Although tacos are rapidly catching up to hamburgers as America’s favorite fast food item, they have a long way to go. Hamburgers are the undisputed king, and as long as burger chains like Five Guys are around and continue to grow, the beef patty in a bun should remain on top.

five-guys-franchise-1Janie and Jerry Murrell opened the first Five Guys restaurant in 1986 in Arlington County, Virginia. By 2001, four more restaurants were added and their five sons, Jim, Matt, Chad, Ben and Tyler had joined the team.

In 2003, the chain opened its first franchised location and began a rapid expansion plan. Within 18 months, Five Boys had sold over 300 additional franchised units. Expansion rapidly continued. By 2012, over 1,000 locations were open across the United States and Canada. Another 1,500 locations were under development.

How much does it cost to open a Five Guys Burgers & Fries Franchise?

The total cost to open and begin operating a Five Guys Burgers & Fries franchise runs between $300,000 up to approximately $670,000 depending on the restaurant size and location. Here’s how those costs are broken down:

  1. Initial Franchise Fee: $25,000
  1. Development fee: $50,000
  1. Leasehold Improvements: $100,000 to $300,000
  1. Lease Payments and Other Rental Expenses: $7,500 to $20,000
  1. Equipment: $55,000 to $105,000
  1. 5guysSignage: $6,500 to $20,000
  1. Initial Inventory: $10,000 to $15,000
  1. Architectural/Engineering: $7,000 to $25,000
  1. Electronic Cash Register System with Modem: $15,000 to $25,000
  1. Facsimile Machine: $350 to $500
  1. Travel, Lodging, and Meals for Initial 10 Day Training: $100 to $5,000
  1. Business Supplies (stationery, business cards, menus, gift cards, paper, and other materials): $500 to $15,000
  1. Business Licenses, Permits, Utility Deposits, Etc. (for first year)
  1. Delivery and Catering Expenses: $0 to $1,000
  1. Insurance Deposits and Premiums: $750 to $1,250
  1. Additional Cash Reserves for First 3 Months: $20,000 to $25,000

Five Guys has been on most of the top franchise recommendation lists for the past five years. They are known for cooking and preparing burgers to order as you like them. Condiments include the usual mayo, mustard and ketchup assortment plus raw or grilled onions, green peppers, jalapenos and grilled mushrooms.


Any fast-food franchise owner will admit hard work, long hours and patience are required to make a franchise successful. Five Guys is no different, but they do have something most burger-business owners would die for: a great reputation for serving the best hamburgers in town with a loyal customer base.

Customer complaints posted on the internet are few and far between. Most customer reviews are extremely positive for both service and quality of food.

Profit numbers for Five Guys franchises are not made public. But from the number of entrepreneurs waiting in line for the next available Five Guys franchise location to open up, bottom line profits appear to be as tasty as their burgers and fries.