on competition / a story about hamburgers

hamburgers and competition

I rarely eat red meat, but when I do it has to be a burger. McDonald's is just under a mile from my house, but I'll drive past it (and keep driving another five miles) to get to Five Guys. If you're not familiar with the restaurant, Five Guys is a burger and fry place. Small menu, big flavor. A chalkboard tells customers the origin of the potatoes used in their pre-French fries. The menu lists a variety of vegetables you can have grilled and placed on your burger. Myself, I'm a grilled onions, ketchup and tomato girl; but my husband is a jalapeno, onions, mushrooms and cheese guy.

They serve a damn good burger and addicting fries. Friday nights are packed, with a line out the door.

Do you know what year Five Guys opened their doors? 1986.

Five Guys opened in a time when McDonald's, Wendy's, Burger King and Dairy Queen dominated the market. They should have been out of business within a year.


It's now a multi-million dollar a year franchise. With the possible exception of Dairy Queen, all of the above burger places still dominate. But why does Five Guys do so well? It's because Five Guys make the burgers the big guys are too busy and too big to create. Fresh ingredients. An open kitchen where you can see exactly what and who is making your food. A limited, but rarely changing menu. 

The next time you start thinking, "there's too much competition", change your thinking to:

What can I do differently? How can I make a better burger?