Biz Buzz: Five Guys opens in Baxter
BAXTER — Five Guys, the restaurant noted for its burgers and fries opened, Friday, Feb. 7, in Baxter to a waiting line of customers.
Kris Humphries, retired NBA player, who is one of the owners with his father, William Humphries, said the Brainerd/Baxter area is a good community and one they were familiar with coming to since he was a kid visiting their cabin in Longville.
Kris Humphries said they like locating near Chipotle.
“It’s a good balance between the two types of food,” he said.
He said the appeal, which helped bring a waiting line before the 11 a.m. opening, comes from the fresh beef and hand-cut fries and milkshakes.
“It’s a good blend of everything,” Kris Humphries said. “I think people appreciate that process and the freshness of the food. It’s a premium burger.”
The customers first in line for opening day agreed, saying the burgers are the draw.
Sami and Jeremy Cross, Brainerd, arrived about 10:20 a.m. expecting a line for the opening but they may have had an even bigger celebration planned than most.
“It’s our 10-year wedding anniversary,” Sami Cross said. “We love Five Guys. We just love it. It’s our little date.”
The restaurant employs about 50. The opening has been anticipated as the last of a recent slate of new restaurants in the area. The restaurant seats 60.
Alex Humphries, business manager, said they wanted to make sure when they opened they did it the right way, looking at their strengths of customer service and product quality. He said their most popular item is typically the bacon cheeseburger. Prices range from $5 to a $9.39 for the bacon cheeseburger.
William Humphries said they have 10 stores now and all are in smaller towns.
“We understand the demographics,” he said, noting they’ve been in the business now for 11 years with restaurants in St. Cloud, Duluth, Rochester, Mankato, along with Wausau, Eau Claire and Green Bay in Wisconsin. “I like small town America — I really do.”
The restaurant, by Gander Outdoors and in the same strip mall as Chipotle, is the last of the recent restaurant additions.
In the past few months, Baxter added Firehouse Subs and Chipotle. In addition, El Tequila moved into the former Olive Garden building. In Brainerd, Burger King reopened. All have added to the dining choices in the lakes area.
Five Guys was founded by Jerry Murrell and the family opened their first carry-out “burger joint” in Arlington, Virginia, in 1986. They served fresh cut fries cooked in pure peanut oil, according to their website history, and served hand-formed burger patties cooked on the grill. Five Guys reports it uses only fresh ground beef, only peanut oil and has no freezers in its locations, just coolers.
Between 1986 and 2001, five locations for Five Guys opened in the D.C. metro area. The next year, they expanded to franchises in Virginia and Maryland. Between 2003 to the present day, the franchises grew to nearly 1,500 locations. Five Guys restaurants are found in the country, Canada, United Kingdom, Europe and the Middle East.
Five Guys reports it has another 1,500 units in development.