Customers lining up at the door to try Five Guys Burgers and Fries at its new Miramar Beach location will be happy to know it’s opening in a matter of days.

The restaurant won’t open until Oct. 23, but already people are coming by in droves for the hand-cut French fries and hand-pattied burgers.

“We’re turning hundreds of people away,” said owner Blake Geoghagan, who also owns the franchises in Fort Walton and Panama City, as well as in Tallahassee. He says patrons at local restaurants will notice his Five Guys shirt and will pull him aside to ask when they can stop in to eat.

And if that number of Five Guys-hungry diners is a testament to the quality of its food, it’s going to be good.

Five Guys is a fast-casual restaurant that offers hand-prepared beef burgers in two sizes. Customers can add any of the 22 toppings, from sautéed onions to jalapenos, for free, or they can pay a bit extra for cheese and bacon.

Matching the quality of the beef, the two varieties of French fries, Cajun and plain, are also hand-prepared from real potatoes and cooked to order. A whiteboard in the cooking area changes daily, reading where the potatoes came from that day.

“It’s all fresh, all prepared daily,” said Geoghagan. “We don’t even have a freezer on site.”

Each meal is cooked to order, and customers can watch as their food is prepared, which will take between five-and-a-half to six-and-a-half minutes from the moment the order is placed to delivery.

Geoghagan says he is excited for the doors to open for friends, and parents and children, to gather over good food.

“We encourage folks to come and pull tables together, sit with your family,” he said. “It’s a place to come in and relax and enjoy your family and friends.”

And while that isn’t the modus operandi for all burger and fry joints, to Geoghagan, it’s a no brainer.

“We’re focused on customer service and quality of food,” said Geoghagan. “We’re out to give a pleasant experience at a reasonable price.”

That’s the attitude Geoghagan takes with all of his Five Guys locations, the first of which opened to great response Feb. 14, 2008, at Pier Park in Panama City Beach.

“It was one heck of an opening day,” said Geoghagan of the Valentine’s Day opening that beat all of the standing records for food sales companywide.
Geoghagan is recently retired from his corporate career as a management consultant, and about six years ago, he had the foresight to look into bringing Five Guys to Northwest Florida to keep himself busy.

“I’d be bored playing golf all day,” he said.

In his career as a management consultant, Geoghagan had the pleasure to travel around the globe, and one stop was at the Five Guys headquarters in Virginia. He immediately became enamored with the concept.

Though local mouths are watering, Geoghagan said he has been waiting for everything to be “just right” before opening the newest location. He added that eager customers should mark their calendars for Oct. 23, when the store will open its doors to the public for the first time.

At the moment, the restaurant is hiring for the “high-energy environment.” If interested in employment, stop by the location across from Silver Sands and “Let us know you’re not here to eat,” said Geoghagan.