11 Secrets Five Guys Employees Won’t Tell You

Updated: Feb. 03, 2023

Ever wondered why there are so many peanuts in every Five Guys location—or why they serve each order 'to go'? Before digging into that burger, check out these bits of insider knowledge.

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Five Guys Burgers and Fries restaurant exterior.
Ken Wolter/Shutterstock

There are actually six guys.

Five Guys was founded by a man named Jerry Murrell, who named the restaurant after his four sons: Jim, Matt, Chad and Ben. The year after the first location opened, however, he had another son named Tyler. To make up for his mistake, Jerry Murrell now claims that the “Five Guys” name only refers to his sons, excluding himself from the namesake.

Found this interesting? Click here to find out how other popular restaurants got their names!

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Closeup of crews working at Five Guys burger chain busily, Avenue des Champs

They have an extensive secret menu.

Five Guys’ menu is so simple that the employees are more than welcome to whip up a special item for you. In fact, there are entire website threads dedicated to finding the best unknown meals. If you’re feeling adventurous, try asking for fries “well done” to get a crispier batch. Or ask for the infamous secret patty melt—a grilled cheese with a burger patty inside (plus any toppings on the menu)!

Think this is cool? Check out these other restaurant secret menu items you never knew existed!

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Mushroom burger in five guys

Extra cheese is free!

Five Guys has fifteen different toppings that you can put on your burger—all of which add up to the same price. However, a lot of people don’t know that you can ask for extra cheese and bacon without an added charge!

You can customize almost any part of your Five Guys meal, but one thing you can’t change is how your burger is cooked. Here’s why.

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The interior of a Five Guys burger restaurant.
Dave Nelson/Shutterstock

You’re going to get more food than you expect.

If you’ve never been to Five Guys, prepare to be blown away by the portion sizes! A hamburger and fries is more expensive than your typical fast food restaurant, but that’s because you’re getting twice as much food. Each burger—unless you request a small—has two patties, adding up to a half pound of meat. And while each portion of fries is technically meant to be measured in cartons, the employees end up dumping massive amounts of fries into the bag to the point where even the smallest size is more than enough for two people to share!

Next up: Learn about these common mistakes almost every cook makes when grilling burgers.

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Cajun Seasoned French Fries with Organic Ketchup
Brent Hofacker/Shutterstock

The cajun fries are highly recommended.

If you’re looking for something special, try substituting normal fries for Cajun fries. What makes them so different? It’s just a sprinkling of cajun seasoning on top of the black pepper and salt—simple, but effective.

If you want to duplicate your fave fries, try these fast food copycat recipes.

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Closeup of crews working at Five Guys burger chain busily, Avenue des Champs-Élysées, Paris, France

The fries are twice-baked to get that iconic crunch.

To produce such a massive amount of fries, this chain has mastered their method. Five Guys fries their potatoes in two stages. First, they dunk raw slices in oil to “pre-cook” the potatoes. Then they fry ’em again, creating a crispy outer layer around a soft, mashed interior. Learn why McDonald’s fries are so good and also try this McDonald’s French fry hack.

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People eating in Five Guys burger fast food restaurant and girl taking a Coca Cola drink

Every order is served ‘to go.’

Whether you’re eating in the restaurant or taking your food home, Five Guys serves everything in paper bags. Some customers dislike this because it creates so much waste for people who only use the bag to walk from the counter to the table, but that hasn’t stopped the chain from sticking to their policy.

Similarly, Five Guys also has a strict no-delivery policy. They’re so committed to this that they once declined a 22-burger order from the Pentagon.

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Five Guys restaurant, store burger chain entrance in District of Columbia with chairs, tables, outside, outdoor sitting area, people inside eating
Andriy Blokhin/Shutterstock

They’re actually required to give you extra fries.

Ever wondered why a “small” fry at Five Guys is actually a massive serving that ends up overflowing the carton and filling your bag? As it turns out, that “extra” scoop is an illusion: Five Guys workers are trained to give customers more fries so that they think they’re getting a bargain. Whether or not you agree with this is up to you—but because of their massive portions, Five Guys does have the most calorie-laden fries of any fast food joint in America.

If you’re trying to scale back and want to stick with just a typical carton of fries, a former employee suggests ordering your fries “with no topper.” However, if you think the fries are as good as we do, you might be okay with a few extras.

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Closeup of crews working at Five Guys burger chain busily, Avenue des Champs-Élysées, Paris, France

They’re serious about their grilling methods.

If you’ve ever bitten into a juicy Five Guys burger and marveled at the texture of the patties, you’re not alone—the chain is famous for their delicious cooking method. A former Five Guys employee explained the secret in a Reddit thread back in 2018. Apparently, Five Guys workers are trained not to press down on the patties, which retains the juices.

If you love insider secrets, you’ll love these other secrets your fast food worker won’t tell you.

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Roasted peanuts with broken shells and pieces scattered on rustic, dark wood background.
Marie C Fields/Shutterstock

The peanuts are more than a nice gesture.

Munching on complimentary peanuts has become synonymous with eating at Five Guys—the same way it is with Texas Roadhouse. While you might think these are offered as a nice gesture, one employee admits that the peanuts are there to distract customers from watching the workers prepare their food. (If you sneak a few to go, use them up in our 6-ingredient recipe for Salted Peanut Rolls.)

Whether or not this is true, one thing is certain: Stay away from Five Guys if you’re allergic to peanuts. Beyond the crackling husks of shell-your-own peanuts—any allergic’s nightmare—Five Guys also fries all of their food in 100% peanut oil!

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They REALLY care about their mayo.

The Five Guys family tested 16 different kinds of mayonnaise when they were deciding which variety they wanted to carry in their restaurants. After intense deliberation, the winning mayo is the only one allowed to be served in each location. Their other ingredients follow this rule too—so no matter which Five Guys you go to, you’ll find the same taste.

Now that you know all the insider tips, can you guess the most iconic menu item from Five Guys? Click here to see if you’re right!