Five Guys

Since its founding in 1986 as a small, family-owned burger restaurant, Five Guys has expanded its reach to over 1,700 locations in 24 countries. With a stated goal of increasing spatial efficiency while accelerating the adoption of flexible work modalities, Five Guys’ leadership turned to OTJ Architects to lead the relocation of its headquarters and develop design solutions that draw team members back into a post-pandemic physical space that is equally agile, food-centric, humorous, and reflective of a globally celebrated brand persona.

Playful and irreverent, our design subtly nods to the sense of nostalgia inherent to the Five Guys storefront aesthetic by weaving together the bold primary colors, logos, and classical typefaces of the chain’s decidedly American brand partners such as Heinz and Coca Cola. White subway tiles that contrast against black accents, reclaimed brick veneers, and wood elements underscore the visual hallmarks of the Five Guys franchise. In the café, food references take center stage with French fry inspired pendant lights and custom Coke bottle fixtures installed above an oversized island that invites staff to gather in a spirit of hospitality. Humor abounds too: a neon light that spells out “Test Kitchen” draws the eye to a door that opens onto a brick wall. The tried and true Five Guys menu is impervious to culinary fads and has required little elaboration since the opening of the chain’s first burger joint.

Working in close collaboration with multiple department stakeholders, our design team bridged competing requirements to arrive at a nimble program that empowers staff to select the space type best suited to the task at hand. Reservable, standardized benching stations or private phone rooms facilitate heads down work; groups are empowered to gather in AV augmented team rooms; while company-wide events can be hosted in a rapidly reconfigurable venue, complete with demountable glass walls. Lastly, a private C-suite with bespoke details and an adjacent board room complete with coffee bars serves Five Guys’ founders who lead the company to this day.

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Alexandria, VA


41,000 RSF





Brand-centric design activates the new headquarters of a global burger chain while strategic workplace solutions usher in a new, post-pandemic era of collaboration and flexible work modalities.