Mistakes everyone makes when ordering a burger at Five Guys

Gone are the days when a Big Mac could be considered the best burger in town. As consumers turn to a higher level of quality when they eat out, fast casual restaurants like Five Guys are taking over the burger scene. The now-popular chain was started in Arlington, Virginia, by Jerry Murell and his four sons when Jerry's two eldest sons, Matt and Jim, said they didn't want to go to college. Jerry was fine with that. The family took the boys' college tuition money and spent it on building their business from the ground up instead. The first location popped up in 1986, and they've been flinging their handmade burgers ever since.

There are a myriad of reasons we could point to that explain why Five Guys' burgers are just so good. It could be the fact that the chain focuses specifically on burgers instead of offering a wider variety of options. It could be that the quality of the ingredients is better. Or it could just be because the food is expensive, which probably makes us think it tastes better than that of the competition. Whatever the case may be, we can't get enough of the burgers from this spot. If you really want to make the most out of your trip there, you need to make sure you don't mess up your order. Take a look at these mistakes everyone makes when ordering a burger at Five Guys so you can avoid making them yourself.

Not getting creative with your Five Guys burger

There aren't a ton of burger restaurants that give you almost unlimited options for how you want your food to come out. And just imagine trying to pick from a long list of toppings while you're in your car at the drive-thru window — it's probably not going to work too well. This is just part of what makes Five Guys stand out from the competition. When you order from Five Guys, you have over 250,000 ways to customize your burger so it comes out perfectly and just to your specifications. That gives you no excuse not to get creative when it comes to designing your ideal burger.

And the best part? All of the toppings you can choose from on the menu are free. These options range from the classics, like ketchup, mustard, relish, and onions, to more unusual choices, such as hot sauce, grilled mushrooms, and jalapeno peppers. While it might be tempting to order the same thing every time you take a trip to Five Guys, if you're smart, you'll take advantage of all the amazing add-on options you can get here but nowhere else.

Skipping out on the secret menu at Five Guys

There are plenty of chain restaurants out there that offer secret menus. These are items that don't appear on the normal menu but that you can still order if you're in the know. But we have to admit, the secret menu at Five Guys exceeds all our expectations. Because there are so many toppings and extras to choose from, you can build a burger that's as simple or as over-the-top as you want. And what's not to love about that?

Perhaps the most famous item on the menu is the double grilled cheeseburger. Just imagine two rich, melty grilled cheese sandwiches. Then, sandwiched between them lies a burger patty cooked to perfection, plenty of cheese, and all the extra toppings you could ever dream of (lettuce and tomatoes are a must, but feel free to go wild with anything else you may want to add). This is the magic of the double grilled cheeseburger, and yes, you should definitely try it out. If that makes your stomach hurt just thinking about it, though, there are plenty of other items to choose from on the secret menu, from the patty melt to the burger bowl. Expand your horizons the next time you're headed to Five Guys and order something from the secret menu.

Forgetting to ask for extra bacon and/or cheese at Five Guys

One thing that almost everyone can agree on? We love free stuff. Sure, Five Guys might be more expensive than much of the competition, but when you get something for free there, you can't help but feel like you made the right decision. You already know that you can go crazy with the 15 available toppings, but there are actually add-ons that you won't see on the free menu: bacon and cheese. That's because they do charge for those items by changing your base order from a hamburger to a cheeseburger or bacon cheeseburger — both of which are slightly more expensive. But what they don't advertise is that once you're paying for these add-ons, you don't have to settle for the standard amount of each.

Taste of Home revealed that you can ask for extra of these toppings without paying a single cent more than you would have otherwise. Will this Five Guys hack help you meet your health and fitness goals? Probably not. But will it ensure that every burger you order at the restaurant is ten times better than any of your past burgers? Absolutely.

Getting too many fries with your Five Guys burger

Something that sets Five Guys apart from other fast food restaurants is the fact that the fries are super fresh. You may even see bags of potatoes around the store. That's because Five Guys doesn't use frozen, pre-sliced fries — they make them fresh in-store from real potatoes. Fresh French fries just taste better, which is already a reason to love Five Guys. But this chain seriously takes its fry game to the next level. Every fast food connoisseur knows that there are your normal, everyday fries, and then there are the special, coveted fries that reside at the bottom of the bag. Somehow, they always seem to taste better, and Five Guys knows it.

When you order fries from Five Guys, they'll give you the standard scoop that you're used to, but they'll then put an extra scoop in your bag just so you feel like you're getting more. While most customers are happy to get more of the good stuff, not everyone wants that many fries — or the greasy bag that goes hand-in-hand with all those extras.

In most cases, a small order is enough fries for two people to gorge themselves on, and a large order can easily feed a table of four. Don't make the mistake of paying for everyone in your party to get their own order of fries — if you do that, at least half of them will end up in the trash. Don't want to waste? You can always just ask the staff to leave out your extra scoop.

Ordering a medium rare burger from Five Guys

When you order a burger, how do you usually like it done? Many people out there will say that a burger doesn't taste good unless it's medium-rare. They want to see some pink when they bite into their burger. After all, isn't that what you're looking for in a juicy steak? But don't you dare try to order a medium-rare burger at a Five Guys because they simply won't make it for you. Why? Because the restaurant only sells well-done burgers.

This policy probably has to do with food safety. As delicious as a medium rare-cooked burger is, it's not technically safe to eat. Unlike steak, burgers have to be cooked all the way through, since the surface of the meat (where the harmful bacteria grows) is incorporated into the whole burger during the grinding process. Five Guys is likely just covering its bases and making sure its customers don't get sick. Don't worry, though: Even though the burgers are cooked through, they're still as juicy as can be.

Getting a hot dog instead of a burger from Five Guys

If you've been a Five Guys fan for a while, then you know the full name for the restaurant is Five Guys Burgers and Fries. The restaurant tells you what it's good at right in the name. While many fast casual burger restaurants will offer a ton of other food options, the same can't be said for Five Guys. Apart from the burgers, the milkshakes, and the fries, you're not going to see much else on the menu save for the hot dogs. 

Now, let's get this straight: We love hot dogs, and we are huge proponents of this classic, traditional American treat. We would never badmouth the hot dog in general. We just believe it should be done well, and Five Guys' hot dogs don't really make the cut.

The bread is soggy, the meat is average, and the toppings? Not our favorite. Just take the hot dog with cheese. Somehow, putting a slice of American cheese on a normal, run-of-the-mill hot dog doesn't do much for it. Add to that the fact that the hot dogs here are ridiculously expensive compared to the hot dogs you can find at other fast food joints, and you'll see why it's something you should pass up when you order from Five Guys. Just go with a burger — you know you can't go wrong in that department.

Trying to get a milkshake with your burger at a Five Guys location that doesn't offer them

In many ways, Five Guys seems like the perfect diner experience. You've got the classic burgers made with fresh ingredients and the red-and-white tile-heavy decor. But apparently, Five Guys knew that it was missing something when it came to the diner aesthetic, which may be why it started adding handspun milkshakes to its menu back in 2014. These aren't just your basic milkshakes, either. If you want to take your classic vanilla milkshake up a notch, you can also get flavors like coffee, salted caramel, and even bacon, which may sound strange but might just be the best item on the menu if you love a good sweet and salty mix.

But here's some bad news: You won't be able to find the milkshakes at every location. The online menu stipulates that milkshakes are only available at participating locations around the country. So, before going into your local Five Guys assuming you'll be walking out with a milkshake, make sure your location carries them.

Thinking Five Guys is an eco-friendly option

To be fair, a lot of people wouldn't consider any burger joint to be an eco-friendly option, especially when you consider how much beef production contributes to climate change. But just because Five Guys is serving up unsustainable food products doesn't mean it has to double down on its eco-unfriendliness. When you buy a meal at the burger chain, it's going to come out as a to-go order no matter what, even if you choose to dine in. That means it comes with the paper bag, extra napkins, and your burgerwill be all wrapped up. This policy creates a lot of unnecessary waste, especially when you consider all the customers that just carry all that packaging to a table a few feet away.

As you can imagine, this isn't a popular policy with many of Five Guys' customers. A Move On petition was created to encourage the fast food chain to recycle and cut down on its waste. Luckily, word has it that Five Guys is now trying to learn how it can reduce waste in its stores.

Not sharing your burger pictures on Five Guys' social media

Calling all influencers! If you want to get famous, Five Guys might just be the place to start. OK ... you're probably not going to make it big just by eating a burger, but you could get the chance to be featured on the company's website or social media pages. While the brand works with influencers, it also uses pictures from real customers who submit their photos. From the ability to submit your Five Guys photo to the company's website to your chance to participate in hashtag challenges on Instagram, the chain really goes above and beyond when it comes to customer engagement.

So, the next time you're at a Five Guys enjoying your meal, don't forget to snap a picture or two. Share it with the company online using the #fiveguysfans hashtag, and you may just see yourself on the Five Guys social media pages. And yes ... eating a burger (and looking fabulous doing it) is the best way to get famous.

Forgetting to take a page out of Obama's book when you order from Five Guys

As one of the most respected and well-loved presidents of our lifetime, Barack Obama is no stranger to good food. State dinners under the Obama administration often included veggies from the White House garden, and the former president famously appeared on Anthony Bourdain's series Parts Unknown, where the TV personality took the then-president to a small, casual restaurant in Hanoi, the capital of Vietnam. It's true that Obama is known for keeping his diet especially healthy (he doesn't even drink coffee on most mornings ... he is stronger than us), but that won't stop him from indulging in a burger from time to time.

The former 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue resident ordered a regular cheeseburger with lettuce, tomato, jalapenos, and mustard (not Dijon, as far as we can tell) from Five Guys. Sounds like a pretty tasty combo, and it's good to know that the former president can handle some spiciness. If you want to take a page out of Obama's book, make sure you order "The Presidential" the next time you go to Five Guys.

Forgoing Five Guys burger delivery

Ask any loyal Five Guys fan what they hate about the burger chain, and you'll probably hear all about the fact that Five Guys doesn't offer delivery. While it's not too challenging to just visit the restaurant yourself and pick up your order, it's probably not the ideal situation when you're feeling lazy or you have a million other things to do. And with the coronavirus pandemic upending everyday life, fewer people are willing to go inside a restaurant to pick up their orders.

Apparently, Five Guys got wind of the frustration because the company now offers delivery services — meaning you don't have to ignore your craving for Five Guys just because you're not in the mood for a drive. You can order Five Guys through a variety of apps like Postmates and GrubHub. This makes it super easy to place your order through the app (you don't even have to make a call), and all you have to do is sit back, relax, and wait for your order to arrive at your door. Perhaps this addition of delivery service is one reason why Five Guys seems to be weathering the COVID-19 storm for now.

Ordering from Five Guys at all ... if you have a peanut allergy

If you have a food allergy, you know you have to be really careful about where you eat. This is especially true if you have a bad allergy that could result in anaphylaxis. One of the most common allergies is to peanuts to cause that reaction is peanuts. If you suffer from this kind of allergy, you may want to avoid eating at Five Guys. 

First of all, there's the cooking medium. Five Guys prides itself on using peanut oil for all of its frying. While FARE, Food Allergy Research & Education, says that most people with peanut allergies can safely ingest peanut oil, it's best to check with your doctor if you're in doubt.

But the oil isn't the only thing you have to worry about there. You might also have to watch out for the milkshakes, which may contain a small amount of peanuts. More important, though, is the fact that most locations offer free peanuts for guests to snack on while they're waiting for their food. This may not be a problem if you don't grab one to try for yourself, but sometimes, the shells can cause a mess in the store, possibly exposing customers to allergens. Not to mention that the entire store is pretty contaminated for anyone with a very sensitive allergy. Therefore, those with peanut allergies should either take some extra precautions or pass up Five Guys in favor of another burger restaurant.

Thinking you're getting a good deal on a burger at Five Guys

One thing we love about burgers and fries is the fact that at its core, this common coupling is about as unpretentious (and, therefore, inexpensive) as it gets. It may not be fancy, but it is delicious, and that's just how we like it. Restaurant chains like McDonald's, despite their flagging success, have embodied this narrative perfectly: Where else can you reliably order from the dollar menu?

But Five Guys hasn't quite adopted the same strategy. Five Guys is often downright expensive for a burger joint, and many customers aren't having it. There's a good chance that this is a big reason why Five Guys isn't expanding as fast as other burger chains across the country. True, the quality of the food may be better than the stuff you'd find at a typical fast food chain, but places like In-N-Out offer comparable quality for a lower price. However, Five Guys still has a loyal following, and there's no signs that these die-hard fans are going anywhere anytime soon, even with the higher-than-average prices.