A recent report by Quick Service Restaurant Magazine for 2022 has shown the most popular fast food brands in America, with McDonald’s being the most popular.
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The McDonald brothers invented fast food in 1940, and since, the restaurant’s iconic golden arches have been luring people in for its quick, affordable, and delectable food.
With $46 billion in systemwide sales last year, McDonald’s is still the most well-known fast food chain in America.
This graph is based on information from a Quick Service Restaurant (QSR) Magazine study (pdf below) on the top 50 fast food chains in the United States. The top brands are divided into six major categories: Burger, Chicken, Snack, Pizza, Sandwich, and Global, and their sizes are determined by their systemwide sales in 2021.
The Most Popular Fast Food Companies
McDonald’s is without a doubt the most popular fast food restaurant in America, if not the entire world. McDonald’s revenues are $46 billion compared to Starbucks’ $24 billion, about double the amount of the second-place coffee shop.
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Here is a closer examination of the figures:
The majority of the top 20 restaurants, including Taco Bell in fourth place and Chick-fil-A in third, are extremely well-known. Depending on what region of the United States you live in, some of these chains won’t be recognisable. For instance, many people on the West Coast would not be familiar with Bojangles even though it is commonplace in the Southeast.
A few of the lower ranked eateries are the Canadian-owned Tim Hortons (#47), White Castle (#50), and Shake Shack (#45).
Fast Food Industry Trends
In 2022, American fast food sales are projected to reach $331 billion, and many restaurants are leveraging trends that have been influenced in part by the pandemic.
Fast food companies are already somewhat suited for pandemic situations thanks to their drive-throughs, quick service, and business models that discourage eating at a table.
Starbucks, for instance, predicts that 90% of its future stores will have drive-throughs. Fast food is becoming even more rapid and convenient thanks to increased digital sales and transactions that limit interaction. Over the past five years, Starbucks’ mobile order service has increased 400%. Additionally, the QSR report states that in 2021, the delivery portion of their business saw a 30% year-over-year growth.
The research also highlighted 50 emerging fast food businesses to watch in the sector. Check this out:
Some of these restaurants, like Cinnabon, are well-known fast food chains that are only increasing their sales. Other restaurants are more recent arrivals.
America’s Favorite Fast Food
To determine which foods are the most popular in America, we used the ranking’s categories for foods and calculated the total sales in each category from the top 50. Burgers are clearly the winner, with $92.2 billion in total sales. The breakdown is seen below:
The sales at Burger restaurants were more than twice as high as those of Snacks, who came in second. Nothing is, after all, more American than a traditional hamburger and fries.
Read the report given below: