image by jkbrooks85, flickr artist

making burgers is actually pretty easy. you get some ground beef (or create a 50/50 burger that’s half-bacon), you maybe add some seasoning to it (or more bacon), and you grill it up (with bacon on top). people have been doing it for years in back yards, town parks, and hole-in-the-wall eateries all across america. but when it comes to getting a really good burger, five guys is pretty damn delicious. but how?

it starts when you walk in the door. you’re welcomed by a lady or gentleman behind the counter with a big “hello” or “how’s it going?”; at my local five guys, my greeter is working the fry station. but it’s not a welcome like you get at moe’s southwest grill which always seems a bit fabricated since everyone in the store yells at you. five guys does it with a little more of a personal touch, and that makes all the difference.

then free toppings come in to play. sure the free price tag of those toppings is subsidized through your burger, fries, and fountain drink, but it most certainly appears that you can dump almost whatever you wanted on top of your burger at no extra cost to you. so you pile on the tomato, lettuce, pickles, red onions, mustard, ketchup, and everything else under the sun.

it’s also important to mention the free peanuts that you get to nom on whilst you wait for your beef to be burger-ready. there aren’t many places that give you free food as you wait for your food. and, i know certainly for me personally, there’s a certain visceral enjoyment derived from ripping apart those peanuts and chowing down. it’s like you’re instantly transported back in time to being a kid watching a baseball game at the park with the hot summer sun on your face.

but perhaps the best part of it all is having to dig your burger out from under the bag fries just to be able to eat the burger itself. it’s like a food treasure hunt! by the time you get to your actual meal you’re already half-full. not a bad way to start things off…

and even after you’re done chowing down on a 1/2 lb of awesome, five guys also has napkins that don’t fall apart on you. imagine that! napkins that get you clean; and really, you’ll need them. how many times have you been stuck at a restaurant or bar having ordered buffalo wings and been stuck with those flimsy paper napkins that actually stick to your fingers more than they help get anything off?

so what does this all mean?

it’s all about the experience as a whole. five guys carefully crafts not just your burger, but the entire experience of visiting one of their restaurants — from the moment you walk in to the moment you finish eating.

what if every company placed that much emphasis on their products? what awesome things could we make for the world to enjoy?