Five Guys defend Irish price-hike for burger and fries

NewsBy Jamie McDowell
Five Guys defend Irish price-hike for burger and fries
The Five Guys chain enjoys a cult following
The Five Guys chain enjoys a cult following

The new Five Guys all-American burger joint in Belfast’s Victoria Square could be taking a bite out of your wallet.

For the world-famous fast food restaurant, which counts US President Barack Obama among its biggest fans, is charging Belfast punters over two quid more for a burger than our American counterparts.

The new restaurant in Victoria Square, Ireland’s first Five Guys to open, currently charges £8 for a cheeseburger and £4 for regular fries.

Compare that with a cheeseburger from the Five Guys restaurant on 55th Street in Manhattan, which costs $8.70 including tax (£5.83), or a regular fries at $4.34 including tax (£2.91), and the difference could leave a bad taste in your mouth.

Described as the ‘Willie Wonka’s of burger craft’ by the Washington Post, Five Guys generally receives rave reviews by those who grace its front door.

Some cheesed-off customers have already taken to social media to complain about the prices.

However, even those who have, mostly agree that the food is delicious. On the Five Guys Belfast Facebook page, Aaron Fletcher posted: “I’m going with the richest friends I have so they can help me pay for the most expensive burger in the world lol”.

Ryan Campbell wrote: “Trust me – if you’s don’t reduce your prices you’s won’t be in Belfast this time next year.”

Meanwhile on Twitter, @BangorBBQer Tweeteed: “I had my 1st Five Guys burger this week @FiveGuysUK in Belfast. I must say the burger was really good but very expensive.”

And @yeahmegs said: “Five guys opening belfast is amazing but so overpriced but so good”.

Five Guys developed a cult following soon after the Murrell family opened a small burger bar back in 1986 in Arlington, Virginia.

The chain counts US President Barack Obama among its biggest fans 

There are now over 1,000 Five Guys locations across the globe. When we asked Five Guys about the price difference, they said that there are numerous reasons for the difference in pricing between here and the States.

A spokesperson listed the reasons: “The tax system – their prices are inclusive of the 20% VAT. US prices are before sales tax is added and Five Guys prices are inclusive of 20% VAT which accounts for a lot of the difference.

“The Quality of the food offering – Five Guys do no use freezers.

“All food is prepped fresh every day. As you can appreciate the cost of fresh produce/raw ingredients is priced differently around the world. They don’t compromise on the ingredients, no matter what the location of the store is, and so their supply chain is more expensive than the US currently. If either of the above becomes cheaper then they would certainly look at pricing.”

Thirdly they added that labour costs also have a part to play in the price difference.

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