A Cloud-Based Order Management System for Five Guys (UX case study)

Contextual Inquiry, MVP, MoSCoW Method, Usability Testing, Clickable Prototype.


Finally a good reason to eat burgers everyday… This was a 10 days Design Sprint at General Assembly London. I worked with Ryan and Cherie, 2 other UX/UI designers on this brief.

Date: June 2017


Five Guys is a casual burger chain on the mission of selling the best burger. We were tasked to think about how to leverage existing customer habits by introducing a digital solution that handles ordering and payment.

Constraint: The design solution should not change the current food delivery system.


How to better handle order and payment to avoid queuing?


We helped customers to order faster without the need to download an app.

We designed a cloud-based solution for people to order from their table and pay via mobile. Group of friends could also order at the same time and split bill easily.

Try the clickable proto

How did we get there?


Five Guys is all about the taste…

We started to test the FIVE GUYS app and to research the competitors. We had to eat lots of burgers in the process, after 8 restaurant visits and 6 app testings, we suggested that Five Guys positioning need to shift toward a more restaurant-like experience and move away from the cheaper popular fast-food chains. Trying to mix the best of both worlds: fast order + tasty burgers.

Competitive Analysis: shift toward a more restaurant-like experience

We then used 3 UX methodologies to gain insights about the user needs & pain points:

  • Surveys to better understand people habits, behaviours and feelings toward burger chains & fast food: we got 62 replies (Google Forms).
  • Interviews (in-person and via phone): 15 people. This helped us identify the motivations and pain points of people going to burgers chains.
  • Contextual inquiry: 2 locations visited. We learnt a lot by watching the customers in Five Guys restaurants.
User interviews Why? Why? Why? (left pic). Contextual inquiry: observing people behaviours, attitude in the restaurant (right pic)

Research Findings

What people like…

“Their (Five Guys) burgers are so good!”
“It’s convenient, it help me avoid washing dishes.”

…and dislike (pain points).

“I hate when fast food, is not fast!”

Here is what we found out after lots of head-scratching and coffees…

Key findings from our research


Affinity Mapping — Seeking the right problems

We gathered all the feedbacks from surveys, interviews, and contextual inquiry on post it, then started to regroup them to see some patterns emerge.

Affinity Map and grouping.
How to avoid queuing? How to make the customisation enjoyable and not overwhelming? How to make the waiting time less boring ?

Goal: Make the order and payment process easier so people could focus on the taste.

Task Analysis with the team and having fun creating crap names for our personas.

Personas — Hi Steve, burger fan.

From our research findings we created 3 personas. We decided to focus on Steve, a burger fan, because one of the brand key selling points is TASTE.


Steve and his 2 friends would like to eat some burgers before going to a gig. He remembers there is a Five Guys nearby and decide to go there for a quick and tasty meal.
3 personas representing the Five Guys customers

User Journey —

Our current journey has 3 key pain points:

  • Queuing (menu difficult to read if the queue is long)
  • Confusing order (many choices for the custom toppings).
  • Waiting for the food is long and boring.
Current user journey with 3 pain points

Our design solution will solve queueing problem, allow fast payment via mobile, easy bill splitting, alert the customers when food is ready.

The user journey we are aiming to achieve

Features prioritisation — Defining our MVP

Now we can better visualise our customers needs, we brainstormed about what kind of features would be awesome to have. We write down each feature on a post it and organised them on a Matrix by Low/High priority, Easy/Hard to implement.

Playing with post it…and defining our MVP (on the right)

We then used the MoSCoW method to prioritise our features and came up to the conclusion that our Minimum Viable Product (MVP) should have below features:

  • Mobile order (not necessarily app).
  • Mobile payment (Paypal, Scan card, Apple Pay).
  • Order customisation.
  • Bill splitting.
  • Group order.

Reframing the problem and goals

Always keeping the goals in mind, and asking “why we do the thing we do”?


Design Studio

We focused our creative energy on 2 key screens: Burger Customisation and Bill Splitting.


We quickly moved to a Paper Prototype (V1) to gather feedbacks as soon as possible. I love sketching paper prototype, it’s fast and force you to focus on the problem instead of prototyping tools. It’s also extremely rewarding as it helps to identify usability issues in early stage.

Because it’s paper, people tend to dare giving more feedbacks as they know it will take low effort to rebuild.

V2 more testings… and more issues:

“I have too many app on my phone, how can I avoid downloading an app?”
“How can I skip the queue?”

Lot of users didn’t want to download an app if they are not regular customers. Let’s suppose that in our scenario Steve’s friends doesn’t want to download the app.

We focused our discussion on trying to solve this group ordering and payment issue. We realised we got stuck in a tunnel vision…

…so we decided to run another Design Studio, to remember ourselves the goals:

“How to reduce waiting time?”
“How to group order in a fast, easy and fun way?”

This is when we came up with the idea of a Cloud based solution.

This will help group of friends to order at the same time under the same order number. They could see what their friends ordered, if they paid or not, and pay for their friends if they need.

Iteration and prototype(V3, V4, V5).

An order code will be attributed when starting a new order. For group order, people just need to join their friend order number.
People loved the random toppings options
The burger game had good feedbacks and people appreciated the loyalty rewards.

Userflow and Annotated wireframes

Userflow (left pic) Annonated wireframes (right pic)


Final iterations feedbacks were quite encouraging. Wish we had more time to implement it!

“Cool, I like the randomise option for choosing the toppings!”
“The Burger game could be fun while I’m waiting, I won’t need to pretend I’m texting.”
“It looks easy.”

Thanks a lot for reading this. Would be good to hear from you, so feel free to leave a comment.