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I ate the same meal at BurgerFi and Five Guys, and was surprised the fancier chain was cheaper

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I ate a burger and fries from BurgerFi (left) and Five Guys (right).Rachel Askinasi / Insider

  • I ate a burger and fries at BurgerFi and Five Guys to see how different they were.

  • Both chains take orders at the counter and call diners when the food is ready.

  • Both were delicious, but BurgerFi felt a bit fancier in terms of food.

I compared the same meal from BurgerFi and Five Guys to see which was better.

I ate the same meal at BurgerFi and Five Guys, and was surprised the fancier chain was cheaper

 |  Latest News Headlines

BurgerFi (left) and Five Guys (right) are both quick-service burger chains.Rachel Askinasi/Insider and Edward Berthelot/Contributor/Getty Images

BurgerFi and Five Guys Burgers and Fries are fast food chains offering a menu based on burgers and fries.

Five Guys has 1,400 locations in 49 states, according to the company’s website, while BurgerFi has 120 locations in 22 states.

Since both chains specialize in the same food items, I ordered a single cheeseburger and a small side of fries to compare the food and atmosphere of both chains.

BurgerFi has been serving diners since 2011.

I ate the same meal at BurgerFi and Five Guys, and was surprised the fancier chain was cheaper

 |  Latest News Headlines

Outdoor terrace in front of BurgerFi in Delray Beach, Florida.Rachel Askinasi / Insider

I grew up in New York and can’t remember noticing a BurgerFi around. The chain is headquartered in Florida, and that’s where I first tasted it many years ago.

So on a recent trip to the southeastern state, I wanted to try again.

Five Guys Burgers and Fries has been serving fast food since 1986.

I ate the same meal at BurgerFi and Five Guys, and was surprised the fancier chain was cheaper

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Inside my local NYC Five Guys.Joey Hadden/Insider

I’ve been a loyal Five Guys customer for about eight years now, and have tried almost everything on the menu (and even some things on the secret menu, like a hot pot and a hack to get two-for-one burgers).

One big difference I noticed is the respective interior of the restaurants. BurgerFi, in my opinion, is more like a casual restaurant and bar.

I ate the same meal at BurgerFi and Five Guys, and was surprised the fancier chain was cheaper

 |  Latest News Headlines

The interior of a BurgerFi in Palm Beach County.Rachel Askinasi / Insider

Inside, the restaurant looks like a cross between a bar and a low-key restaurant, which makes it a good example of a fast-casual chain, in my opinion.

The soft-industrial decor included a mix of metal and wood tables, hammered metal details, and light fixtures that looked like art.

The menu was displayed on large television screens above the register and the kitchen window, and there was a small selection of beers on tap next to the register, which reminded me of Shake Shack, a fast casual burger chain that started in New York. .

I think the focus on aesthetics and the range of specialty menu items is what makes this rather fast food – plus my food didn’t come out fast at all.

Five Guys has a more fast food atmosphere with tiled walls and counters and bright red uniforms.

I ate the same meal at BurgerFi and Five Guys, and was surprised the fancier chain was cheaper

 |  Latest News Headlines

The cash register of a Five Guys in Manhattan.Joey Hadden/Insider

At Five Guys, the bright colors and tiled walls mentally put me in a fast food environment. Even though you still order at a counter with a register and wait for your name or number to be called, the vibe is different from BurgerFi.

Instead of draft beer next to the register, there are bottled waters and sodas on display in a bucket.

Five Guys also has an open kitchen, which means customers can clearly see everything behind the scenes as their food is prepared and cooked within the standard eight-minute time frame the chain uses to deliver its food. to customers.

At BurgerFi, I ordered a single cheeseburger with lettuce, tomato, pickles, American cheese and BurgerFi sauce.

I ate the same meal at BurgerFi and Five Guys, and was surprised the fancier chain was cheaper

 |  Latest News Headlines

Inside my unique cheeseburger at BurgerFi.Rachel Askinasi / Insider

This burger was a customized version of the chain’s BurgerFi Cheeseburger (which usually comes with two patties and no pickles) and cost me $6.39 at the South Florida location. (Prices vary by market, and the same sandwich in New York costs $6.97.)

In terms of ingredients, I was impressed.

I ate the same meal at BurgerFi and Five Guys, and was surprised the fancier chain was cheaper

 |  Latest News Headlines

A peek between the buns at my BurgerFi burger.Rachel Askinasi / Insider

BurgerFi’s beef patties looked like they were shaped in-house as the edges and sides weren’t quite perfect.

The single piece of lettuce was large and had more crunch than I expected from how leafy it was. A single slice of tomato added much-needed texture and lightness to an otherwise rich meal.

The meat itself had lots of savory flavors that went beyond savory and veered into the umami realm, and the cheese was nice and melty.

While the pickles were only slightly sour, I wish there were more of them or they were better spread on the bread so I could taste them in every bite.

I was impressed with how well this bun held up to juices and sauce. He didn’t get soggy or crumble under the weight of it all. Came back to this sandwich about 20 minutes later and the bread was still dry and intact.

At Five Guys, I ordered a small cheeseburger with lettuce, tomato, pickles and American cheese.

I ate the same meal at BurgerFi and Five Guys, and was surprised the fancier chain was cheaper

 |  Latest News Headlines

In my cheeseburger at Five Guys.Rachel Askinasi / Insider

This burger was more expensive than the one from BurgerFi at $8.49. (Prices vary by location, and the same sandwich at a South Florida location is $7.39.)

At Five Guys, there are no standard sandwiches on the menu like there are at the Florida-based chain. Customers should therefore request all the toppings they want individually. But that doesn’t bother me at all – in fact, I think I prefer it.

Five Guys’ toppings were applied more generously than BurgerFi’s.

I ate the same meal at BurgerFi and Five Guys, and was surprised the fancier chain was cheaper

 |  Latest News Headlines

My burger being assembled at Five Guys.Joey Hadden/Insider

My Five Guys burger had six pickle discs neatly spread on a bed of torn pieces of iceberg lettuce. The pickles were enough to give the flavor a significant boost and the lettuce gave the heavy sandwich a freshness.

This burger had two slices of tomatoes piled inside which made the flavor and texture of their presence more prominent.

Five Guys meat lends itself well to sauces and toppings, but it doesn’t have a strong flavor, in my opinion.

Although I love the sesame seed bread that you can only get at Five Guys, it doesn’t last very long before it succumbs to the pickle juice and tomato liquid around the edges. This is usually not a problem unless you pack your food and head to another location before diving.

At BurgerFi, I tried an order of plain fries

I ate the same meal at BurgerFi and Five Guys, and was surprised the fancier chain was cheaper

 |  Latest News Headlines

Plain fries at BurgerFi.Rachel Askinasi / Insider

For $4.29 in Florida ($4.37 in New York), I ordered an order of “regular” size fries, which is the smallest size option.

They came salty and hot, which is always a plus (and never guaranteed).

The potatoes were cut about 1/2 inch thick, varying lengths, and some had brown potato skin on the outside, which I personally like. They were soft inside and had a semi-crispy exterior.

After about 30 minutes, however, these fries cooled, became stiff, and lost most of their flavor.

I ordered a small fries from Five Guys, which is that chain’s term for the smallest size offered.

I ate the same meal at BurgerFi and Five Guys, and was surprised the fancier chain was cheaper

 |  Latest News Headlines

Plain fries at Five Guys.Rachel Askiansi / Insider

This order of fries from Five Guys in New York cost me $4.39 ($4.59 in Florida).

Five Guys fries have a mashed potato-like interior and a soft but noticeable exterior. They were served hot and savory, and retained both their texture and flavor when cooled.

These potatoes were also cut about 1/2 inch thick, varied in length, and had the same natural potato skin as BurgerFi’s fries.

In the end, I think the chains are completely different in terms of aesthetics, but the food is very similar.

I ate the same meal at BurgerFi and Five Guys, and was surprised the fancier chain was cheaper

 |  Latest News Headlines

I was surprised, but I think BurgerFi has the best meal.Rachel Askinasi / Insider

While the vibe inside each restaurant is definitely different — BurgerFi being the most upscale take on the classic Five Guys fast food style — the menu basics are close competitors.

In terms of quality, I think both chains use ingredients that feel and taste fresh to me as a customer. From vegetable buns and even galettes, they both leave little to be desired.

Although I’ve been a longtime Five Guys fan, I think I prefer BurgerFi’s overall burger because of its sturdy bun and flavorful meat. It’s also cheaper, which appeals to me.

Having tried the fries from both chains, the potatoes at Five Guys reign supreme, in my opinion. The fact that they retain their flavor and texture even if you take a while to finish the massive portion is something I can’t ignore.

Although I think BurgerFi is a fast food chain with more sophisticated dishes than fast food – the menu includes specialty burgers and truffle fries – even when it comes down to the basics, I would choose this smaller chain instead than Five Guys if they were right next to each other.

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