Dined here twice, both times with my wife and two small kids. One of those times we were accompanied by my sister in law and her small kid. The consensus? This place rocks! And we ALL couldn't wait to come back! So much for the intro, now onto the review:
Food: Burgers are delicious, juicy, tasty, and fresh. Pretty good selection of toppings, but not as extensive as what you get at Splitz Grill. The buns are gummy white bun, super fresh and offers little resistance as you bite into your burger --- just as it should be. This is no time for your fancy-pants artisanal ciabatta. These buns are perfect for me, but if you don't like this style of bun then stay away from this place. The fries -- delicious, hand cut, peel-on, deep fried in peanut oil. Others have complained that they are not "crisp" enough or something. Well, for starters, I always dine in as fries (from ANY place) will suffer during ANY length of time in a closed paper takeout bag. Yes, the quantity is ginormous, but guess what? We've never had any leftovers! My recommended burger is the regular (two patty) with bacon and cheese. I'm a 6-ft tall guy, 180 lbs and I can easily finish one of these, but I wouldn't have room for much more. This place does a brisk business, lots of happy customers, everyone enjoying their food, positive vibes all round, obviously no-one who posted some of the more lukewarm reviews on this site. Is this the best "fast food" burger in town? Probably not, but it's pretty damn good, definitely a cut above Triple O's and miles ahead of Wendy's, McD's, A&W, and the like......but possibly below Splitz Grill on Main Street or at Whistler. There's no point in drawing comparison to your $25 Lumiere foie gras burger or what-have-you since that is not in the fast food category and is like comparing apples with oranges. Four stars.
Service: Five stars for a fast food joint? Yeah, you heard me. This place is a well-oiled machine. All of your toppings are punched into a computer so they get it right every time. If you have multiple burgers in the same order they number the burgers so you know which is which, a nice touch. The cashier is always friendly and enthusiastic. The staff at the grill (all in plain view) are likewise upbeat. There is a positive energy in this place which really makes a difference. Even when the place is packed, the burgers never take very long as there is tons of staff behind the counter. Remember, that I am keeping things in context here: it ain't Bishop's but for fast food service it is as good as it gets, and that's what matters. Five stars.
Value: For people who think that $8 for a burger is too much here is my advice: build yourself a time machine and go back to the 1980's when burgers were $4 since the pricing at 5 Guys is very typical for Vancouver in the year 2012. Deal with it. Also, good value in the fact that things like sauteed mushrooms and sauteed onions are standard toppings, not extra like at most other establishments. The patties are fresh (not frozen) and the fries are awesome and also fresh. These things all factor into value. Four stars.
Ambiance: Four stars for a fast food joint in a shopping mall parking lot? You betcha. My rationale: the interior of this place is spotless, bathrooms are perfectly clean. The red and white motif just somehow "fits" with the 5 Guys aesthetic, and I mean that in a good way. Heck, once you have your burger and fries in front of you, you're not going to care about the "view" out to the parking lot. And, to reiterate earlier comments, both the customers and the staff seem to love this place, and that all contributes to good ambiance. Four stars.
......oh, and just one more thing: Obama's burger of choice? (in the States, not at Park Royal, duh): cheeseburger with lettuce, jalapenos, tomatoes, mustard. SOLID!