There’s a saying I saw floating around this series of pipes known as the internet. It pertained to the proper way to run a business and went something like this:
Act like taking care of your customers earns you $100 an hour and everything else earns $10 an hour.
Now, I haven’t eaten at but a few different Five Guys locations, all of them here in my home state of Utah. But in all my visits I received a very distinct feeling that they really cared about the customer experience. That is, until I moved to St. George.
To be fair, things are done differently down here. I noticed that very quickly. The local In N’ Out kept jacking up my orders (I quit going there after just 3 visits), the Jack In The Box failed to meet even their low standard, and Smashburger did a decent enough job — just not as good as I’ve come to expect. Wendy’s managed to meet expectations — but let’s be honest, it’s not that difficult. Because of these experiences, I haven’t dared step foot in a McDonald’s.
Five Guys was not much different. They have managed to set a very high expectation from me in regards to quality of food. It’s for that reason that they have become my absolute favorite burger joint. In about five or six visits to the St. George restaurant, my burgers were great. The fries, however, were undercooked. Every time. I kept returning because typically they weren’t real bad. And about half the time they were close enough that they still outdid most other place’s fries.
But then I went in one evening and… wow. Nearly raw. Additionally, the fry cup — which, as anyone who is a Five Guys fan knows, is always served up overflowing — was simply (barely) filled without any overflow.
This, I could not accept from what should be the finest burger joint in any town! So, I launched a message to the Five Guys Twitter account and let them know that their St. George franchise “needs help.”
The response was swift. I was given an apology (standard procedure I figured — nothing special) and provided with a URL to give feedback on my experience. I complied and gave my feedback. I expected that to be the end of it. I figured the manager of the St. George franchise would get the message and things would improve upon my next visit. I should mention that this expectation I had of how Five Guys would handle it was far beyond what I would expect from nearly any other business.
Well, here’s what happened. One of the owners of the franchise (a group of owners actually own all franchise rights to the entire state of Utah) emailed me directly and offered me a free meal. Okay. I accepted. They do serve up my favorite burger afterall.
What happened next is awesome. I expected a coupon or something like that. Nope. The general manager of the St. George Five Guys emailed me directly and asked me to come in so he could apologize to me in person and “…[serve] you the best French fries you have ever had…”
I thought that was really cool! So we scheduled a time — right in the middle of Wednesday’s lunch rush. I entered and told the cashier that I had been invited in by the general manager. To which the cashier responded, “Oh, hi Stuart!” Turns out the cashier was the manager and was ready and expecting me.
I placed my order and it was brought to me. I immediately tried a fry and it was … heavenly!
After I finished my very sumptuous meal, I had a chance to chat with the general manager. We discussed the St. George culture a bit and I left feeling as if I’ll not have to worry about the quality of my fries ever again.
So to Five Guys in St. George, I say, “Good on you!” This is one very satisfied customer. I can pretty much guarantee that the free meal you fed me this day will be paid back to you 70 times 7 fold — or thereabouts. And to everyone living in Washington County, or anyone just passing through, make the Five Guys in St. George a priority visit! Any red-blooded burger-loving American won’t regret doing so!