Does National Ever Become Local – The Five Guys Debate

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Is local still important today?, the highly respected news outlet recently posted their ‘Best Burgers in Boston‘ list this week.

A Top 10 best-of-the-best, if you will.

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To no surprise the usuals were included. Craigie on Main in Cambridge finished 10th, B. Good downtown finished 8th and BU staple UBurger ultimately came out the favorite at #1. Nothing new, right? One inclusion though downright seemed like a slap in the face to me.

Five Guys Burgers and Fries finished second. That’s right, second on a list of locals?  A national chain based out of Washington, DC.

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So what, who cares you say. It’s delicious.

True but giving Five Guys a local label is like calling Coors-owned Blue Moon a craft beer, IKEA, a small furniture store or Subway, an artisan sandwich joint.

Point is, a national chain doesn’t deserve to be ranked among the true local favorites like R.F O’Sullivan & Son, Back Bay Social Club, Eagle’s Deli and others.

It doesn’t matter if they make it as un-chainy as possible with its basic red and white color spread or local reviews in bold-face print inside each store; Five Guys is still in the same family with McDonald’s, Wendy’s and the ultra unpopular Chick-fil-a. Fresher ingredients, yes. Better service, ok.  But they’re all related.  Hundreds of locations nationwide, likely helping in the extinction of a small business or two.

Does a national chain like Five Guys deserve the ‘local’ label so many hardworking small establishments have built through years of sweat and hard work are they just another Yankee disguised as a Red Sox?