How Five Guys founder, Jerry Murrell, flipped burgers into billions | Ripplestarters
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How Five Guys founder, Jerry Murrell, flipped burgers into billions


Jerry Murrell graduated from University of Michigan, intimidated by all the intelligent people surrounding him. He lost his wife, his kids and his school teachers always told him to get his act together or he’d end up selling burgers. Little did they know that was Jerry’s destiny. After many failed business attempts and a boring career in financial planning, Jerry won back his family and burger lovers by building one of the fastest growing fast food restaurants, Five Guys Burgers & Fries. Here are 5 things we can learn from Jerry.

1. It’s all about quality

The only way people could know about Five Guys’ first store was strictly by word of mouth. Without high quality burgers & fries, their customers would have never spread the name for them. This drove their success.

2. Have fun

The most important thing for Jerry was to make sure his kids were having fun. He told each of them to find a part of the business they loved and focus on it. If there was still a gap afterward, they’d hire someone.

3. Stay humble

Jerry still gets scolded by his wife when he sits in the front lawn eating a can of beans. He is so proud his kids didn’t let the success get to their heads. They still work hard every day and that ethic is what grew Five Guys into the impressive business that it currently is.

4. Surround yourself with the right people

Jerry couldn’t have built Five Guys without the four other ones. Each player has their part. It’s important to find the right balance of people to create a synergy like they did.

5. Follow your gut

Before everything started, Jerry gave his kids the option to use the money he saved up to go to college or do something else. They chose the restaurant. Others could question why he would mortgage off his kids’ future on a burger joint, but at the time, it felt right. If they hadn’t followed their intuition, the journey never would’ve started.

Hear more about how Jerry built his international burger franchise on NPR's "How I Built This" podcast with Guy Raz.

Photo Credit: Business Wolf