Five Guys Coming to the Region


Five Guys are opening in Dubai Mall soon which means they’ll most likely be opening up in Kuwait as well. Also according to The Avenues instagram account another burger joint opened up there yesterday called BGR so that’s two franchise burger places that have opened up this week. I think the only place left to open that I’d be excited for is Arby’s. Where you at Arby’s??

Thanks David

34 replies on “Five Guys Coming to the Region”

If there was statistics for Burger Joints Per Capita (BJPC) guess which country will be proud holder of 1st place 😀

Five Guys are five years too late…

They have an amazing site in Dubai Mall (75 Million Visitors for 2014), what brand isn’t successful in the most visited mall in the world, but the site is the only thing amazing about the brand. Burgers are nothing unique, a step down in quality from its competitors, menu offering slim and design boring.

The GCC counties are saturated already with too many burger joints. I mean, there maybe room to grow to other Emirates, a store in Oman, Qatar, Bahrain, several in Saudi, but not in Kuwait. What can’t they understand simple economics of supply and demand. Five years ago there was demand, but short supply. Now demand has been filled and there is too much supply. Therefore, the money as a business you’d make opening a burger concept five years ago is not the same as you would today.

Kuwait is already saturated with too many mid-level fast-casual burger concepts (BJ-BC) as Nicolas references and not the ones we prefer… The same burger with slight variations and little customization. Five Guys is good, but nothing special.

BGR ‘the burger joint’ bought out the Counters site for an erroneous about of key money only to adopt high rent, low footfall, low demand and certainly not the sustainable business to stay open past the next three years for their first site.

Mark, I think you’re missing the real headline. I tried BGR yesterday and overall, it’s solid! Minus a few operational element: The menu design is a bit hard to understand, but after five minutes of figuring out, you may proceed to order. I always go with the classic, since any restaurant should be gauged on their basic offering then the optional upgrades.


Burger: 3 KD w/cheese 3.3 KD (6 oz) – Evolution and Shake Shake are 2 KD for their 4oz

Prime Beef Grilled Burger cooked med-rare and seasoned perfectly. Soft-warm butter caramelized toasted buns, rich-pink and juicy patty, succulent made in house sauce (a little sour)…mhmmm…just how I like my women!

Hotdog: 1.6 KD w/Chili Cheese 2.1 KD

I went with Chili Cheese Grilled Dog. It is a massive size dog in the same style bun as the burger. Bun was warm and soft as well. The hot dog is grilled so you get the chard element to the flavor profile. The chili flavor was good, but the consistency was a bit mushy with no really texture.

Huge home runs for both the above items and in my opinion the best offerings in the Kuwait market to date. Anyone who is a fan of American style burgers and dogs have to pass by and try it out. The extra cost is justified with the larger portion burger and customization cheese offerings. For example, I like cheddar, but you might like American cheese.

Dessert: I only tried one of their shakes which was completely disappointing. There was no flavor and almost tasted as if it was milk blended with ice.

However, they have a huge dessert offering which they adapted knowing the demand in the local market loves their desserts and coffee. They have fondue, crepes and waffles. Seems like a local winning combination.

You gotta check it out!

Cons aka ‘My Rant’:

Hospitality and Service: Hospitality is a feeling you get when you enter any place that’s offering a service to you. The feeling should be as if you’re dining at your mothers home as she takes care of your every need, engages you and cares that you are there. I felt unwelcomed and as if I was just another number, not guest. No greeting or farewell, not follow up on how I was enjoying our meal, just given a buzzer with a number with no emotional attachment. Like if you were forced to visit your aunt who you know you don’t get along with and know she completely undermines your presence. The fact every single staff member was speaking Tagalog was also a set back. The common business language is English or Arabic, if it’s a mostly Arabic concept, Arabic is cool. When it’s an American concept with no Arabs employed English should be the language spoken at all times. Especially in front of the guest.

Food Safety and Hygiene: A bit scary. There were several kitchen staff roaming around including the prep areas with no hats or hairnets. At one point a guy in a black polo shirt sneezed everywhere in the kitchen and didn’t even go to wash his hands afterwards…..yuck! This is just looking into the kitchen. What’s happening where you can’t see?

Food: Fries were cold an under seasoned. They offer both sweet potato and regular fries. I don’t have anything good to say about either. Nothing special.

Final Notes:

Overall, if you have 20 minutes to spare before you receive your meal, don’t mind grabbing a burger as if you in the Philippines with out their well known hospitality, are in need of the best burger and hotdog in town…check it out.

This is a place to share your universal affection for burgers and get your beautifully cooked chunks of meat.

BGR is the same “Burger Joint” found tucked away in the Le Parker Meridian in New York which honestly only had the novelty old school diner look going for it. Their burgers were okay, maybe a little above average but certainly not worth the huge queue you’d find there every once in a while.

Now someone get Wendys back please.

burger joint is another Korean concept wedging it’s brand into the US. Typically when there are picky New Yorker’s queuing most likely the place is legit. It looks like a typical street fair burger concept.

I’m not quite sure how to gauge your review if you’re praising Wendy’s as a novelty burger… I wouldn’t be so square about burger joint’s linear obstructions.

Wow, impressive evaluation, would I go there after reading your comment – No because my major concerns besides lack of customer service is – Food Safety and Hygiene. Further make sure your employees shower, there is nothing more gross than someone serving you food that hasn’t showered in weaks. Where’s the manager? Do they not lecture their staff on proper hygiene? Sneezing in the air, not wearing proper uniforms (and you may have to provide clean uniforms to your staff) Then you go on to fries cold and under seasoned? That’s lack of training and supervision! Get your presentation right – the main difference between a burger joint in Dubai Mall and here is that I wouldn’t be greeted in such a bad way, I would be more valued as a customer and I would not see hygiene issues like what you described above, but thank you for this well versed evaluation – you might want to consider being a manager in Kuwait – I think they need your skill-set. It’s getting competitive, so up the bar folks!!

Nice analysis… you know how to ruin it all? One word… Monopoly.

Most franchises in Kuwait are owned by one company, that company has no problem in bringing whatever brand. Didn’t do well? They own the venue, the staff is theirs, just change the sign and turn it into a different brand… no problem!

I believe the challenge is going to be which brand is going to last? The competition will be based on the quality of food and service. Personally I’m looking at most brands owned by Alshaya and I see them going downhill. Food quality is terrible, yes they’re good when the branch first opens but then goes downhill. Service is poor, I hate it when the staff come to me and beg me (almost in tears) to pay for their mistakes (wrong order) because else they’ll have to pay for it… or when staff refuse to serve a glass of water and require us to pay 1.2 dinars for a bottle of water! Not to mention the slandering of our MoEW water by calling it unhealthy and unsafe (as if they cook with Evian water!).

So bottom line, let as many burger joins open up as possible… good for competition. Eventually, small business will probably succeed.

First sorry for the long ass post. Didn’t look so long in the small comment window…oops

Al-Bassamiah Group has it which is another wealthy family like Alshaya. Specifically, Nasser Al Mutair who first tried to bring out Starbucks a number of years ago, according to a number of publicized studies online, but for some reason lost the deal or was bought out. Obviously, I didn’t take the time to read them… This is his first venture into the F&B sector.

Alshaya cannot bring another burger concept due to a non-compete clause I’m sure it has with Shake Shackles (since they seem to be stuck evolving their menu and brand).

I wish Nasser all the best of luck!

Burgers, burgers and more burgers, Arby’s would be a nice change along with some Wendy’s chili I wish Chick-fil-A wasn’t a Christian owned restaurant, it would be a nice get away from the burger epidemic.

The chicken and pizzeria concepts are next to blow up the fast-casual bubble. Alshaya is bringing another chicken brand called Raising Cains (boring-ass chicken concept) and Tabco will be bringing out 8000 Degrees (bad ass pizza concept).

Regarding the religion thing, so many businesses are owned by singular/multi non-Muslim business men and women. I don’t think anyone cares. Churches Chicken changed its name to Texas Chicken when they entered the ME.

Shake Shack is owned by Danny Meyer and sons. He’s as Jewish both by practice and blood as it gets. Alshaya doesn’t care and nor do the millions of Muslim diners.

The fired chicken scene is weak here and could be stepped up by mama’s good’ol recipe from down south….mhmmmm gotta get those fried chicken and waffles!

Speaking of chicken and waffles! You know what would be solid, how about Roscoe’s from LA!?

I went to Five guys few weeks ago in the states, and one of the employees told me that they’re opening in Dubai and Kuwait this February.

There’s no way you’ll find Chipotle finding it’s way to the ME anytime soon. There isn’t enough demand for Mexican food. It’s growth in London (US’s backyard) is slow and again, demand low.

There is a copy concept called Adobo in Mahabola (sp?). I checked the place out and it fared well to it’s big brother, but not great. Location sucks, no music, and it’s pricey $$$. I also tried ordering delivery, it took two and a half hours and was cold.

The owner, who goes by Sabah, has some kinks and evolution to work on, but this is as close as you’ll get to the concept in Kuwait.

Like there was demand for Red Lobster and Olive Garden for instance?

Mexican food is pretty much in any American menu.

It is not about demand it’s about good marketing.

I don’t think there’s a big demand here amongst the locals. It would be the Westerners who would be eating Mexican food. I went to a baby shower for a Kuwaiti lady that was thrown by a Mexican lady. They had home made Mexican food and the Kuwaiti women just stood there and looked at it.

They went for the Arabic dishes instead but I was loving the beans, rice, horchata and everything else there. I just want to grill carne asada with fresh pico, I miss those days.

cik – Have you ever had Carne Adovada? I was in the land of enchantment scoring some blue ice from Mr. White (jk), but I did spend some time there and tried the dish….it’s magic. Santa Fe, New Mexico is one city travelers must visit in the US. Taos is also near so if you’re there during winter you can hit the slopes.

New Mexican food is divine!

As an American, I can vouch that Five Guys offers the best burger in the states. Their fries come from a specific longitude/latitude in Idaho. It’ll be interesting if they ship those fries to the GCC. As for Chipotle, if you really are looking for a similar product, I highly recommend Adobo Burritos in Mangaf. Excellent burritos with fresh ingredients and similar menu to Chipotle.

I was in New York and I was told different franchisees for Five Guys I am told, which is different
Rise for UAE
Cravia for KSA
Don’t know either………

Five Guys burgers are amazing! THE BEST!

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