Have you ever purchased food from Five Guys? You may have noticed that the restaurant has been giving away free peanuts to patrons for more than 20 years.
A sign in the window mentions peanuts, which might pose a health risk to those who have peanut allergies.
Well, why offer peanuts? What’s the business model here?
However, as Mashed reports, there’s a clever reason behind this baffling business tactic.
Five Guys has served peanuts for more than 20 years, but the restaurant doesn’t make money by giving away free snacks or turning away potential customers.
As a sign of goodwill, Five Guys provides free peanuts to customers. However, for some people, the freebie conveys a totally different message. Every Five Guys restaurant in the United States is unsafe for persons with peanut allergies; the burger establishment even has signage stating this in its storefront windows.
In order to discourage someone with a peanut allergy from ordering from the fast food restaurant, the restaurant provides free peanuts for people to take in order to let them know that they utilize peanuts at their locations.
Not does the restaurant offer free peanuts to their customers, but they also use peanut oil when cooking their famous French fries.
The peanut bins have a straightforward purpose, according to a former Five Guys employee who explained it in a Reddit AMA in 2017: “The peanuts are to divert the customers so that they won’t stare at us.”
The restaurant wants someone with a peanut allergy to watch out, so they put the free peanuts out for all customers to grab as they see fit, and it also serves as a visual – and blatant – reminder that Five Guys uses peanut oil in their kitchens.
Five Guys wants to make sure that everyone is aware of its practices and ingredients, even though some people with peanut allergies may be deterred from eating there because of the free peanuts. They want to be as open as they can to ensure that no one has a negative dining experience or, even worse, an adverse reaction. It appears that their plan is succeeding, for the most part.
Therefore, the next time you’re at Five Guys and see a large bin of peanuts sitting out, bear in mind that it’s there to protect folks with allergies, not just for décor. Additionally, since Five Guys fries are fried in peanut oil, you might want to order from another location if you have a peanut allergy.