Review of Dublin Five Guys ‘unduly sensational’ – owners
Irish Times review said cheese had ‘consistency and flavour of molten Barbie doll’
The review said the rock music was ‘set to Guantanamo-torture level’ and the only free table was ‘covered in debris like a flock of gulls has just departed in a clatter of wings’
The owners of the Five Guys restaurant in Dublin have responded to a scathing Irish Times review of their recently opened burger joint claiming the article was “unduly sensational”, “disingenuous” and “misleading”.
Writing in last Saturday’s Irish Times, restaurant columnist Catherine Cleary described her disappointing experience of consuming a burger at the George’s Street outlet in the city centre which disintegrated into a “slick of ketchup and day-glo orange cheese” that had “the consistency and flavour of molten Barbie doll”.
Having also ordered the veggie sandwich she encountered a “sweaty bap” filled with “limp iceberg lettuce, chewy peppers, a tepid slice of tomato and some acrid chilli slices embedded in the awful cheese like chips of asphalt in melting tar, all of it entombed in a bun that disintegrates into doughy lumps that pebble-dash the back of your throat”.
The milkshake, she writes, “tastes like someone’s soft scoop ice cream left in the sun to melt to a rubbery gloopiness and then poured into a cup and rechilled”. The rock music was “set to Guantanamo-torture level” and the only free table was “covered in debris like a flock of gulls has just departed in a clatter of wings”.
“This is neither cheap nor cheerful and feels weirdly like a throwback to the bad old days when iceberg lettuce was posh and sesame seeds seemed exotic,” wrote Clearly. “There are a dozen places you could hit with an oversalted fry from the door doing better food for this kind of cash.”
Responding to the one star review of their latest culinary outlet, Brett, Ross and Dery Desmond, sons of financier Dermot Desmond, argued ina letter to The Irish Times that Five Guys was based around the three principles of “customer experience, food quality and cleanliness”.
“We do everything we can to make sure the customer enjoys their visit,” write the trio. “If the music is too loud or too low, we are always happy to adjust the volume. If the food isn’t to your liking or we make a mistake with the order, we are always happy to remake or offer a refund.”
They note that all food is prepared daily and freshly made; potatoes are hand cut each day; fruit and vegetables are cleaned and cut on site; Irish beef is used for the burgers; milkshakes are made with fresh fruit and vegetables and buns are supplied by two Irish family-owned companies.
Defending the work ethic of their newly hired staff, they argue that Cleary visited the restaurant during its opening week which was “a challenge for us and the new members of our crew”.
Every Five Guys store is subject to an unannounced quarterly audit by an independent firm which covers food hygiene, brand standards, and health and safety, they add. “We are extremely proud of the fact that we consistently feature among the highest scoring franchisees globally, and last year won the award for highest scoring international franchisee.
“We don’t pretend to be a high-end restaurant, and it’s also fair to say that we are not best known for our veggie sandwich. We are a simple burger restaurant that endeavours to serve great burgers and fries, made fresh and to order, in a clean and atmospheric store,” they say, before inviting Cleary to return to the restaurant to give the experience another go.