Frying Five Guys
Updated: Dec 3, 2019
Five Guys needs to start selling actual Veggie Burgers.
Photo courtesy of Julia Sedaeva
by Holly Cormack
In almost every major fast food restaurant you can walk in and pick out the standard vegetarian option on the menu: the veggie burger. Except in Five Guys. How is it that a restaurant famed for its burger quality fails in this one simple regard? They’ve already made the choice to make everything with peanut oil, which (delicious as it is) alienates those with nut allergies, so why are they deliberately antagonising the vegetarians as well?
Now some of you may be reading this and thinking ‘but I’m vegetarian and I’ve eaten at Five Guys.’ In that case, well done you, for exploring the culinary delights of Aberdeen. But they do not have a veggie burger on the menu; what they have is a veggie sandwich - nothing but loose vegetables slightly grilled in a piece of bread. Now, I like grilled vegetables as much as the next vegetarian, but when I am entering a fast food restaurant I expect a little better. If you were to head to Morrisons or Lidl you could buy burgers made from sweet potato and edam cheese, spicy beans, cauliflower and even burgers made from fake meat. This is the glory of living in the age of vegetarian and vegan awareness and acceptance- that we are offered more, as consumers, than plain vegetables and some sort of bread or pasta.
However, Five Guys does not seem to have gotten this memo for catering to vegetarians. Veggie burgers are one of the most common items to find in the vegetarian/vegan part of the menu and after 6 years as a vegetarian, I have become a great judge of them. They are simple, inexpensive, easy to make and ranging in taste but usually good. Plus, it’s great not to get stuck with a salad when everyone else is ordering filling meals. I can even go to McDonalds after a night out and order a veggie burger (with no mayonnaise for the vegans).
Now, I applaud any fast food chain that takes risks on its menu and goes beyond this. And it’s great to see and taste a wide variety of foods that I don’t have to cook myself. But with Five Guys, all I feel is laziness. Their veggie option is just too close to the salad we are all over having to order. While I do know a few people who converted to this dietary lifestyle for health reasons, that tends not to be the case for most of us. Therefore, we like to eat more than straight vegetables. Every time I have gone into Five Guys I have looked at the veggie option, felt disgusted and ordered chips. If they really want to distinguish themselves, they can sell the veggie sandwich AND the veggie burger. I don’t mind. But until that day, I can never speak highly of Five Guys, nor can I enter there for anything other than a light snack.
The next time you go there I implore you to ask them to add a better veggie option to their menu- maybe if enough people do it we will have the food we deserve.