MONEY MATTERS: FIVE GUYS CALLAO BEATS TIMES SQUARE

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No refined pretensions. Just fresh ingredients

FIVE GUYS Callao

By Jack Wright

Daniel Agromayor, former McDonald’s Spanish executive, is on cloud nine. The newly opened Five Guys on 44 Gran Via, Madrid, just beat Five Guys Times Square, New York, in sales! “It’s madness,” Agromayor enthuses, “and we’re very grateful for it.”

On Times Square

The American fast casual restaurant* was inaugurated last 30 October 2016, the first, and at the moment the only one, in Spain. But considering its stunning success, complete with long queues out on the sidewalk waiting to get in at peak time, there’ll be more in other major cities in Spain (Barcelona, Valencia, Bilbao . . . ) and Portugal.

Says Agromayor: “We will be creating and developing a new ‘Better Burger’ category” in Iberia.

The choice of the first location was no roll of the dice. It was quite deliberate, being in the strategic confluence of Gran Via and Plaza Callao, the heart of the heart of the commercial and tourist center of Madrid.

Confluence of Callao and Gran Via

Agromayor, now head of Five Guys in Spain and Portugal, ascribes the “extraordinary” success of the “freshest hamburgers in Madrid” to “word of mouth about the quality, taste and good atmosphere” from “Five Guys fanatics” who’ve been watching out for the opening of the joint in Spain.

Presently, Five Guys (the five sons of founder  Jerry Murrell: Matt, Jim and Chad from Jerry’s first marriage; Ben and Tyler with wife Janie) occupies the ground floor of the building on 44 Gran Via. But soon it’ll be on the upper floors too.

Five Guys’ headquarters is in Fairfax, Virginia, USA. Its first restaurant opened in Arlington County in 1986. Between that year and 2001, the chain expanded to five locations in Washington, D.C. metro area. It got a big boost when the press learned U.S. president Barack Obama went and dined there in 2009. For some time now, Five Guys is the fastest growing fast casual restaurant in the States and, moreover, is making its presence felt in Europe.

 

Images
Featured image: Five Guys burger, fries and drink/ Jerry Huddleston, CC BY-2.0
Five Guys Times Square/ m01229 via Flickr, CC BY2.0
Callao-Gran Via/Shevek via Flickr,CC BY-SA2.0

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*Fast casual restaurant: Found primarily in the United States, it does not offer full table service but promises a higher quality of food with fewer frozen or processed ingredients than other fast food restaurants. It is an intermediate concept between fast food and casual dining which became popular in the United States in the early to mid-1990s but did not become mainstream until the end of the 2000s and the beginning of the 2010s.  Customers tend to perceive these restaurants as healthier. (Source: Wikipedia)