Assignment 1: Entrepreneurial Leadership
Sara J Broderick
Dr. Kathleen Irwing
BUS: 508 Contemporary Business
Oct. 22, 2013
Five Guys’ Burgers and Fries, a family owned franchise is one of the fastest growing chains in America (Better Burgers Starts to Sizzle in Canada, 2012). Five Guys’ Burger and Fries sets itself apart from other fast food chains by using quality ingredients and keeping a constant core menu. Jerry Murrell, founder and owner says the business plan from the start is still the business plan today. “Sell a really good, juicy burger on a fresh bun. Make perfect French fries. Don't cut corners.” (Welch 2010) There are ...view middle of the document...
Murrell supported his son’s decision and they used their tuition money and opened a burger joint. A study on family-owned businesses by Sudeepta Pradhan suggests there are benefits to a family-owned business over privately owned and operated business. “Family owners can make decisions more quickly and be more flexible” (Pradhan 2012) Five Guys’ Burger and Fries is still led by Jerry Murrell, his wife Janie and their five sons. The seven Murrells make business decisions by a unanimous vote. The family meets every week to talk business. “The meetings can get boisterous. ‘We have soundproofed walls in the meeting room, and my office is on one side and Janie’s is on the other’ says Chad. ‘We don’t want the rest of the office hearing us go at it.” (Burke 2012) Murrell understands the importance of marketing. He says customers are your number one sales person. Murrell understands the importance of marketing "Treat that person right, he’ll walk out the door and sell for you." (Welch 2010)
For a little less than $70,000 Murrell opened the first Five Guys Burger and Fries in Arlington, Va. Now they have over 570 franchises. One factor contributing to their fast success is the understanding of the importance of customer service. Murrell says the best salesman is the customer. He believes that if you serve good food and provide good customer service, that customer will go tell their friends and family. This must be working since Five Guys’ Burger and Fries is now hitting the west coast. Another factor is the recession. Sounds odd, “but the recession ended up being a good thing for Five Guys Burger and Fries. They got better real estate for their restaurants and hired better employees from competitors. A former Checkers executive is in charge of building new stores, and a former Burger King franchiser runs the Murrells’ 200 company-owned stores.” (Burke 2012) Another factor is fluctuating prices. Unlike other chains, if the price of supplies goes up, so does the cost of the burger. “We do not base our price on anything but margins. We raise our prices to reflect whatever our food costs are. So if the mayonnaise guy triples his price, we pay triple for the mayonnaise! And then we'll increase the price of our product.” (Welch 2010).
Five Guy’s Burger and Fries owner, Jerry Murrell realized from the beginning, in order to compete with the fast-food chains, the would have to focus on quality food....