American Burgers Showdown : Five Guys vs Shake Shack

Growing up in Poland, the most popular place to have a burger was McDonald’s. I used to like having dinner there because of the Happy Meal and the small toys included. It made dining fun, unlike eating at home. Now, considering how much I have tried fast food in my life, I have developed my taste buds and have some serious opinions about burgers and fries. So, I think McDonald’s isn’t the best burger anymore, and many Millennials I interviewed agree with me.

Two American chains, Shake Shack and Five Guys gained popularity because people started to care about eating quality food. While previous generations counted calories, Millennials have found popular more fresh and ‘healthy’ ingredients instead of processed ones.

Five Guys


The chain is known for its simple red and white decor with an open kitchen, and a fitting easy menu (all toppings for free). Burgers, hot dogs, fries, milkshakes and beverages are the only items to order. However, in the dining room you can find boxed of peanuts for free (as a starter?) and also enjoy eating your meal listening to energetic, rock&roll, sometimes too loud, music. Whether you like Five Guys or you not, it is one of the most quickly developing burger chains in the world, with 1,500 restaurants worldwide.

Do I like Five Guys? The answer both yes and no. I can promise that the restaurant has high standards. Fresh ingredients, no frozen meat or fries, thorough cleaning every night, very good customer service. But as a Five Guys worker, I feel tired of this food. Can you imagine doing burgers every day? I think it would be way too much even for the biggest burger lover. But the food and quality is good. For sure, it’s a better alternative to McDonald’s.

Shake Shack


It is a bit less popular than Five Guys, however the menu is larger. You can choose between multiple burgers, custards, hot dogs, chicken sandwiches, drinks, wines and beers. And also (drum rolls please) (again a suggestion), in Shake Shack you can buy a treat for you dog! But my friend, who work there, said that it is not such a popular option. As Shake Shack’s top bosses claim they serve ‘juicy flavorful Shake Shack Burgers made with freshly ground 100% all-natural Angus beef, free of hormones and antibiotics cooked to perfection.’ Is it true. I agree. I have been there once. I bought a little cheeseburger and fries. The food was nice, however I prefer Five Guys’ fries. They are not frozen and cooked in peanut oil.

Since I am currently working at Five Guys, I cannot judge which chain is better.  But I decided to check what students from my university prefer:


Also, if you’re interested how these delicious burgers are made, you can watch how the kitchen preps for service below.


Words: Dorota Ciolek | Subbing: Asya Gadzheva/ Tooba Haq

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