Five Guys is actually a relative newcomer in the fast-food industry, but they sure got to the very top of the industry quickly. Find any list of the best burgers in fast food, and you’ll find Five Guys. Their fries are also so good that they’re practically legends. And the same goes for their milkshakes.
You’d think that Five Guys is perfect, but it’s not. It’s not perfect for everyone, and here’s the proof:
The Prices are Sky-High
If you’re watching your dollars and cents (and who isn’t these days), then you’d be troubled by the prices at Five Guys. Everything is just so darn expensive, and a quick check at the average nationwide prices at the PriceListo website can make you cringe.
A quick comparison with McDonald’s will emphasize just how expensive these Five Guys menu items really are. The Five Guys Little Cheeseburger (with just one patty) will cost you $7.07. But go to McDonald’s, and their cheeseburger will only cost you $1.63. That means you can buy 4 McDonald’s cheese burger with the price of the equivalent burger at Five Guys, and still have some change left.
Go to McDonald’s and get a double cheeseburger ($2.68), French fries ($1.90), vanilla shake ($2.73), and a Coke ($1.17). That totals up to a reasonable $8.48.
Now visit Five Guys and get the equivalent meal. That’s $9.19 for the Cheeseburger (it has 2 patties), Little Fries (the cheapest at $3.94), a milkshake ($5.32), and a Coke bottle ($2.75). That’s a grand total of $21.20.
Maybe someone ought to tell Five Guys that fast food is supposed to be affordable.
You’re Screwed if You Have a Peanut Allergy
They use peanut oil for frying everything at Five Guys. They say because it’s a healthy alternative to the regular oil the other places are using.
But the problem is that quite a few people are allergic to peanuts. Sure, it’s only 1.1% of the general population. That’s still 3 million Americans!
This is probably why they offer fresh peanuts for free to those who are waiting for their food. The food can take a while, given Five Guys’ notoriously meticulous cooking methods. The free peanuts give you something to do for the boredom, plus you get to fill up so you don’t get that hunger-induced anger.
But they also probably do this as a safeguard. If someone refuses the peanuts because they’re allergic, then the folks at Five Guys can then warn them off. There’s nothing for them here at Five Guys except maybe the milkshake, because they use peanut oil to fry everything.
Lack of Options
And that’s another thing, there’s nothing really here for those who like to order other stuff aside from burgers and fries. Sure, there are hotdogs, along with the classic BLT and frilled cheese sandwiches. There are even veggie sandwiches here, with or without cheese.
But seriously, that’s it. No chicken nuggets or chicken sandwiches, no salads, no pies, no Filet-o-Fish. That means if you’re with a large group with diverse favorites, then Five Guys may not accommodate everyone’s preferences.
Not All Locations Offer Milkshake
Seriously, this is a bummer. Lots of people have waxed poetic about the serious goodness of the Five Guys milkshake. You have about 10 mix-ins available, and you can add all or some of them at the same price. The texture is also fantastic, as they’re like soft-serve ice cream.
The main reason for this is the long-standing aversion to freezers that has become a Five Guys tradition. Five Guys don’t use freezers for their patties, potatoes, and add-ons for their burgers and milkshakes. Everything has to be fresh.
This is why they took almost 30 years to introduce milkshakes to their menu. It took them that long to decide to make an exception to the “no freezers” rule, because their coolers just won’t work for milkshakes.
What this means is that some of the Five Guys locations maybe didn’t get the memo that freezers are okay. They didn’t get the freezers, so no milkshakes. And that’s just wrong when you’re seriously jonesing for milkshakes to go with your burger and fries.
Several years ago, one of the more common complaints about Five Guys was that they didn’t deliver. In fact, they were notorious for refusing to deliver to the Obama White House—the president had to come to their place.
That changed because of Covid. Now they offer delivery services, at last, as they’ve partnered with Grubhub. Hopefully, that also means that they can improve on the stuff we listed (without having to go through another pandemic).
In any case, the complaints about Five Guys don’t seem to be all that serious. We’re just nitpicking, because we do think that Five Guys is terrific. Even if they didn’t change, we’d still go there every chance we get, and that’s probably true for many folks who has ever tried a burger and fries (and milkshake) combo at Five Guys.