Five Guys’ ‘phased reopening’ of kitchens attracts the long arm of the law

Five Guys Baker Street 1

Five Guys’ plans to reopen some of its restaurants had the outcome it perhaps wasn’t expecting – after police were called to one of the sites due to the huge volume of customers turning up to collect burgers.

The group, which numbers 100 restaurants in the UK, has kept 13 sites across the country operating throughout the lockdown, but it reopened a further six earlier this week for pre-paid click and collect orders.

“We have adopted a phased approach to reopening Five Guys stores, adhering to government advice and ensuring the safety of our customers and crew is paramount,” explained UK CEO John Eckbert earlier in the week.

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“To date a small number of stores have remained open for Click and Collect and Deliveroo orders only and while this has been in operation, we’re proud of how our crew members have supported local hospitals and key frontline workers across the UK.”

The chain perhaps hadn’t calculated how popular news of some store openings would be, however.

Dozens of people gathered outside its store in Fountain Park, Edinburgh, had to be dispersed by police after concerns that people were ignoring social distancing rules.

There was even speculation on social media that the site had run out of food due to an “unexpected surge” in orders.

A spokesperson for Police Scotland told the media: “We received a report around 7.05pm on Wednesday, 22 April, 2020 that people were not adhering to distancing guidelines at a restaurant on Dundee Street, Edinburgh. Advice was given and no further action was taken.”

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Andrew Seymour

The author Andrew Seymour

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