Local Five Guys’ franchise owner Chris Smith has opened four of the hamburger-and-fries restaurants on the Georgia-South Carolina coast and plans to open three more in the near future.
Coming soon: A restaurant in Southside’s Twelve Oaks Plaza, one on Hilton Head Island and one in Pooler.
It’s part of the explosive growth of the chain based in Lorton, Va. It has 850 locations in the United States and Canada and is adding 250 more this year, said spokeswoman Molly Catalano.
The company has grown from a family-owned, mom-and-pop business into a more mature organization, Smith said.
“The restaurant business is a very, very difficult business, even with a great idea like Five Guys,” he said.
He focuses on choosing good locations and putting up good signs, since the chain doesn’t advertise.
Franchisees pay a 1.5 percent fee for marketing, with all the money going for an employee bonus program.
“Secret shoppers” visit every restaurant twice a week and rate the location on a long list of standards, including quality, cleanliness and service.