| Burgers |

What Is It About Houston and Burgers?

Keep Houston Press Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Houston and help keep the future of Houston Press free.

More Five Guys Burgers and Fries restaurants are on their way to Houston. Last August, Robb Walsh told you about the new chain location at 24004 Southwest Freeway in Rosenberg brought in by John Hooff who told us he plans 10 in all in Houston

Now, the big kahuna Bob Dorfman, president of TCH (Tampa, Columbus, Houston) has hit town, ready to open two of what he says are the 50 franchise outlets he plans for the Houston area alone. (He's already in Tampa and this week is opening his first one in Columbus.) The first two spots on Dorfman's list are at the Kroger Center, 1645 S. Voss Road, and at the H-E-B Center, 9762 Katy Freeway, Suite 100, scheduled to open in the spring.

Here's how it works at Five Guys, which began as one restaurant in Arlington, Va. more than 20 years ago:

You walk in and order your food. There are only eight menu items: hamburger, hotdog (always Hebrew National), grilled cheese, veggie sandwich (not a veggie patty! Dorfman says), French Fries in regular size and large size (which feeds four) in regular or Cajun-spiced versions and a beverage. All the burgers are cooked well done, but are still juicy, according to Dorfman, who says they've always done it this way.

You can get the burger in "regular" which is two 3.3 ounce patties ($4.69) or "little" ($2.99) which is one patty. Then you select one or all of the 17 toppings (pickles, onions, mushrooms, etc.).

Then you have about seven minutes to wait while you chew on free peanuts.

Everything is fresh; there aren't any freezers in the place. They use peanut oil for the fries (no trans fat) and at many of their more than 370 locations, they have lines out the door. The word "cultish" is often applied to their customers, a description Dorfman does nothing to discourage.

So with all the other recent arrivals (Smashburger) and ramp-ups among existing burger makers, why bring more hamburgers to Houston?

"Houston is a great meat and potatoes market. It's got great demographics," Dorfman says. And the economy hasn't tanked here as much as in other places.

In keeping with the "freshness" motif, Dorfman says "secret shoppers" come through twice a week at every location. Employees make more money if the shoppers issue favorable reports on them. Customer service, cleanliness and quality - in the fight for the consumer's burger dollar, Dorfman says he's determined there will be no mistakes.

-- Margaret Downing

Keep the Houston Press Free... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Houston with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.


Join the Press community and help support independent local journalism in Houston.


Join the Press community and help support independent local journalism in Houston.