The “5 Guys” Fries Trick That Will Blow Your Mind (And Sales!)

Content Marketing
Five Guys
For the past year or so, my family and I have been enjoying the occasional meal at 5 Guys Burgers and Fries. If you haven’t heard of the chain yet, don’t worry, you will. An east coast phenomenon consistently ranked among the top burger places by fans and publications alike, 5 Guys is growing like mad by offering delicious, affordable hand made patties (any way you want them), shakes and sodas, and a very generous portion of fries.While everything is delicious, it is that fries thing that I want to talk about for a moment.

Customers appreciate getting extra value for the same price…

5 Guys does such an amazing thing, such a cool little business trick, that I didn’t catch on until I really thought about it recently. And once I thought about it, I saw what a great idea it is for the rest of us. You may also like: 5 Frugal Tips for Marketing Your New Small Business

Here’s what they do: When you order some fries from the counter, the server dutifully takes their little paper fries bucket, fills it up, and then puts it in a paper bag. Then they take an even bigger scoop of fries and dump it into the bag, on top of the regular order. I always think, and my kids always say, “I can’t believe how many extra fries we get!”

And then it finally dawned on me, we don’t really get any extra fries at all, do we?

The genius of this little show is that for all intents and purposes, it looks and feels like we get extra fries, that the guys and gals at 5 Guys are being cool and generous, but upon a little post-carb reflection the truth is that they planned on giving that amount of fries out anyway, and budget for that. But they package it in such a clever way that you think you are getting this great deal, this something for nothing.

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People love getting a deal. We love saving money. And we like to think we are that special customer worthy of the extra fries. Does it cost 5 Guys anything extra? No way. Does it build goodwill? You bet.

It’s a great lesson for all of us.

Examples of how you might incorporate this little magic trick into your business:

  • When I practiced law, lawyer friends routinely offered “free consultations.” And it was free. If the lawyer didn’t’ get the gig, the potential client got a free half hour of advice. And for the lawyer, it was, either way, a marketing write-off. But it sure did bring in business.
  • You can, like 5 Guys, offer something for sale and throw in something extra at the end; just be sure you take into account that extra something when you price it in the first place.

And even beyond that, it behooves us to simply remember the psychology of the extra fries trick: Customers appreciate getting extra value for the same price. For instance, I do a podcast for a client and recently told them that I would like to give them the show for free for a month at the end of the contract, as a way to say thank you (and of course, hopefully as an incentive to get them to re-up for another year.)

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Value added: It doesn’t cost, it pays.

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150 Comments on "The “5 Guys” Fries Trick That Will Blow Your Mind (And Sales!)"

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6 months 4 days ago

they don’t do that anymore…it is a teeny cup and if you are lucky you get a few extra…oh and the price doubled….

1 month 16 days ago

Not true. I ate at five guys yesterday and they filled the cup up then put a ton of extra fries on top of that. So it may be the particular five guys you ate at. It was all delicious.

Iown You
6 months 9 days ago

Doesn’t matter, Five Guys sucks. Bland burgers, bland fries. Over-priced.

You can talk all day about handmade and natural, but if the food has no taste it’s a waste of time.

9 months 29 days ago

Explaining the trick with the fries does not explain why the rest of their food is in a price bracket all their own (above the rest). I am NOT comparing them to “fast food” places such as McD, BK, and Wendy’s. I’m comparing them to others in their food quality and price category (not necessarily burger places) like Moe’s, Chipotle, Panera, Panda, etc. Realistically they are in the same range as a half dozen “mexican grills”. But I cannot think of ANY other burger and hot dog places in their category. They really have NO… Read more »

1 year 7 months ago

Teaching your kid how to control his cholesterol are ya! Good for you, but not for junior!

1 year 7 months ago

Affordable hand-made patties? Are you kidding. 5 Guys is a very expensive burger joint no mattter how many fries you get. The peanuts don’t even make up for the highly priced hamburgers. Are you a relative or one of the five?