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The 10 Most Popular Fast Food Chains in America

The ten most popular fast food chains in America are an ever growing entities that have boundless limits, which makes them quite intriguing. Americans love fast food after all. It is a metaphor for how American society works: efficient, fast, easy to handle, and bad for your health.

As long as there are people trying to get a quick meal there will be fast food joints all over the country. In 2011, during one of the worst crises in the U.S since the 1930’s, the top 15 fast food chains in the country had 105,000 total stores and over $115 billion dollars in sales. Find out more about The 10 Biggest Fast Food Chains in the World!

In this article we will take a look at the ten most popular fast food chains in America. These fast food chains are defined as LSRs — “limited service restaurants” — which include burger joints, sandwich shops, coffee cafés, pizza places, and more.

Very few people in America can say that they have never been to a fast food restaurant; they are everywhere, from the richest places to the most destitute ones. So if you want to indulge on a greasy burger, or eat the cheesiest pizza, or even have some fries with a soda while talking to some friends, these are the most popular places that you have probably stepped in at least a couple times in your life.



2011 U.S. sales: $4.05 billion

Number of locations: 1,600

Chick-Fil-A saw a 13% increase in sales this year, yet it still fell short of beating out its top competitor, KFC. This Atlanta-based company opened 64 new outlets last year.  If it was up to politics, this company would be doing very badly. Their recent controversies with the LGBTQA community has done a lot of damage, but their salaries are good and their product is still delicious.

Chick fil a



2011 U.S. sales: $4.5 billion

Number of locations: 4,793

Sales at KFC fell steadily last year and the Colonel had to close 262 locations. The company almost had to forfeit its title as the leading chicken chain to Chick-Fil-A.  But their fried chicken is really tasty and affordable and they have a quick, effective service.


8-Pizza Hut

2011 U.S. sales: $5.4 billion

Number of locations: 7,595

The company opened 53 new units but their sales have not increased. The red roof company currently holds the title for most popular fast food pizza chain in the nation. Their cheesey crust ad was also awarded as the most effective ad last year.

pizza hut

Our list of the most popular fast food chains in America continues on the next page with a dunkable favorite.

7-Dunkin’ Donuts

2011 U.S. sales: $5.92 billion

Number of locations: 7,015

Sales at Dunkin’ Donuts increased steadily last year and the company opened up 115 new locations. This Massachusetts-based company is the number two coffee café behind Starbucks. They are an ever growing company that has delicious coffee and amazing breakfast variety.



6-Taco Bell

2011 U.S. sales: $6.8 billion

Number of locations: 5,674

Taco Bell, the only top fast food Mexican restaurant in the country, is going through a big turnaround. A bunch of crazy new products have hit the menus, and their constant creativity in their products is making a difference. Everyone remembers the Doritos Locos taco and they won’t forget it for a long time.

taco bell

5-Burger King

2011 U.S. sales: $8.4 billion

Number of locations: 7,231

Burger King ranks third in the competition for the top fast food burger restaurant in the nation. Even though they have locations all over the country, their products have decreased in quality, and sales have dropped by nearly 4% as a result. BK was passed by its closest competitor, Wendy’s on this last, and recently merged with Canada’s Tim Horton’s coffee chain to create a larger, more diverse company.

burger king


2011 U.S. sales: $8.5 billion

Number of locations: 5,876

Wendy’s increased their sales by 2% last year. Their biggest change was when they redid the concept of their fries that used to be the worst part of their menu. They are now arguably the best fries you can get at a fast food place. They are growing rapidly and have already established themselves as the second biggest burger joint in the U.S.



2011 U.S. sales: $9.75 billion

Number of locations: 10,787

Starbucks still has almost 3,800 more stores open than Dunkin’ Donuts even though the company decided to close more than 300 locations around the country. They are the number one coffee shop in the country with over ten thousand locations. Their expansion through branding will bring an even better prospect for sales next year.



2011 U.S. sales: $11.4 billion

Number of locations: 24,722

Subway seems unstoppable, it is the perfect business, good product quality, easy to make and delicious. The “eat light” campaign gave them a 7.5% increase in profits, and they opened 872 new locations last year alone. Get ready McDonald’s, they are after you (though they have a long way to go)!


1 McDonald’s

2011 U.S. sales: $34.2 billion

Number of locations: 14,098

McDonald’s unsurprisingly takes the prize for the biggest fast food chain in the U.S. The Golden Arches are the most known brand in the world. On U.S soil, despite of the growth of other companies, their sales increased by about 5%, the company opened up 71 new locations and has appointed a new CEO. They have been growing non-stop since they opened up and this is why McDonald’s is still the most popular fast food chain in America.

 MC bien