Five Guys offers fresh take on burgersWritten by Mark Hensch | | firstname.lastname@example.org
A new fast-food restaurant at 3305 W. Central Ave. is serving up some class with its burgers.
“Right now Five Guys is expanding like crazy all over the country,” said Branden Yono, a co-owner of the Detroit-based Famous Burger Group LLC behind the franchise. “I’d like to do the same thing. In a down economy, we employ a lot of people. Hopefully, we make a little jump-start for a depressed area.”
The restaurant’s gourmet fast food, meanwhile, is tempting Toledoan palates with its $5 double-patty burgers, available with an array of 14 toppings included in the price. Made fresh daily, Five Guys’ menu also includes hot dogs, grilled cheese, fries and even a veggie burger.
“Our meat is all-American, no fillers, no preservatives,” Yono said. “It is a completely customizable burger.”
Yono — who prefers his burger with bacon, jalapenos and extra pickles — said he first encountered the chain while living in Florida. Impressed by Five Guys Burger and Fries’ make-it-from-scratch philosophy, he began researching franchising opportunities with his brother Jason and friends David Macdonald and Tony Robison. Now an operating manager, he said the Westgate location’s popularity has spurred the Ohio franchise’s growth.
The Five Guys Burgers and Fries franchise is already scouting locations for up to five additional restaurants throughout Lucas, Wood and Hancock counties in Northwest Ohio to be opened in the next three to four years.
“We’ve gotten a great response from the people here,” Yono said. “We’re very actively pursuing other locations.”
Robison — another co-owner, as well as an advocate of onions and jalapenos for a “little fire” on burgers — said Five Guys is a chain with stock on the upswing. In keeping with this, he said, Famous Burger Group’s first restaurant has amassed a dedicated following since its Nov. 16 debut.
“Business has exceeded our expectations in terms of the volume of customers coming through,” Robison said.
“At first we thought it was just because we were the new restaurant in town, but the traffic has been steady. The quality of the food stands out.”
Jason, a co-owner who prefers bacon cheeseburgers, said the first location employs about 50 people, thus revitalizing employment options for Toledo natives. Citing the restaurant’s upbeat staff, he said Toledo’s Five Guys bursts with energy.
“We’re real happy we’re bringing a lot of jobs to the area,” he said.
Shift manager Kirre Sawyer said he enjoys his duties at Five Guys. Working between 11 a.m. and 9 p.m., Sawyer said he loves the busy environment and the “addictive” food. A fan of grilled onions and A1 sauce on his burger, he said the restaurant’s affordable costs and quality product would leave a lasting impression on Northwest Ohio.
“This is the first job I have been excited about coming to every day,” Sawyer said. “We have that family vibe. It is like a mom-and-pop restaurant, but bigger. You get your bang for your buck here.”
More importantly than food, Sawyer added, is the support a booming new food franchise offers his hometown. Beyond giving area residents delicious meals, he said, Five Guys presents the possibility of people becoming more excited about Toledo businesses.
“I feel like we will motivate people just to try something new,” Sawyer said. “We are going to be great competition for all the other restaurants in the area.”
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