Wednesday, January 7, 2009

The Great Five Guys Hamburger Swindle

Don't get me wrong, I'm a huge fan of Five Guys and their fresh-meat burgers. But unfortunately the other day I was swindled by the short menu at a Manhattan location when I tried to order something different. My usual intake at Five Guys, no matter what store I'm visiting, is the Bacon Cheeseburger (confusing, but always a double). The size is perfect but sometimes I think that the bun might implode if I'm not careful. With this in mind I decided to order 2 Little Bacon Cheeseburgers, which are the same as the regular, 2 patty burger with only one patty. 

This is where I got screwed (follow me here).

One Bacon Cheeseburger has 2 patties, 2 slices of cheese, and one bun for $8.45.

Two Little Bacon Cheeseburgers have 2 patties, 2 slices of cheese, and 2 buns for $13.20!

That means I basically paid an additional $4.75 for a cold bun.

The lesson learned here is that, although it's not cheap, the deal is in the regular, 2 patty burger. Stay away from the 'Little' rip-off burgers.

(Expert burger taster Kris smartly ordered the Bacon Cheeseburger, also listed on the receipt above)


Jay said...

[cue the NBC "The More You Know" graphic with shooting star]

Yesterday Alexis notified me that a Five Guys had opened in Oak Park, IL. When I went to the site to check it out, I saw that not only was there now one in Oak Park, but one in Chicago itself! I called them up and found that they just opened Monday. I've been to Five Guys once, in Indianapolis, and loved it, so I'm stoked that it's made it to my city. But bummed that I won't be able to get there until tomorrow.

Finally, not to be a comment-hog, but it sure would be hilarious if they sold shirts that said "I (HEART) FIVE GUYS."

Hamburger America said...

Cool, just stay away from the Little Burgers...

Jay said...

This also reminds me of the big uproar McDonald's has caused by taking the double cheeseburger (with two patties & two slices of cheese) off the dollar menu and replacing it with a burger they call the McDouble (with two patties & one slice of cheese). Apparently, after years of the Double Cheeseburger being on the dollar menu, customers are making a fuss about the switch.

I was in the McDonald's by where I work a couple of weeks ago to get a coffee, and they had stickers on the registers informing customers of the change, and how they had to raise the price of the double cheeseburger because of increases in the price of cheese. OK, fine, but please explain why your prices are now:
McDouble (two beef, one cheese): $1
Double Cheeseburger (two beef, two cheese): $1.19
Cheeseburger: (one beef, one cheese): $1.30

Rev said...

Thanks for the heads up. You gave me a craving for 5 Guys. One of my absolute faves!


ex-lawyer said...

it's like the "want to make it a large for only a quarter more?" at the movies. there's a minimum price they want to charge per customer and incremental increases after that.

Larry Davenport said...

To be fair, they should have charged you for the bun, because what can they do at the day with half a bun? But I agree with hating paying for stuff I don't. want to get what I want.

Point in fact, not every American likes cheeseburgers. If I go to Kidd Valley in Seattle, if I want a second patty on my hamburger I have to order a double bacon cheeseburger (hold the cheese, hold tomato, and hold the bacon). In exchange I ask to have sauteed mushrooms on the burger. Despite the high cost of dairy, produce, and meat and the relative cheapness of fungus, it pisses me off I pay almost two dollars more just to have it my way.

Artful Dodger said...

I think you are unfairly confusing pricing of a product with simply the individual items contained in the product. 5G can't determine in advance whether you will be ordering a big or two little burgers. Each big burger requires the same labor component as a little burger. Each big burger requires the same overhead component as a little burger. That is how product is priced. Is the bigger burger a better deal than the two little ones? Of course! Only one burger had to be cooked instead of two, etc, etc, etc.

Hamburger America said...

No, no, no. The only extra labor involved would be to reach for the additional bun. I do agree with you that they are two different products and of course two people would not share a double. It's just the economics of the situation and you have to agree that the price difference is a bit absurd.

Eric said...'re dinging Five Guys for giving regular burger buyers a nice price break. Ouch. Most people who order Little Burgers do so because they're not hungry enough for the big one.

It's pretty universal that when you buy two smaller items which are also available in a larger "economy" size, you're going to pay more. Or have you never shopped in a supermarket before?

Oh well, we all have to see the glass as either half full or half empty, and we now know which side you fell onto.

Eric said...

Oh, and there's absolutely nothing "rip-off" about the little burgers. They're fantastic. They're just not the smokin' deal that the regular burgers are, so stop slagging them, ok?

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