Why You'll Never Find Timers In A Five Guys Kitchen

There's something about a Five Guys burger and fries that tempted Former First Lady Michelle Obama into sneaking out of the White House and bragging, "I went to Five Guy, and nobody knew it" (via The Washington Post). Barack Obama is also a Five Guys fan and orders his burgers with jalapeños, mind you. This might, in turn, be why somebody recently speculated on Twitter that President Biden treated the Prime Minister of Japan to a Five Guys burger when he recently came to visit. For his part, Ed Sheeran, who likes Five Guys too, once famously tweeted what's likely become one of the burger chain's most effective social media advertising campaigns: "Five guys above everything."

As we said, there's something about Five Guys that inspires passion. Perhaps it's their French fries obsession, which inspires the chain to hold a yearly "potato race Olympics," during which contestants duke it out over who can cut up a 50-pound bag of fresh potatoes the fastest. Don't knock it till you've tried it. In 2016 the record, according to Food Republic, was 48 seconds. Perhaps it's the meticulous training that Five Guys gives to its French fries cooks, who the chain dubs "mad scientists." Fries get a two and a half-minute pre-cooking time, followed by a 10-15 minute cooling time, and a two and a half to three-minute final cook. Then again, maybe it's the fact that the Five Guys cooks do it all without the help of a timer, every, single time.

Why Five Guys' no timers policy makes for better food

When the Murrells founded Five Guys as a family business in 1986, they'd already hit upon their no-timer policy, as per NBC News. "Good cooks know when food's done," is the mantra that Five Guys' kitchen workers live by. Instead of timing processes, the staff is taught to watch for signs their food is ready: including observing the way burgers change color on the grill, and for when fries start floating to the top of the oil (via Wales Online).

Don't believe us? Watch them at work. In one Youtube video, a Five Guys employee pats a hamburger down with his (gloved) hand to feel for whether or not the patty is cooked through or not before adding melted cheese to it. In another video, a Five Guys supervisor in Canada trains U.S. ambassador, David Jacobson, to make burgers in the fast-food chain's kitchen, telling him when his patty is done by eyeballing it. Believe it or not, Five Guys' timer-independent kitchen employees are, quite simply, just that good.