Customer story: Five Guys


XpertHR provides easy access to state and international compliance-related content to save staff time - and reduce legal fees

XpertHR Focuses on the Details So You Can Focus on Your Business

Sara Thompson has a lot of balls in the air. As VP of human resources for Five Guys, a burger and fries franchise started in Arlington, Virginia in 1986, Thompson is responsible for overseeing human resource activities and providing resources for more than 1000 franchise locations in 47 states and six Canadian provinces. That's a tall task!

With variations in federal, state and local laws impacting HR-related activities, the playing field is continually shifting. Add to that the onboarding of new franchisees, and their employees, and it's easy to see that the costs of serving these franchisees and the effort required to ensure that HR-related risks are minimized can be significant.

Thompson needed a seamless, easy-to-access way to address these challenges. In alignment with Five Guys business strategy Thompson was in the process of updating software, looking for a solution that would:

  • Provide easy access to state and international compliance-related content to save staff time - and reduce legal fees
  • Upskill the HR team by minimizing time spent on research and online searches - time that could be used to address higher-level, and more strategically aligned, activities
  • Be accessible to anyone, even those without direct HR experience - offering an "at-your-fingertips" resource for supervisors and managers at all locations

"The team truly finds XpertHR to be a one-stop-shop resource where they can find the information they need in a short amount of time, helping them to be more efficient and independent," says Thompson. "In my opinion, it's well worth the money."

A Big Boost for Productivity and Peace of Mind

Thompson wasn't new to the concept of using an external HR information resource to help ease the burden of staying on top of a myriad of issues impacting the HR function. After using one tool that didn't quite meet Five Guys' needs, she turned to XpertHR. Why? She saw an opportunity for a direct bottom-line impact for Five Guys in terms of reduced time, better risk management, and the ability to ensure strategic alignment across all franchise locations.

That opportunity has already paid off. "XpertHR provides great value," says Thompson, especially when you compare it against the cost of employing an HR person or seeking external counsel." She shares some examples of how various tasks have been positively impacted by XpertHR:


Before XpertHR

With XpertHR

Researching employment law

A single search could easily take up to several hours, without entirely removing the potential risk of overlooking some key issue.

XpertHR's Quick Reference charts offer state-by-state guidance, which is authored and vetted by attorneys - fast access to reliable answers.

Training supervisors

Training was done once quarterly and was a time-consuming task to research and draft the presentation and create tests to ensure embedded learning.

XpertHR's Supervisor Briefings can be downloaded and customized in about 30 minutes. PowerPoint templates and tests mean that training can be provided monthly if needed.

International and state expansion

As Five Guys grew, so did its HR research-related needs, requiring additional time to read, review, compare, analyze and take action.

XpertHR's Employment Law Manual offers state-specific guidance in one place - plus the added confidence that the information is up to date and accurate.

Upskilling the HR team

HR staff required ongoing coaching, assistance with research and review of work and recommendations.

XpertHR serves as a first port of call for dealing with complex HR issues, allowing the HR team to work more independently while building their knowledge and confidence.


Much time was devoted to creating policies, forms, handbooks, checklists, posters, etc., to ensure HR staff were up to date and had the details they needed to serve franchisees.

XpertHR's model templates can easily be customized to meet your franchise's needs.

That's just the tip of the iceberg.

XpertHR Represents a Saving, Not a Cost

XpertHR is already in place at the Five Guys corporate office, and Thompson says: "One of the bigger things I've heard from my team is how easy it is to use. It's very user friendly. Even without any training, you can figure out where things are."

"You don't have to be an HR person to use XpertHR, you just need to know what you're looking for," says Thompson. If you're looking for a way to minimize risk, increase compliance and reduce the times you need to turn to costly outside legal counsel for advice, XpertHR can help.

Ready to Learn More?

Sign up for a free seven-day trial to access XpertHR content and see what XpertHR can do for you.

About Five Guys

In 1986, the four Murrell brothers were offered an option by their parents, Jerry and Janie: "Start a business or go to college." They chose the business route, launching Five Guys and later adding their fifth brother to the business. It was a family affair and a labor of love. In 2003, Jerry, Janie and the "five guys" decided to expand through franchising. In less than 18 months, they had sold options for more than 300 units. Twenty years later, they're still going strong!

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