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    Success Factors of a Start-Up Company: Five Guys Burgers and Fries

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    When his two oldest sons declared they were not going to college, Jerry Murrell supported their decision. To keep the boys close to home and employed, he and his wife, Janie, used the money intended for their tuition to open a hamburger take-out shop in Arlington, Virginia. From this small beginning, Five Guys and a Burger (named for Murrell's five sons) grew to 570 franchises in the United States and Canada. All the Murrells' sons eventually joined the company, which the family still owns and runs. Very early, Murrell realized that in order to compete with the fast-food chains, Five Guys would have to concentrate on food. All the restaurants feature the same simple, red-and-white-tile decor. The meat for the burger - 80 percent lean - is always fresh, never frozen. Burgers are made to order, with a selection of 15 free toppings including grilled mushrooms, barbecue and hot sauce, and jalapenos. The buns are toasted on a grill, and the fries are thick-cut from Idaho potatoes, cooked in peanut oil. Because Five Guys insists on top-quality ingredients, prices might change according to what the firm has to pay for its ingredients. But regular burgers still only run from $4.69 to $5.99, and little burgers are $3.49 to $5.49. The family tried some experiments that failed, such as serving coffee and a chicken sandwich. Aside from very few kinds of hot dogs, they have stayed with the original burger-and-fries formula that first brought them success.
    The food-industry research firm Technomic named Five Guys the fastest growing chain for a recent year. That same year, the company took in an estimated $570 million - up 50 percent from the previous year. "We figure our best salesman is our customer," Murrell says. "Treat that person right, he'll walk out the door and sell for you."

    1. Determine how Five Guys' philosophy sets it apart from other fast-food chains.
    2. Analyze the original values for the start-up company and how it remains strong today.
    3. Enumerate three (3) factors that contributed to Five Guys' success in such a short time and what effect, if any, external markets had on these factors.
    4. Assess how ethical and social practices are part of the Five Guys' culture and provide examples to support your choices.
    5. Use at least five (5) quality academic resources.

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    Solution Preview

    This outline using your posted questions should get you started. I also included 4 of the 5 references needed. Try to find one about your local area and fast food.

    1. The philosophies of the company are family based and use customer satisfaction to market the company. The customer is treated well and will sell the restaurant and its menu for them. They also attempt to stay with what works. They also remain consistent in their pricing, something people appreciate.

    2. The parents needed to apply the tuition money in a way that helped their sons, even if they did not go to college. To do this they opened a restaurant with the values that make the family. They are competitive by being and offering the best ...

    Solution Summary

    The expert examines success factors of a start-up company for Five Guys Burgers and Fries.