The Real Reason Five Guys Offers Peanuts To Customers

For many people, roasted peanuts summon memories of summer baseball games — and Five Guys Burgers and Fries. Five Guys Burgers and Fries got its start in Arlington, Virginia in 1986, and in the 30 years that followed, opened up 1,500 locations across the globe, with plans to open an additional 1,500 in the future (via Five Guys). 

Each one of their locations has huge buckets of peanuts available for customers to snack on as they wait for their burgers. At first glance, it seems strange that appetizers of peanuts are served for free in gigantic barrels at a fast food place, but Five Guys has offered the snacks for more than 20 years and it has become synonymous with their name. 

Although there's no information on the Five Guys website about why they serve peanuts, a former Five Guys employee on Reddit claimed that the peanut ploy is designed solely to "distract the customers so they don't stare at us" (via PopSugar). Although Five Guys management may not say it in such blunt terms, this theory checks out. Here's why.

The reason Five Guys supplies peanuts

Given the fact that the chain is insistent that their burger patties must stay juicy, they've told their employees not to press down on the patties (via Taste of Home). This causes a longer cooking time for the burgers, which could result in the customers standing around for a while. If they've got peanuts to snack on, its not a problem, but without something to do, it's conceivable that they would get antsy.

The one rule on the books is that similar to an all-you-can-eat buffet, you're not allowed to take any peanuts with you but you can enjoy as many as you can while you're still in the store (via Fox). This is done to limit peanut exposure to people who might be allergic to them. People with peanut allergies are warned with signage on the door of every restaurant, but if the peanuts are brought out of the restaurant onto the streets, unintended consequences could result. And if the peanuts themselves aren't reason enough for people with peanut allergies to steer clear of Five Guys, they fry all of their French fries in 100 percent peanut oil (via Five Guys).