The Real Reason Five Guys First Opened

The world might be marginally skinnier without Five Guys, but it sure wouldn't be any happier. The burger chain may have had to weather the occasional huge scandal, but at the end of the day, its burgers are still pretty close to the top whenever fast food hamburgers are ranked. There's just something about that slightly soggier-than-average bun, filled with all the unhealthy trimmings that make up a great burger ... and then some. Those crispy, succulent fries are pretty great, as well. 

Still, if it wasn't for one extremely important decision, the world might have been deprived of Five Guys and the sheer unhealthy goodness of its fare. Every great company has a story, and Five Guys is no exception. In fact, the burger chain's tale is a lot punchier than most, because its entire success story can ultimately be traced back to a single, history-making moment. Let's take a look at the real reason Five Guys first opened.

Five Guys got its start with these funds

Five Guys was founded by Jerry Murrell, but as Forbes tells us, the titular five guys were initially him and his then-four sons (the title of the fifth guy soon passed on to his fifth son). Without said sons, the company as you know it wouldn't exist. 

Murrell already had the idea for a nice restaurant that sells quality burgers, but he was keenly aware that he also had four kids who needed to be educated. So, in 1986, he gave his sons two options: the family could either use their college funds to open up a nice burger joint, or they could use it to ... well, send the kids to college. "I was pretty ­excited when the old man said he was starting a business," one of the sons, Matt Murrell, said. "The idea of going to college terrified me."

The other siblings agreed with this sentiment, and soon, the family had opened the first Five Guys in Arlington, Va. The intention was to keep the family close and involved in the same business venture, but as you can probably expect, the early days involved plenty of familial arguments. Yet, the Murrells persevered — and, looking at the results, you can hardly argue that their efforts weren't worth it.