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    Five Guys Burgers and Fries Taps Comcast Business to Manage Internet Services For All Corporate Stores

    Popular Washington D.C. Burger Joint Becomes National Franchise With Cult Following

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    Situation

    • Washington D.C. burger joint known for fresh food, quality ingredients
    • Grew from a single burger joint to 1,300+ corporate and franchise locations nationwide

    Challenge

    • Small IT team supports 400+ corporate stores
    • Multiple vendors to manage proved difficult when there were service or billing issues

    Solution

    • Comcast Business Internet

    Results

    • A central service provider for 400 stores
    • Streamlined operations and cost efficiencies
    • Scalable capacity to support roll-out of new cloud-based business applications

    The Business Challenge

    Five Guys Burgers and Fries was founded by the Murrell family in 1986. What started as a carry-out burger joint in Washington, D.C. that served only hand-formed, grilled burgers with unlimited, free toppings and fresh-cut fries cooked in peanut oil, quickly developed a cult-like following. The Murrell family realized they were on to something and so they expanded, building four more Five Guys restaurants in the D.C. metro area with sit-down seating during the 1980s and 1990s. 

    Early in 2003, Five Guys began offering franchise opportunities. In just under 18 months, they sold options for over 300 restaurants. Now, more than 20 years after Five Guys first opened, there are over 1,300 locations worldwide including locations in the US, Canada, UK and the Middle East. 

    “Everything here at Five Guys is meant to be fun – from the array of possible burger toppings to the rock music in store to the peanuts on the floor,” said Zerrick Pearson, Vice President of Information Technology, Five Guys Burger and Fries.

    High-Speed Internet Essential for Five Guys Business Operations

    Five Guys today operates 400 corporate stores that are managed by a single IT team – the rest are managed by franchise owners. The 13-person team handles everything from app procurement to network services, along with associated vendor relationships.

    Previously, the burger chain relied on internet connections of varying speed across each location to power its on-premise point-of-sale system, online ordering system, music services, quality control and alert management technologies. Almost all of its business applications and services are cloud-based, so reliable connectivity is critical to keep business running smoothly, but these inconsistent connections were not always sufficient, resulting in latency and outages.

    With a national footprint, Five Guys was working with numerous service providers to obtain Internet services at each store, with varying degrees of success. When there was a service issue or an outage, Five Guys didn’t always know who to call to get their issues resolved, and billing was a nightmare to manage.

    “I think we’ve worked with nearly every service provider in the country,” Pearson added. “Our experience has been wildly inconsistent, and with so many vendors, it’s hard to establish the kind of relationships required to obtain good, consistent service.” 


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