We all have to eat to survive, and chances are we’ve all been to some of the most successful fast food chains in the world to curb our appetites.
Even if you hate fast food, you probably also kind of love fast food. Most people really do. It’s not just the convenience of ordering and receiving food in less than five minutes; it’s also the food itself, even though you know deep down it’s actually pretty disgusting. Yet I’ll still get McDonald’s Corporation (NYSE:MCD)‘s french fries and I probably will until I die, because they’re just that good. I doubt there’s ever going to be a time when fast food falls out of fashion. Even when it comes to how unhealthy the food is, most chains are trying to combat that somewhat by displaying calorie counts or offering healthier options. I don’t know how healthy a salad from Burger King could possibly be, but it’s the sentiment that counts.
Certain fast food chains are obviously more popular than others. Some of this has to do with the fact that there are many that are regional. For example, In-N-Out is mainly a West Coast establishment and Whataburger is primarily in the south. They’re regionally popular, but not overall when it comes to national and international sales. That’s something to keep in mind when looking at this list — just because your favorite isn’t on here doesn’t mean it’s not special. It’ll always be special in your heart. Building a chain restaurant is simply a challenge and takes some time, and there is intense competition in the space. You have to ensure that the risk will be worthwhile. The fast food chains that made our list took the risk and it paid off.
If you’re a foodie and want to take a dive into the industry, try taking a look at some cool and unique food truck ideas.
In order to create this list, we found sales statistics for inside the U.S and outside the U.S from QSR to find out what the most successful chains in each category are. We took the total number of system-wide sales from each of those lists and added them together to get a total figure for international sales. We then arranged them in ascending order, so the fast food chain that has the most system-wide sales internationally is at the top of the list.
Without further ado, let’s take a look at the most successful fast food chains in the world.