The Country's Most Popular Fast Food Chains Are Not What You'd Expect

When you think of America's most popular fast food chains, you might think of McDonalds, Kentucky Fried Chicken, and Pizza Hut (at least if you heard that song as a kid), or maybe Burger King or Taco Bell. But those aren't the fast food restaurants Americans actually like the most. Our real favorites are the lesser-known ones, CNBC reports.
Market Force Information analyzed 11,000 customer ratings to determine how happy people were with different restaurants' food, service, and price.
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The most popular burger joint was not McDonalds or Burger King, but In-N-Out Burger, a chain largely on the West Coast known for its "not-so-secret menu." Next came Culver's, Five Guys, and Smashburger. Burger King and McDonalds actually had the lowest scores.
Pizza Hut was also in the bottom of its category, while Marco's Pizza — an "authentic Italian pizza" chain with headquarters in Toledo, Ohio and restaurants in 35 states — held the honor of most popular pizza joint. Then came Papa Murphy's and Pizza Ranch.
In the chicken category too, some of the most well-known companies were also the most disliked. KFC and Popeyes came in last, while Chick-fil-A has remained the most popular for four years.
Subway, Arby's, and Jimmy John's are Americans' least favorite sandwich chains. Firehouse Subs, a restaurant founded in Jacksonville, Florida known for its ingredient-packed subs, was the preferred choice.
The most predictable winner was in the Mexican category. You guessed it: Chipotle. Despite the bad publicity it got for an E. coli outbreak in late 2015, people still rated it the highest for food, service, and cleanliness. But Moe's Southwest Grill and El Pollo Loco were close runners-up.
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Based on these results, it seems like when you need to eat on the go, you could benefit from trying something new instead of going with the most obvious choices. If you've only been ordering from McDonald's and Burger King, a lot of Americans would say you're missing out.