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“Our success is based on fresh food and quality, the team's commitment and recommendations of our customers”. Interview with John Eckbert, CEO of Five Guys


Do you want to know the three keys to success of Five Guys? In the UK is the mark of casual dining fastest growing and expanding. Their sales increased 129,29% in the last three years, standing in first place in the ranking of food and beverages in that country. Chefs and celebrities like Heston Blumenthal O Marcus Wareing They have expressed publicly that, when they want to go for a burger, yours eat it happy and your taste in Five Guys.

Following the beginning of another famous cook Julia Child he said "do not have to cook complicated dishes or presumptuous, but good food with fresh ingredients ", Five Guys bases its success in the US and Europe right on the freshness and quality of the components of hamburgers cooking to measure and taste of its customers. The President Barack Obama or singer Adele is also certified!

The brand already present in the food and beverage market in Spain with five establishments. Total, in different countries, has 1.500 restaurants and expansion seems unstoppable.

To speak of Five Guys, We interviewed exclusively to CEO de Five Guys Joint Venture, John Eckbert, who participated as a lecturer in 16Th Congress of #AECOCHoreca to present their case worldwide success and in which he explained his formula:

  • quality and simple menu
  • clean restaurants
  • Team Commitment

QUESTION.- What is the story behind the concept of Five Guys?

ANSWER.- First of all, Five Guys is a family company. We were founded in Arlington, Virginia (U.S) in 1986 by Murrell Family. In fact, They are five brothers, his father and mother, those behind Five Guys. They meet every Tuesday in Virginia to discuss business and future business.

But the main thesis that the family held by founding the company was that if you're going to take your mother to lunch on a Saturday afternoon, How would you do the burger? Of course, you buy the best products, everything would be cool, and also the personalizarías to taste. And these are the principles that have guided Five Guys since its inception.

I think there is two real trends which they have led the success of Five Guys in Spain and across Europe. The first, It is that everything must be fresh. The key number one that people want to know when they eat out, is that your food was prepared fresh way.

And not only everything is prepared in the form -fresh- Five Guys, but also no freezers in our local, so that nothing can be frozen; everything is cooked and served the same day, including bread, which has no preservatives.

Likewise, our potatoes come in bags at the beginning of the day, we wash them, we cut, the we cooked twice in our local. So everything is fresh every day obsessively. And I'm sure this has been part of the key to our success.

We work in open kitchens so that everyone can see how our food It is being prepared fresh way. We have never spent a penny on advertising so it is important to have these open kitchens because it is how we communicate to our audience of customers who prepares everything fresh.

P.- So, How they have managed to communicate their concept, and what role social media plays in this communication and interaction with customers and the general public?

R.- It's interesting because We not invest money in social media. But, if we have people who recommend our food in their social networks. Barack Obama is a big fan of Five Guys. There is a YouTube video of him leaving a meeting in the Oval Office and going to our local Five Guys and bringing your food back to your office.

Likewise, Adele recently interrupted a concert to say: “Ohh.. I really need a burger from Five Guys ". All this helps and contributes. Some have more or less followers than others. But it is certainly the word of mouth the only way someone will know our brand. Social media contributes only when they are friends recommending to friends our burgers using a digital format.

P.- What other aspects should know as key to the success of Five Guys?

R.- Another key is the personalization. We did not cook anything until the customer arrives at our restaurant and order your burger. So, we do exactly as the customer wants. So we have 15 toppings which you can choose and 250 thousand different combinations to do.

Our team is committed to make that burger in the exact way that has been ordered. If a person visits every week Five Guys, would cost 684 years to try all our different combinations of burgers.

The last point would be that, in every restaurant, is the passion of the team that makes the food that matters. We do not have timers, you microonadas, can opener, all is cooked according to specific standards, so we bring that passion and energy to every local Five Guys to make that burger the way the customer ordered.

We pass covertly review -mystery shopping- twice a week in each local. We send someone -mystery shopper- to review the performance of each place with a questionnaire 150 points and then incentives and compensation paid to the best team resulting in the process.

The money invested in advertising brands we invest in the quality of our products and our team to make sure they offer a great experience when the customer is going to eat at our restaurants.

P.- He noted that the idea is to make the Five Guys in Spain are a true Spanish company. Is that a postulate to ensure its success here, in a market where it already coexist many brands of local and foreign burgers?

R.- From the beginning, our expectation is that Five Guys image and behave like a Spanish company. We name a great leader for our team Daniel Agromayor, who has built a wonderful Spanish team around him. And of course we behave like a Spanish company.

We see our growth in Spain, and our success here a lot as a dialogue with the Spanish. open the restaurant Gran Vía without any expectation. We wanted to offer our burgers and fries and watch as was the response of the Spanish. And it was extraordinary to see how we were warmly welcomed.

This makes sense because Spaniards love good food. And they love to share good food, connecting eat together. And that has been the dialogue Five Guys has had with Spain. And we have done so well that we are very encouraged by what has been the outcome of this dialogue.

It is a conversation in progress. open the local Plaza Mayor in Madrid Just on Monday 28 of May, we open Zaragoza Monday 4 of June, and there are many other places that we want to open, and listen to the people on social networks tell us please come and open a restaurant in my city. We have found a lot of enthusiasm in different cities and are very eager to respond to this dialogue.

About the Author

Article by the editorial team of DiegoCoquillat.com. It has professionals both in the field of hospitality, gastronomy and tourism, and new technologies and innovation.


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