Enough People Take Surveys For Us To Know That Five Guys Burgers Are Better Than McDonald's

Whether you personally are sick of taking surveys or not, we can thank the people who were asked about their burger preferences for filling us all in on which chains we like best. Relative newcomer Five Guys Burgers and Fries won the day in every region, coming in at No. 1 out of 16 restaurants. Not so shocking, as the chain has been pleasing customers and critics alike for awhile now.

Dairy Queen occupies dead last, but it had plenty of company with McDonald’s Burger King, Hardee’s and Jack in the Box in the bottom five, reports the Los Angeles Times. The results of questioning 7,600 consumers were factored in with the number of locations for each chain to get the fan favorite.

Coming in at second was In-N-Out, followed by Fuddruckers, A&W and Smashburger. We aren’t familiar with Smashburger (yet — we’re coming for you, Smashburger) but it performed pretty well for being the new kid on the block. It came in second in all categories except for overall value.

Reports the LAT:

McDonald’s and Hardee’s shared the bottom rankings for overall value. Jack in the Box was last in the food quality and cleanliness categories. Hardee’s was deemed to have the worst service, while Dairy Queen’s atmosphere was voted as the most lacking.

As Market Force’s Chief Marketing Officer said of their survey: “Five Guys does zero advertising, but by delivering consistently great customer experience, they’re able to build a word-of-mouth buzz that continues to bring new customers through the door.”

And now I’m off to eat 16 burgers and decide for myself.

Five Guys voted favorite burger chain, McDonald’s near bottom [Los Angeles Times]



Edit Your Comment

  1. Sarek says:

    Last time I ate at Jack in the Box was in the early 1980s. The burger tasted odd. Later on it came out that they were serving various creatures in their burgers, such as horse and kangaroo.

    • who? says:

      I worked at a Wienerschnitzel back then. The burgers tasted odd there, too, but in a good way. I really, really liked them. Then the kangaroo scandal hit at Jack in the Box, and shortly after that, the Wienerschnitzel burgers started tasting like normal burgers.

      Sigh. I really liked those kangaroo burgers.

    • Cream Of Meat says:

      The French eat horse and the Australians eat kangaroo. When I travel there I’ll try them both.

  2. Snowblind says:

    5 Guys are all about the fries, and they are awesome!

    But for burgers, I think Hamburger Habit is my favorite.

    Prices are actually better than McDonalds, at least for my family.

    • Kuchen says:

      I like Five Guys burgers, but I don’t really like their fries. Their fries aren’t as crispy as I prefer, and the portion sizes are ridiculous.

      • Snowblind says:

        Yep. One large fry is enough for 2 to 4 people, depending on how fry freaky they are.

        As for crispiness… I find them to be just about right, In-and-Out being way too soggy for my taste.

        • Cream Of Meat says:

          Wow really? The local five guys have soggy fries, albeit they do give you a like bag full… I used to not like in-n-out fries, but they’re really good now. I still like thicker cut though, and five guys cajun are great!

          I have to say, I’m the only one I know that Likes five guys burgers best. Too bad they trick you with the “Little burger” thing. First time I went I ordered a regular burger it came out a double burger, it should be CALLED a double burger! And being like $12 for lunch is pretty crazy!

    • longfeltwant says:

      That’s interesting, because I think 5G fries are disappointing, so much so that I avoid getting them when I go get a burger. It might just be the franchise here in Madison, but they end up oily and limp, and that’s not how I like my fries.

      When I go, I get one of their big burgers, then I sit down outside without a table and lean over so the detritus falls on the ground. I don’t put down the burger until it is done, so I can wipe off my hands one time only. Damn, I might just have to go get me one!

      • Upthewazzu says:

        Agreed. I had them in Spokane, WA and wasn’t impressed. The burger was pretty good, but altogether it was a little more expensive than I’m willing to pay.

        • gellfex says:

          This post interested me, but I went to the website and saw the prices! For the $12 to get a burger, fries & drink I’ll pass. I can get an great fresh burger at a local pub for less than that. There are also plenty of awesome ethnic places around here to get a great lunch for $7 including a drink. There’s an all you can eat Pakistani steam table for $7!

      • Snowblind says:

        Weird. Out here they are crispy, not as crispy as a McDs fry, but fresh cut so you get that potato oil flavor, but not super skinny like in-and-out.

        One franchise I went to in SoCal had 3 different potatoes to pick from: a PEI potato, an Idaho, and a Yukon gold.

        We skipped the burgers and ordered one of each, then had fun comparing them. Yuks are a bit mushy (or creamy if you prefer) for a fry, the Idaho was the gold standard, and the PIE was the best.

        Ye gods, I am a tater snob now…

        (What’s taters, precious?)

      • elangomatt says:

        I’m with you there. I’ve only been to one franchise in Illinois, but the fries were downright bad. It seemed almost like they plan to fry the fries twice but forgot to fry them the second time. I had high hopes for them too since they are obviously cut from actual potatoes. The burgers are pretty darn good, but not really good enough to make me go too far out of my way to get one especially at the price they charge.

      • eyesack is the boss of the DEFAMATION ZONE says:

        Fellow Madisonian. The location here has the fries taste ONLY like peanut oil. I haven’t had fries there in years and I’ve ruined them did my girlfriend by pointing this out.

    • alana0j says:

      We actually JUST got a Five Guys and it opens in about a week or so I think. I’m super excited to give them a try!

    • NorthAlabama says:

      our local five guys have the greasiest, inedible fries ever served anywhere. who cares how big the portion is, if you can’t eat them?

      the burgers were ok, but seem overpriced, and greasy like the fries, on both of our only visits.

      my local steak house serves a mean burger for about the same price, and the fries are awesome.

  3. SpeakR40Dead says:

    May this be a lesson on the importance of customer experience in fast food eateries. I’d rather have better food/experience than subsidize cheep happy-meal toys any day.

  4. Platypi {Redacted} says:

    I would assume that at Smashburger, they make your burger, place it in a bag with your fries, set it on the counter, then hit it with a mallet while they yell “SMASHBURGER!!!!”

    I might be willing to check that place out.

  5. The Colonel says:

    Smashburger is good. It’s very similar to Five Guy. Most people will say 5 Guys is a little better, though. So, this survey makes sense.

    • Kuchen says:

      I like Smashburger. I might even say that I like it better than Five Guys. I like their fries better, they have a little more variety as far as toppings and sandwiches (chicken, black bean burger, even a few salads). It’s our compromise when my husband wants to go to Five Guys for the third time in one week.

      • RvLeshrac says:

        Smashburger is MILES ahead of Five Guys, though they’d be pretty close if Five Guys didn’t wrap the burger in foil and squash it so the bun is basically just a soggy, glutinous, oil-soaked glob of dough by the time you eat it.

        Smashfries are great, too. As are the Sweet Potato Smashfries.

      • golddog says:

        Yeah they’re both good, but Smashburger – burger to burger – theirs are a little less sloppy or something…I think it’s the buns. Or the Smashing. I can be in a Smashburger mood and not 5G.

    • pythonspam says:

      Bruce Banner is a big fan….

    • Mulysa says:

      I much prefer the options at smashburger. My husband doesn’t eat beef, so 5guys is generally out. I really love the smashfries, too.

  6. josephbloseph says:

    5 Guys restaurants have boxes and baskets of peanuts all around. I do miss Jack in the Box; I grew up in Hawaii, and live in Boston, so I can only get it when I travel. My car currently has a severely weather worn world cup Jack antenna ball.

  7. nugatory says:

    The only downside of Smashburger is that it is a bit more expensive than other burger joints. I guess there one other problem, in that you end up going far too often (I go for their smash fries).

  8. Blueskylaw says:

    There is a local Inn close to where I live that serves grass fed beef that was raised by a local farm also close to where I live. The fact that it is grass fed makes some people say it tastes funny until I remind them that they’re not used to eating unadulterated, minimally processed beef; they’re used to eating pink slime infused, ammonia gassed, highly processed and highly suspect “beef” – they’ve never even known what good food tastes like.

    • who? says:

      I live in one of those hip urban neighborhoods where even the burger joints serve farm to table pastured beef and pork, and fries made from lovingly cultivated, locally grown potatoes, with homemade ketchup. After a few months of eating nothing but good food, I can’t stand to eat anything else. It’s hard to explain, but everything else just tastes kinda grungy and cheap.

      I’ve never tried 5 guys, so I can’t comment, but I’ll take Carnitas’ Snack Shack or Miho Gastrotruck anytime.

      • Blueskylaw says:

        Whenever I travel to Europe to visit family, I can’t wait to eat the homemade food grown on their farms. The taste is so fulfilling and fresh that you actually end up eating less.
        I’ll pass on the homemade blood sausage though, that’s when I REALLY learned where our food comes from.

  9. naenae78 says:

    Well yeah…this review says it all. DAYUM!


  10. oldtaku says:

    [Hunkering down for the usual Five Guys / In’N’Out war]

    How about you argue Hardees vs Jack in the Box instead?

    • longfeltwant says:

      No war is necessary. They are both outstanding.

    • elangomatt says:

      I’d love to get on to Hardees side, but I haven’t had anything from Hardees in 5+ years since all 6 Hardee’s within a 30 minute drive has closed up.

      • eyesack is the boss of the DEFAMATION ZONE says:

        I used to work at Hardees. Costs the same as 5G and has quality somewhere near a school lunch program.

        The food is the same as Carl’s Jr. But Carl’s seems better administered. Are they actually managed differently or is this just a small sample size talking?

  11. MaxH42 needs an edit button says:

    Do you need an unpaid research assistant, Mary Beth?

  12. redskull says:

    I like 5 Guys OK, but after I eat one of their burgers I feel like I need to lie down for 7 or 8 hours.

  13. RandomHookup says:

    Funny thing, Five Guys is a client of Market Force (but so is McDonald’s).

  14. longfeltwant says:

    Five Guys here in Madison makes really great burgers, but very bad fries. They are fat, soggy, greasy, and turn cold quickly. The burgers, though, are definitely superior.

  15. dangermike says:

    Funny to mention Hardee’s (or Carl’s Jr., as it’s known in the wild west)…

    I was musing at their menu a few days ago about how the $6 burger will soon exceed six dollars. Hell, an upsized-to-medium combo with a substituted side is over $8 now. Hardly a bargain but if the choice is between that and almsot any other national chain, well there is no choice. You couldn’t pay me to eat at McDonald’s. Jack in the Box and and Burger are only ok-ish — definitely not my first choice — and Wendy’s is kind of an “well if you insist” kind of place. Best option by far, any of the myriad greek-owned cafe-style burger joints in the area. I don’t know why it’s always greek owned but it is, and if it’s not a single shop, it’s rarely more than 2 or 3. But I know of at least half a dozen within 15 miles, and they’re all awesome.

    • Southern says:

      Try your local pub(s).

      The pub down the street from my house makes the best hamburger I’ve ever eaten. it costs $8 for a ½lb burger, but it’s worth every penny.

    • Cream Of Meat says:

      Wendy’s Finger Chili is very very good. That, a chocolate frosty, and their new “natural cut fries” are all I eat there.

  16. azntg says:

    After trying out a hamburger at Smashburger (I went to the DeKalb Avenue, Brooklyn location), I’ll rank my hamburger preference as follows:

    Smashburger > Five Guys Burger > In ‘n Out Burger

  17. StatusfriedCrustomer says:

    “Five Guys does zero advertising, but by delivering consistently great customer experience… ”

    I’d replace “but” with “and”.

  18. YouDidWhatNow? says:

    …after having eaten in a few different Five Guys in a couple different states, I can categorically say there is absolutely nothing special about their food. It’s as bland as bland can be. Fresh? Sure. But it’s boring as heck and completely undifferentiated from what you’d make for yourself at home – and horribly overpriced to boot.

    That place, and it’s following, makes no sense.

  19. Zelgadis says:

    Wow…. Looking through the comments, it would seem that perhaps I’m the only one who’s never heard of Five Guys. I guess there are none in Kentucky.

  20. Diogynes says:

    Smashburger opened a new location in Peoria, AZ and was packed for two weeks. Once everyone had a chance to try their food, they haven’t been busy since. We we underwhelmed.

  21. Diogynes says:

    Smashburger opened a new location in Peoria, AZ and was packed for two weeks. Once everyone had a chance to try their food, they haven’t been busy since. We were underwhelmed.

  22. RvLeshrac says:

    http://www.thevortexbarandgrill.com/ This. So much this. If only there were more of them.

  23. wordsmithy says:

    The Habit FTW. If this place had a drive-thru, I’d be broke.

    • Cream Of Meat says:

      Hey, yeah! I forgot about that place. I like the burgers but the fries are junk. They’re like the frozen ones from a school cafeteria. (although it could just be the one near me?)

  24. The Gray Adder says:

    I don’t know. I found Five Guys a bit greasy. Wendy’s is better, at least in our area. The fries really kick ass, though.

  25. JayDeEm says:

    Having finished a 5 Guys burger about 15 minutes ago, I can confirm that they are indeed better than McDonalds.

  26. chatterboxwriter says:

    Funny; I thought Five Guys was terrible. The burgers were still red in the middle and they tasted blah. I actually prefer a McDonald’s double cheeseburger.

  27. menty666 says:

    See? Use actual meat and you can come out on top.

  28. cspschofield says:

    If we could only persuade Five Guys to wrap their burgers in paper instead of foil, they would be my favorite too. As matters stand, the fries are great (of type), but the moist heat from the burger turns the bun into a doughy blob.

  29. There's room to move as a fry cook says:

    I would hope 5 Guys is better – their combo costs twice as much as McDonalds combo.

  30. cspschofield says:

    Anybody know what’s happening with Johnny Rockets? I used to live in DC, where there were a couple I could visit regularly. Now I’m in PA, way outside of Philly. No luck.

  31. El_Fez says:

    When I go out for lunch at work, I have to drive PAST the McDonalds to get to the Five Guys. That shit is AWE-SOME!

  32. GenXCub says:

    Smashburger, Five Guys, and In N Out are all comparable, except a Double Double at In N Out is $3 and the other two are $10.

  33. trencherman says:

    I’m not a big fan of Five Guys, but hands down they are better than McDonald’s. Whataburger is probably my favorite of the larger chains. Of course there are lots of smaller chains that are much better.

  34. Fafaflunkie Plays His World's Smallest Violin For You says:

    Oh, the wait will soon be over for us here in the Great White North. A Five Guys is soon to open up in the expansion of the big box mall nearest to where I work. Now I’ll be able to experience first-hand what all the fuss is about. I hope the survey takers are not bullshitting me on this. Else I will unveil my wrath upon them all.

    • YouDidWhatNow? says:

      Yeah…I was pretty pumped to try a Five Guys for the first time because of all the hoopla seen right here on this website about it.

      Biggest. Letdown. Ever.

      Bland. The only word you need to describe their food. Except maybe “boring” and oh yeah, “overpriced.”

      I tried a few more times at other 5G places in other states when traveling, just to be sure.

      Yup. Utterly bland and boring and overpriced. There’s not the slightest reason to be found for why people rave about the place. It’s completely undifferentiated from what you would do at home if you were making your own burger.

  35. Nobody Owes You says:

    Five Guys is very good, but Smashburger is THE BOMB!

  36. jeb says:

    The Hardee’s here has a $3.99 combo special (quarter-pound Thickburger, fries, and a pop.)

    I find that to be, by far, the best value I’ve found in fast food. The Thickburger is a decent burger, and the price is not much more than you would pay to get a McDouble with fries and a pop (which is inferior.)

  37. Razor512 says:

    well Five Guys Burgers is insanely overpriced, even compared to mcdonalds which is also insanely overpriced, especially compared to making your own burgers (which is also insane especially since that for all the ingredients used for making your own, have their own retail markup and taxes.

  38. MrGutts says:

    I like my Vortex burgers here in Atlanta. Oh and 5 guys.

  39. kranky says:

    Nobody loves a burger more than I do, but it’s kind of silly to compare a $2 McD’s burger to a $6 one from 5 Guys. They serve two different worlds. They should put joints with drive-through windows in one category and everyone else in another category for comparison.

    I agree 5 Guys makes a very good burger, but I had a double cheeseburger at a Denny’s last month that was better than the ones I get at 5 Guys, cost less and I didn’t have to throw away a pound of fries at the end. It’s just not possible to compare every place that serves burgers.