published Saturday, July 2nd, 2011

2 guys open Five Guys Burgers downtown

Ronnie Womack, left,  and Charles Wilson install part of the frame for countertops  at Five Guys Burgers and Fries at the corner of Fourth Street and Broad Street downtown.
Ronnie Womack, left, and Charles Wilson install part of the frame for countertops at Five Guys Burgers and Fries at the corner of Fourth Street and Broad Street downtown.
Photo by Allison Carter.

• Name: Five Guys Burgers and Fries

• Location: Opening new location at Fourth and Broad, former location of Rock Point Books.

• Products/services: Burgers, fries and hot dogs are made virtually from scratch each day. There is no freezer — all food is brought in or cooked fresh daily.

• Age: Partners Glen Griffiths and James Richards founded their first store in Hixson in August 2007. A downtown location should be complete in August.

• Startup investment: A store costs about $500,000 to open.

• Anticipated sales: $1 million in the first year

• Target market: Potential customers include anybody who wants a juicy hamburger or hot dog with french fries and a Coke, that most American of meals, Griffiths said.

• Biggest hurdle: Finding the right location for each store is always a hurdle, owners say. Considerations include how many customers, how much traffic, what level of affluence and what demographics play out in each area.

• Biggest reward: The partners enjoy being part of a well-known and profitable brand, they said. It’s also rewarding to see customers embrace an idea after “you put your whole life on the line” to make it happen, Richards said.

• Lesson learned: Griffiths and Richards worked for Krystal as executives for many years before striking out on their own, so they already know that “you have to do your homework” when starting any venture, Richards said.

• Five-year goal: The partners have bought the rights to build 13 total stores in their East Tennessee territory, so they hope to be fully built out within five years, they said.

about Ellis Smith...

Ellis Smith joined the Chattanooga Times Free Press in January 2010 as a business reporter. His beat includes the flooring industry, Chattem, Unum, Krystal, the automobile market, real estate and technology. Ellis is from Marietta, Ga., and has a bachelor’s degree in mass communication at the University of West Georgia. He previously worked at UTV-13 News, Carrollton, Ga., as a producer; at the The West Georgian, Carrollton, Ga., as editor; and at the Times-Georgian, Carrollton, ...

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