Five Guys' Croatian incentive cuts
the mustard

In May 2022, Saving Grace Events were tasked with organising an epic team reward and recognition event for the restaurant chain, Five Guys, in Dubrovnik, Croatia. Having previously arranged an event for them in Budapest, the team set out to make this year’s event bigger and better than before.

The client: Five Guys

The purpose: Five Guys are big believers in celebrating their staff. In recognition of their team’s huge effort during the pandemic, Five Guys wanted to reward their 450 general managers from five countries with a memorable experience. The event objectives were also to reinforce what a fun, family-like brand Five Guys are to work for.

Solution to the brief: The solution to the brief was for an innovative creative events campaign in the form of a three-day celebration in Dubrovnik, which would comprise five individual events within this short period of time.

Day One – A check-in process with branded, beach themed, Five Guys goodie bags, followed by a reception event and awards dinner, featuring food, drink, and entertainment.

Day Two - Breakfast, followed by a conference and motivational talk, where each country leader recognised the work from their stores and talked about plans. After lunch, this was to be followed by a range of excursions on pirate ship-style boats, including a Games of Throne tour.

Day Three – A big, wrap pool party, overlooking the sea, followed by an after party and karaoke.

Branding was implemented across all assets, from backdrops, cushion covers and lanyards to branded booths, props, pool inflatables and floating balloons above the pool. Five Guys brand values were also intertwined within the whole event.

In terms of creative approach, the decor very much revolved around the theme of the sun, the beach, and Five Guys. The team made the event very specific to Five Guys experientially and creatively in terms of location and bringing that to life. Elements of the location itself were also considered, with touches such as having a traditional folk band during the reception. Visually is where most of the creativity plays out.

Overcoming the challenges:

As this was a three-day innovative and complex event, it was not without challenges, including the logistics of planning an international event, navigating customs, and working around local processes when liaising with suppliers. Saving Grace Events flew 11 team members out, as well as entertainment and all relevant kit from various airports around the UK. The pool party also created logistical issues, as having a DJ on a platform in the middle of a swimming pool requires risk assessments. Also, the amount of events content in such a short space of time meant logistically managing many components for a large volume of people. There was also a big risk in terms of uncertainty around what Covid restrictions might be in place, with it being an overseas event. All these challenges were overcome with planning and setting aside extra time for any issues.

The results:

Saving Grace Events founder Rebecca Hartley said: “The team received amazing reviews and testimonials from the client team members and the leadership team, with feedback like ‘we don’t know how you’ll top this next year!’ For Five Guys, event success lies very much with overall metrics, such as job satisfaction, performance, turnover, employer surveys, and retention of staff. The client is confident all of this is on track thanks to Saving Grace Events, with a 2023 event collaboration already confirmed.

There aren’t many events where everything goes exactly how it’s meant to go, but the entire three days really did. The whole event meant a lot to both our team and the Five Guys team. Our heart and soul went into this celebratory event, and it was a major success. What better way to celebrate and reconnect after two years of lockdowns than with a big celebration in Croatia?”