Entrepreneurial Leadership Essay Example (Five Guys Burger and Fries)

Five Guys Burger and Fries is one of the most fast-growing chains that sell fast food. In particular, they have 570 franchises in the United States and Canada. Moreover, their revenues also have risen. Thus, they got $570 million in 2010 (Boone & Kurtz, 2012). Therefore, the goal of this paper is to investigate the factors that have led to this leadership. First, it is important to determine how the company’s philosophy influences its success and makes it different from other fast-food chains. Second, the paper will also focus on studying the original values of Five Guys Burger and Fries, and how they are strong nowadays. Third, the key factors of a fast growth will be studied. Finally, it is necessary to evaluate the usage of ethical and social practices in the company and their influence on the leadership.

To start with, Jerry Murrell founded the company together with his sons in 1986. The main Murrell’s goal was to invest money that originally were saved for his children’s studying in college, but after sons’ refusal to study were unnecessary. Murrell started from the five stores. However, he gradually opened more facilities due to growing popularity of Five Guys Burger and Fries among customers (Murrell, 2010). One of the factors of this success is the chain’s philosophy. It is based on one simple word –fresh. Murrell and other chain’s workers apply many methods to achieve this effect. In particular, they do not use freezers. Only coolers are available. Second, they cook on a peanut oil. Third, they pay attention to the ingredients of burgers. All the food is from reliable suppliers. The beef is ground, which makes the taste of burgers excellent. In addition, all the food in menus is trans-oil fat. In other words, they offer excellent fries delivered from Idaho and a juicy burger on a fresh bun. Besides, the company’s managers are sure that customers are the best salespeople for the chain, so they do not spend their revenues on advertising like their other competitors do (Five Guys Burgers and Fries).

In addition, the success of Five Guys Burgers and Fries is pre-determined by choosing the correct values. Since the beginning and still today, the company has been focusing on serving just burgers and fries. Therefore, they make everything possible to make them delicious and qualitative. However, they tried to expand their menus by introducing chicken dishes and coffee, but these experiments were not successful because customers associate the chain with burgers (Yu, 2009). In addition, their workers could not serve coffee effectively because they did not know much about it. Another original value is simplicity in everything, starting from the menu to an interior design and employee’s uniform. In particular, menus to order have only seventeen toppings. When customers come inside, they can see a simple red-and-white tile design. Moreover, promotion methods are also simple and remain strong. Thus, the chain’s managers believe that the best advertising is satisfaction of customers and their positive comments to other potential visitors (Boone & Kurtz, 2012). Another original value is an excellent service. This value remains strong until nowadays. The chain even has their own secret customers that come to Five Guys Burgers and Fries and check the quality of staff’s work. The best employees get rewards from their managers (Murrell, 2010).

As for the factors that contributed to the company’s success, there are three of them. First, qualitative fresh food that is a competitive advantage for Burger Guys because the other competitors, such as McDonald’s, Burger King and Wendy’s, offer products from a freezer. Second, customers are tired of marketing and advertising made by most of other fast-food chains, so refusal of Five Guys to employ the same tactics and focusing on satisfying customers as their main salespeople have attracted visitors too. Third, the simplicity of the menu is also a reason of success because companies that offer many products usually have less quality than those, which specialize in few dishes like Burger Guys Burgers and Fries (Yu, 2009). Moreover, producing only few products helps to create authenticity of a food, which is also important for such competitive business as fast-food restaurants (Gilmore & Pine, 2007).

Besides, Five Guys Burgers and Fries pays attention to ethical and social practices and introduces them in their work. First, as it was said before, the company does not spend money on advertising and marketing. On the other hand, the chain’s managers give 1.5 percent of the revenues from the franchises to those crews that get the highest results in accordance with weekly third-party audits. This helps to motivate employees to serve customers qualitatively.

Second, the philosophy of the company about fresh food demonstrates how much attention it pays to nutrition and taste of products. Always fresh meat (80 percent lean), potatoes delivered from Idaho where they are grown longer, beans toasted on the grill, cleanliness everywhere help to provide a really qualitative food. In addition, customers can see for themselves how quality is observed because kitchens are open. Finally, the company values its customers and employees because its success depends on all of them (Boone & Kurtz, 2012).

To sum up, the entrepreneurial leadership depends on many factors. In the case of Five Guys Burgers and Fries, it was pre-determined by qualitative food, excellent service and simplicity in everything. Its rejecting traditional marketing and advertising helped to save money for buying fresh and qualitative ingredients for burgers and fries. In addition, the food is not only tasty but also quite healthy because it does not have trans-fat and is not dehydrated like the food from freezers that other fast-food chains offer. All these factors helped to increase demand for the products of Five Guys Burgers and Fries. As a result, they had to increase supply and open 570 franchises in the United States and Canada. Another factor of the company’s success is its stability. In particular, its menu and inside design remain the same. It is especially important now when people experience financial difficulties, so the Fast Guys Burgers and Fries remain one of the few things that stay the same for many years despite the changes in the world.


Boone, L.E., & Kurtz, D.L. (2012).Contemporary business (14th ed.). Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons

Five Guys Burger and Fries. (n.d). THE FIVE GUYS STORY. Retrieved from http://www.fiveguys.com/fans/the-five-guys-story

Gilmore, J.H., & Pine, B.J. (2007). Authenticity: What consumers really want. Harvard Business Review Press.

Murrell, J. (2010, April). How I did it. Inc.com. Retrieved from https://www.inc.com/magazine/20100401/jerry-murrell-five-guys-burgers-and-fries.html

Yu, R. (2009, June). Fast-growing Five Guys burger chain sticks to basic, fresh food. USA Today. Retrieved from http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/money/companies/management/entre/2009-06-07-fast-food-hamburger-franchise_N.htm