We have set forth a goal to try to determine the 10 most popular fast food restaurants of 2013 and more importantly, the number one most popular. The process involved getting a lot of data from different sources and comparing it to see trends.
Although this article is about fast food restaurants, we’ve also included fast casual restaurants as well as coffee-shop style restaurants such as Starbucks and Dunkin’ Donuts.
Top 5 Fast Food Restaurants
As can be seen in the infographic and raw data numbers below, the most consistent trend is McDonald’s, Starbucks, and Subway. Other restaurants greatly fluctuate based on the metric type considered.
As far as our website analytics, McDonald’s is by far the most popular restaurant. The interesting thing is that Starbucks did not even make the top 10 list there. Why is that? It is most likely due to users not really searching for menu prices of coffee-shops. Coffee-shops have a limited menu so most of their users are familiar with the prices already.
On the other hand, Taco Bell and Wendy’s are also very popular on our website. This is again due to them being traditional fast food restaurants so users search for their menu prices quite a bit.
When compared to other popularity metrics, Taco Bell and Wendy’s are actually not THAT popular. On Google Trends, Wendy’s didn’t even make the top 10 and Taco Bell was tied at 7th spot with Chipotle. Similar results are seen with Google AdWords data, social media, and Alexa/PageRank.
Starbucks dominates pretty much every popularity contest except our website’s analytics and Google Trends. People search for Starbucks prices even more than for McDonald’s. On social media, Starbucks crushes McDonald’s by over 1 million users.
Starbucks is also the only fast food website that has a PageRank 8. All other restaurants are 7 and below.
Starbucks, although not the cleanest definition of fast food, is the most popular chain restaurant in the fast food and fast casual industry. Because it leans more towards a coffee-shop category, the restaurant is not as popular on our website and its prices are not searched as much on search engines.
McDonald’s is still the king of the “traditional” type of fast food restaurants and is well ahead of its direct competitors such as Burger King and Wendy’s.
Subway, on the other hand, is the most popular healthy fast food restaurant, however, fast casuals such as Panera Bread are catching up quickly.
If we had to rank the top 3 restaurants based on our data, it would be:
The interesting part of the results is that out of the top 3, only one can truly be considered a traditional fast food restaurant. Starbucks is a hip coffee-shop with a limited food menu, while Subway is a sub sandwich restaurant that’s perceived to be a healthier alternative.
That’s not to say that traditional fast food is dying, but its growth is slowing down. Fast food restaurants have jumped on the healthy bandwagon, so hopefully they continue towards that trend as they clearly need to do so.
We have used six different metrics to determine the winner.
FastFoodMenuPrices.com Website Analytics
The website analytics have been taked from the 4th quarter of 2013 (October-December). The reason for this is because we have the strongest analytics data from those months, which we feel would be the most accurate.
Google Trends is a great little tool that shows you trends among different keywords or businesses. This data is also from the 4th quarter of 2013 and is averaged for those three months.
Google Trends data comes from Google searches for that specific search term when compared to the overall Google search data.
Google AdWords has a Keyword Planner tool, which allows advertisers to see approximate search volumes for search terms. It is thought to be the most accurate number for users to see search volume data.
The next set of data was taken from social media websites Facebook and Twitter. The metrics used are the total Facebook likes and the total Twitter followers of the official restaurant pages.
Alexe Rank was used to determine how the popularity of restaurant’s official websites. Alexa ranks all websites, with #1 and #2 being Google.com and Facebook.com, the two most popular websites in the world.
Google PageRank is a metric used by Google to gauge how trustworthy and popular a website is using Google’s propriatery algorythm. PageRank determines rank based on other websites linking to a specific website, while Alexa determines it based on number of users that visit a website using their browser toolbar or extension.
Fast Food Menu Prices Website Analytics
|Total (Oct – Dec)|
|Jack in the Box||38,606|
|Jack in the Box||4||3||3||3|
|Jack in the Box||301,000|
* The sum of all common variations of company brand, such as McDonalds and McDonald’s.
|Jack in the Box||930K||50K|
Data as of April, 2014
|Jack in the Box||54,963||6|
Data as of April, 2014