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Gloucestershire Business News

Five Guys announces huge UK expansion plans

The boss of burger chain Five Guys has said the family-owned American group wants to double the number of UK restaurants in the next few years to 300.

Chief executive John Eckbert said the business was only 'halfway done' with its UK expansion, reports

Founded in 1986 in Virginia by the Murrell family, who still own the business, it opened its first UK branch in London's Covent Garden in 2013.

A decade later it has about 160 British sites, including branches in Gloucester Quays and The Brewery Quarter in Cheltenham and counts British superstar singer Adele among its fans.

In comparison McDonalds, founded in 1940, opened its first UK store in Woolwich in 1974 and today it has approximately 1,300 restaurants, most of which are franchises.

Five Guys prides itself on doing things a little differently than its predecessors. It does not have any freezers in store and only uses the freshest ingredients. The fries are hand cut every morning from potatoes grown at farms near each store, with details displayed on each restaurant's notice board.

Customers can tailor their burgers to their exact tastes with a choice of 15 toppings. The brand claims there are more than 250,000 possible burger combinations including double patties, lettuce-wrapped burgers, or grilled cheeses.

All this will set you back more than your average fast food joint with a burger, milkshake and fries, costing around £21- around twice the price of the equivalent items from McDonalds.

However its smaller menu and higher costs have not deterred hungry punters.

Eckbert said the British business had 'exceeded expectations' and is now looking at opening sites in airports and train stations.

It is also keen to open more drive-thrus after its first in Teesside 'broke every record for first week sales'.

It has already announced new stores in Lincoln, Barton Mills in Suffolk and Bolton in Greater Manchester which are set to open in October, with one opening at Cheshire Oaks Designer Outlet near Ellesmere Port in November.

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