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A $24 Receipt Sparks Social Media Outrage and Debate Over Five Guys’ Prices

Consumers are grappling with the evolving landscape of fast-food prices amid economic fluctuations.
Cover Image Source: A $24 receipt from Five Guys meal led to backlash among social media users | Getty Images | Photo by Edward Berthelot
Cover Image Source: A $24 receipt from Five Guys meal led to backlash among social media users | Getty Images | Photo by Edward Berthelot

In a recent social media storm, a $24 receipt from a Five Guys restaurant has ignited heated discussions about the popular fast-food chain's pricing. Shared by an X account named Wall Street Silver on March 1, the receipt displayed charges for a bacon cheeseburger at $12.49, a regular soda for $2.89, and a small portion of fries for an eye-watering $5.19. The total, after tax and a $2.19 tip, amounted to a hefty $24.10, per New York Post.


Five Guys, founded in 1986 by the Murrell family, started as a humble family business in Arlington, Virginia. The brand's rapid expansion and emphasis on quality ingredients contributed to its success and garnered a dedicated fan base. Over the years, Five Guys positioned itself as a premium fast-food option, offering customizable burgers and fresh-cut fries.

Despite its popularity, the recent uproar stems from concerns about the perceived steep increase in prices. Wall Street Silver, the X account user who shared the receipt, expressed surprise at the $22 cost for one person, prompting a wider discussion about the perceived value of Five Guys' offerings.

The viral post, viewed over 25.2 million times, triggered a lively debate on social media platforms. Many users echoed the sentiment that Five Guys' prices had become exorbitant, with comments emphasizing the high cost of a small fry—labeled as "highway robbery" by one user.

Criticism extended to the perceived simplicity of the menu items and their production costs. One commentator noted, "5 dollars for a small fry is highway robbery. It's literally just a potato and some salt. Cost them a quarter to make."

Some users even shared humorous suggestions about saving on the bill, underscoring the shock at the apparent inflation of fast-food prices. Others predicted that the ongoing trend of rising minimum wages, such as California's planned $20 per hour minimum, might contribute to further price hikes across the industry.

Five Guys burger joint in Midtown New York City | Getty Images | Photo by Noam Galai
Five Guys burger joint in Midtown New York City | Getty Images | Photo by Noam Galai

In response to the controversy, some users defended Five Guys' pricing, noting that the brand has always positioned itself as a premium option. In response to inquiries, Iain emphasized that Five Guys has no plans to introduce localized flavors, unlike other burger chains offering specialty items like McSpicy Paneer in Indian McDonald's or bamboo shoots and lotus root in Chinese KFC chicken.

As for the seemingly higher prices for its relatively concise menu, Iain clarified, "Nothing in our store is frozen. We exclusively use fresh ingredients." Iain further expressed, "Five Guys is your go-to burger joint, where familiarity with both our customers and our food is key. We aim to know you and your preferences, providing a consistent and personalized experience."

An unimpressed commentator added historical context, stating, "Five Guys was always overpriced. The same meal was $15 ten years ago." This perspective suggests that the recent pricing is in line with the brand's existing positioning and any perceived increase is consistent with the broader trend of inflation affecting the fast-food sector.

Fast-food chains, grappling with the challenges of inflation, have witnessed widespread price hikes to cope with rising costs. Chick-fil-A, for instance, increased prices by 21% since early 2022. Domino's Pizza also acknowledged planning for "a modest price increase in the low-single digits," highlighting the broader economic impact on the industry.