Five Guys Burgers and Fries currently has over 1,000 stores open in the U.S. and Canada, and is valued at an estimated $500 million. They are the inventors, and current top dog in the "better burger" segment, and have already sold out the franchising rights for all of North America. But as recent as 2002, Five Guys was a family-owned chain with only 5 restaurants open in Northern Virginia. A recent article in Forbes Magazine talks about their explosive expansion, and the role that Fransmart played in launching the concept's franchise program.
Five Guys carved out their place in the competitive burger arena by offering hand-made burgers that were never frozen, and hand-cut fries, offering a product that was a higher quality than anything else in the quick serve industry. Their concept caught the attention of Dan Rowe, CEO of Fransmart, who convinced the management team to franchise and launched franchise sales for them, as well as Mark Moseley, formerly of the Washington Redskins, who was hired in 2002 to head up franchising. Although some of the owners were hesitant at first, the family eventually decided unanimously that franchising was the best decision for the brand, a decision which is now well validated. A quote from the article says, "Within three days of the decision...the franchising rights to Virginia were sold out. Fransmart tapped its national database for potential franchisees. Five Guys caught fire, says Dan Rowe, the founder and chief executive of Fransmart, when existing franchisees starting adding additional stores."
A quote in the article by Mark Moseley, referencing the success of Five Guys founder Jerry Murrell says, "He's the leader, and he hires good people and lets them do their jobs". Fransmart played a key role in giving Five Guys their launch, and now has a reputation as a company with a keen eye for brands that will franchise successfully, with extreme scrutiny of brands' sales per square foot, flexibility, food quality and systems. In addition to their huge success with Five Guys, they have grown many franchises internationally, and will continue to build up their portfolio with emerging brands for which they can do the same.