Breakout Companies of 2010

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Five Guys Burgers and Fries
Arlington, Virginia
Founded in 1986

Why they’re on the list: For expanding like mad despite a recession

You might not think there was room for another burger joint in your neighborhood, given the proliferation of all the chain restaurants these days. That’s what makes the success of Five Guys Burgers and Fries, a family-owned business, all the more impressive. Unlike its competitors who seem to offer an endless variety of menu options, Five Guys, which now boasts some 725 stores across the U.S. and Canada, sells only hamburgers, hot dogs and French fries. But, by focusing on those mainstays and using only premium ingredients, the company has become incredibly popular and a financial success, where it earns about $500 million in annual revenue. But, it seems, things are only getting started, as the company, which added about 200 locations this year, has some 1,500 more planned for the future.