Germany’s first Five Guys burger joint opens in Frankfurt

At precisely 11am Monday morning, burger giant Five Guys opened the doors of its first German branch in Frankfurt city centre to excited burger enthusiasts.

The American burger company Five Guys announced its plans to open stores in Germany earlier this year and kicked things off with their first German branch in Frankfurt, reports the Frankfurter Rundschau (FR).

First in the queue for a burger was 22-year-old student, Nimar, who had travelled in from Karlsruhe and had been queuing since 9am. 

“There are many burger shops, but I know Five Guys from the USA and nobody can top this symbol of quality and the flavour of the succulent meat.” Nimar told FR. “Even the fries here are freshly cut from potatoes. It tastes so much better than frozen chips.”

Head of Five Guys Germany, Jörg Gilchers, said “there are 250,000 combination possibilities for our burger” – and this customisation is a definite draw, particularly if you (like many) aren't a fan of pickles. 

Five Guys is hardly a cheaper alternative though, as a normal burger costs €7.95 and a so-called 'little burger' is €5.95, not including fries.

Thousands swear by the chain, however, including former US president Barack Obama, who has even referred to Five Guys when describing his experience at the pyramids of Giza.

When the company announced that they were coming to Germany in August, their Facebook post amassed more than 5,000 likes and almost 3,000 comments, many of which asked if Five Guys could open their first store in their hometown.

According to Gilcher, the company investigated several German cities to be the site of their inaugural store, but other options were pipped to the post by the financial capital.

But Frankfurt isn't the only city to get a branch like this, as a store will open in Essen later this month, followed by a number of other cities in 2018, although the names of those are yet to be announced.

According to FR, Five Guys have invested €1.6 million in their first restaurant.

The decision to take on Germany with such force is hardly surprising, given that Germans can't seem to get enough of American-style cuisine. According to a survey by Dalia published in October, 22 percent of Germans want to see more American food on the cuisine scene, making it the food they felt their country lacked most.

It seems that particularly the gourmet burger, with good quality beef and choices for different sides and toppings, has become more popular in recent years. To find out more about Germany's love affair with the gourmet burger click here.


Emergency numbers fail in several German states

Callers to the emergency numbers 110 and 112 weren’t able to reach operators Thursday morning in several German states.

The 112 emergency number on an ambulance.
The 112 emergency number on an ambulance. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Boris Roessler

The emergency number 110 for police and 112 for fire crews failed around the country early Thursday morning, with callers unable to reach emergency operators for urgent assistance between about 4:30 am and 5:40 am local time.

The Office for Civil Protection and Disaster Aid is looking into these outages, which were reported in states including Lower Saxony, Baden-Württemberg, and  Brandenburg, and in major cities like Berlin, Cologne, Hamburg, and Frankfurt. Cologne was further affected by cuts to electricity, drinking water, and regular telephone services. Lower Saxony also saw disruptions to the internal phone networks of police and hospitals.

Emergency services are not reporting any more disturbances and people should be able to once again reach 110 and 112 around the country as normal.

Investigators are looking into the problem, but haven’t yet established a cause or any consequences that may have happened due to the outage. Provider Deutsche Telekom says they have ruled out the possibility of an attack by hackers.