The Five Guys menu features five main items: milkshakes, fries, hot dogs, sandwiches and burgers. Although you can customize most of your order with more than 250,000 possible burger combinations, the one non-customizable thing is burger “doneness.”
Unlike the local diner or restaurant-bar, the cooks at Five Guys make all their burgers the same way—well done. All 1,500 Five Guys locations only serve burgers to this level of doneness, according to a Five Guys representative. The fast-casual restaurant hasn’t revealed the reasoning behind the policy, but there are a few theories as to why you can’t order a medium-rare, rare or medium patty.
The most obvious explanation is the chain’s commitment to food safety. The health risks of eating raw meat include consuming bacteria such as E. coli and salmonella. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) says beef should be cooked to a minimum internal temperature of 145 degrees Fahrenheit to ensure the meat is safe to eat. In 2016, sensors that track temperature were installed in all of the Five Guys North American restaurants to ensure that all ingredients are at a safe temperature, per RFiD Journal. Much like you won’t find an under-cooked burger at Five Guys, you also won’t see a freezer, as the brand only uses coolers because their ingredients must be fresh, according to the official website.
Another theory is simply that cooking all the burgers the same way saves time and keeps everything uniform across all locations. Although their burger doneness isn’t unique, the numerous delicious toppings such as relish, peppers, onions, barbecue sauce and more ensure that you can have it just the way you like it. Next, check out these 9 restaurants you never knew have secret menu items.