Yesterday I told you how my college education cost me $1.6 million and questioned whether it was worth the lost opportunity cost. Today, we look at Five Guys who took their education fund and, instead of going to college, started flipping burgers. Here’s the story (and its true).
Founded in 1986 in Arlington, Virginia, Five Guys is a burgers and fries joint. Owned by Janie and Jerry Murrell and their five sons, Five Guys was the result of a choice (isn’t everything in life). Go to college or use your college fund to start a burger joint. The sons chose burgers and fries. The original store and the few that followed were, at first, standing room only. Literally, there was no seating in the restaurants. You could eat peanuts out of a cardboard box while you waited for your made-to-order burger, and shells littered the floor. The first expansion came with seating in some of their stores, and by 2002, the Murrell’s had grown their business to five stores on the success of a burger that regularly won award after award.
A few years ago, the Murrell’s decided to franchise their operation. By March of 2007, they had 150 stores, all east of the Mississippi! Today, there are more than 1,000 stores in the planning and building stage. How much does a store make? About $1 million in revenue a year. If you’ve never had a Five Guys burger, by all means do if you get the chance. I regularly visit the Five Guys at International Square in Washington, D.C.. And by the way, the fries are as good as the burgers. Hand cut and fried in peanut oil, they are to die for.
So, do you think the Five Guys regret not going to college?