Right Culture
Newt Barrett over at Content Marketing Today singled out the Five Guys customer experience for their use of secret shoppers. Rather than focusing on deficiencies, their secret shopper program is all about amping up success, and making sure their staff have fantastic in-person customer exchanges.

That’s because of a company-wide imperative on creating fanatic repeat customers. The kind of customers who will download desktop wallpaper for their PC, or buy and wear branded merchandise through the Five Guys website. And you can see this support on in-store bulletin boards, and an active Facebook community with over 825,000 participants.

Loyalty Trumps Share of Voice
And, may I mention for the third time, this loyalty and growth is based on the food and experience customers enjoy inside restaurants, not paid media. Five Guys knows that what it takes to be remarkable in the burger industry is raving fans. So along with burgers and hot dogs and fries, fanatic customers are really what Five Guys is in the business of making.

West Coast favorite In-N-Out Burger, which also is known for its passionate fans and strong customer word-of-mouth, ranked second among consumers. Fuddruckers, A&W and Smashburger completed the top five. Of the restaurants that were studied, McDonald’s ranked at the bottom for  food quality / taste and A&W ranked last in the remaining categories, including friendly service, value, cleanliness and  atmosphere.

Raving fans are earned, and with them come all the benefits of loyalty and word of mouth. The companies at the top of Market Force’s research have the advantage of consumer preference. And in the Age of the Customer, that’s a return on investment that ad dollars just can’t buy.

31 Responses to "Customer Experience Makes Five Guys the Top Ranked Burger in the US"

  • nate

    September 24, 2013

    i lyk

  • Vida Equilibrada

    August 23, 2017

    Estratégia muito boa!

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    August 17, 2019

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  • click

    November 30, 2020

    Word of mouth is still the best advertising method because it conveys personal experience which makes people curious and try it out.

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    January 8, 2021

    It’s so true. Thanks for this and the five guys.

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    January 11, 2021

    They are the best people you’ll be happy to meet in your life!

  • Claire

    January 11, 2021

    I’m so happy that they are acknowledged for how good their customer service is.


    February 26, 2021

    Thanks so much for this post! Really awesome.

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    March 13, 2021

    Thank you for posting this!

  • Biohazard

    April 11, 2021

    Wow, would love to try this!

  • Thank you for sharing this!

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    May 27, 2021

    I wish I could taste the burgers and fries of five guys! Congratulations!

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    June 6, 2021

    Five guys is honestly the best! I love them so much.

  • Minda Dy

    September 13, 2021

    This is impressive!

  • Madison Wilson

    September 13, 2021

    Five Guys knows that what it takes to be remarkable in the burger industry is raving fans.

  • Adam Scott

    September 23, 2021

    Every company has the chance to have a shared passion with their audience; Five Guys wants burger fanatics. Very interesting topic! Thank you for sharing this. I really appreciate it. Bathroom Remodel Anchorage

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    September 23, 2021

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    October 5, 2021

    Thanks for taking the time in sharing this post here.


    October 5, 2021

    This is awesome!


    October 6, 2021

    Really informative!

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    October 23, 2021

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    November 17, 2021

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    December 4, 2021

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    December 6, 2021

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    December 25, 2021

    Great work! Thank you.

  • This is awesome, thanks for the share.

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