Here's How Five Guys Really Got Its Name

With their endlessly customizable burgers, generous servings of fries, and endless complimentary peanuts, it's no surprise that Five Guys has come to be a favorite in the fast-casual sphere. Approaching its 35th year in business, the chain has gone from a handful of stores in the D.C. area to an international sensation with 1,500 locations on four continents (via Five Guys).

Five Guys' red and white franchises have become recognizable through their tiled dining rooms, sacks of potatoes and peanut oil in plain sight, and busy employees manning the grills (via USA Today). But the burger chain doesn't have the same memorable mascots or recognizable owners as other major burger joints. The main man behind Five Guys is Jerry Murrell, a Michigan born entrepreneur whose mother once admonished, "If you don't study, you'll be flipping burgers" (via Inc.). As far as the other four guys go, there's a bit of a story to tell.

Jerry Murrell used college tution money to open the first location

When Five Guys opened their first burger joint in Arlington County, Virginia, Jerry Murrell had four sons – three from his first marriage and one with his second wife, Janie. Hence, Jerry and his sons Matt, Jim, Chad, and Ben were the first five guys of Five Guys. The burger chain came to be when it came time for Murrell's oldest sons to think about enrolling in college. They decided that the academic route wasn't for them, and instead, their father used the money set aside for tuition to open Five Guys.

The origin story behind the Five Guys moniker changed slightly in 1988 when the Murrells had Tyler, their fifth son, in 1988. From then on, Jerry Murrell stopped including himself in the title, informing those who were curious that his burger chain was named for his five sons (via Yahoo! Finance).

Although Murrell decided to franchise Five Guys in 2002 (via The Washington Post), the family remains heavily involved in the business to this day. Janie looks after finances, Ben is charged with picking franchisees, Chad heads up training, Jim and Matt vet potential franchise locations, and Tyler oversees the company's bespoke bun bakery.