Zagat's Fast Food Survey ... Does Anyone Care?

Kim Conte
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five guysFive Guys beat out In-N-Out. KFC bested Popeyes. Wendy's vanquished Subway ...

And I couldn't care less.      

Zagat's annual Fast Food Survey results are out, and I'm trying -- and colossally failing -- to muster up some excitement over ranking one inexpensive greasy hamburger over another.

Sure, there were some (admittedly non-upsetting) upsets, and I get that customers are excited about seeing their favorite brands at the top of the list. But to me the whole concept seems like more like a baseless popularity contest than an accurate ranking of which food is better than the other.

Zagat's survey is based on responses from 6,518 Zagat.com diners who contribute their opinions as to which burgers, salads, coffee, etc. are the best of the best.

As to be expected, McDonald's and Wendy's were at the top of most of the categories. But there were some "surprises" that other food blogs are telling us to care about, namely:

  • Five Guys beating out the popular West Coast chain (and last year's winner) In-N-Out for Best Burger.
  • Starbucks winning Best Coffee -- thereby defeating Dunkin' Donuts and McDonald's.
  • KFC besting Popeyes in the Best Fried Chicken category (really??).

If you are a diehard In-N-Out or Dunkin' Donuts fan, you might find these results depressing because your preferred fast food joint is a loser with a capital "L"; or, you could simply chalk it up to lack of exposure like Paula Forbes writing for Eater.com does when explaining the Five Guys burger upset:

...as of August 7th, Five Guys had 644 locations across the US and Canada -- including locations in California. In-N-Out, meanwhile, has a mere 244 locations in four states ... Perhaps this is just a numbers game; we probably speak for everyone when we say the answer is expansion.

In other words, far from revealing which chain has superior fast food, these results could simply be a measure of which chain received the most publicity this year. After all, is it any coincidence that Five Guys just so happens to be the chain that Obama and family has admitted to like?

 

Did any of the Zagat's Fast Food Survey results surprise you?

Image via Five Guys

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