peanuts at Five Guys restaurant

Why Five Guys Offers Free Peanuts To Its Customers

Most of you have probably enjoyed a meal or two at the popular franchise known as Five Guys. They are famous for their juicy burgers. Also, the complementary all-you-can-eat peanuts that you get to munch on while you wait for your meal. This welcoming treat might seem like general hospitality, and that might be the case, but the reason is not what you might expect. 

Image Credit: FIve Guys | Steve Penley | Facebook

The Five Guys Franchise

Five Guys is a popular restaurant that offers a unique dining experience. As you are seated, they offer you complimentary peanuts as a snack while you wait. Everyone likes free food, so they have become famous for his over the years. The franchise began with the five sons of Jerry and Janie Murrell. The pair together created an empire that now has more than 1400 branches today. The first branch was based in Alexandria, Virginia. But, they are now located in 49 different states across America, as well as nine other countries. 

Five Guys serves burgers and fries, amongst other things. Because their menu is the typical fast-food type, people have a certain expectation of waiting time from ordering to receiving your meal. Five Guys has a policy that no cook may press down on the patty that is being cooked to make it cook faster. This is because they pride themselves for serving juicy burgers. This might mean that you have to wait a little longer than other fast-food chains. But, at the same time, you are getting better quality food. 


Five Guys Offers Peanuts While You Wait

There are always going to be impatient people in this world. So, when you walk into Five Guys expecting a speedy meal, there might be a few disgruntled customers who might hold up the service line making others wait even longer than normal. Luckily for those people, there is a bowl of peanuts to enjoy! That seems to help keep their complaints at bay. This is pretty genius, and while they are a tasty snack, they are also entertaining. The peanuts are still inside their shells. So, you have to work for the nut inside, which occupies your time even further. Genius!


This might seem like the ultimate welcoming gift for those who love peanuts. But, one can only imagine the fear this must bring on for one who is fatally allergic to nuts. Some people have such sensitive allergies to nuts that they can’t even be in the same room as them. Let alone a restaurant filled with them. What was thought to be a thoughtful distraction and appetizer, has become a giant warning flag for those who are allergic.

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The Real Reason 

Five Guys has thought ahead, and they have big signs at their windows that alert those with peanut allergies that peanuts are served inside. Those with allergies can then make their own judgment to come inside and simply avoid eating the peanuts at their table. This might seem like a pretty fair compromise, but it might be what sends you to the hospital with a severe allergic reaction. One might have wondered how they ended up having to deal with the anaphylactic symptoms when they definitely did not eat the free peanuts. What most people do not know, is that the franchise serves French fries that are fried in, none other than, peanut oil! 

Now, you might think that people with severe allergies might be used to having to read the fine print on their menus or ask the waiter all sorts of weird questions about where the food was sourced and packaged. But, one does not usually ask what kind of oil the fries were cooked in. It would be so easy to assume that the French fries are a safe option to order, because they are seemingly just potatoes. But, because they are fried in peanut oil, they’re a no-go for those with peanut allergies.


Another reason Five Guys gives out complimentary peanuts as an obvious warning for those with peanut allergies that do not read the warnings placed in the windows. This protects their business, as well as the customers.

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  1. The Reason Five Guys Serves Complimentary Peanuts to Its Customers.Mental Floss. Michele Debczak. Jan 31, 2022
  2. Peanut Allergy.” Cleveland Clinic