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Zagat Fast Food Survey

Not many surprises:

Best Burger

1. Five Guys
2. In-N-Out Burger
3. Wendy’s
4. Burger King
5. McDonald's

Best French Fries

1. McDonald's
2. Five Guys
3. In-N-Out Burger
4. Wendy's
5. Burger King

Some thoughts:

- Why no "Best Fish Sandwich" or "Best Onion Rings" categories?
- How did McDonald's take top place for "Best Value"? I'd vote for In-N-Out.

Full details here: http://www.zagat.com/fastfood#

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  1. "How did McDonald's take top place for "Best Value"? I'd vote for In-N-Out"

    I would say most respondents are more familiar with the MCD Dollar Menu and Extra Value Meals. In-N-Out has none.

    3 Replies
    1. re: monku

      An In-N-Out burger, fries and soda would run you less than the cheapest McDonald's Value Meal, and on the whole you're getting better quality from In-N-Out.

      Perhaps I was giving Zagat readers more credit than they deserved.

      1. re: ipsedixit

        More credit than they deserve.

        MCD dollar chicken sandwich or the sausage McMuffin are good tasty value plays for me. MCD sausage is damn good.

        1. re: ipsedixit

          Cheaper than a $1 McDouble, $1 fries, $1 drink?

      2. *zagat* and *fast food* in the same sentence feels strange. mcdonalds making it to the top five of any list is stranger - unless the list was "top five places for the most sugar and bad cholesterol".

        1. I've never had a good burger at Five Guys. I have at In-And-Out. These results and others in their Fast Food Category survey prove why the only good use of a Zagat's Guide is to look up an address or telephone number. Subway (best healthy choice!), Starbucks (best coffee!). It's unfortunate because people trust Zagat's.

          1. I think many people just think they are automatically supposed to knock McDonald's. Personally I love food, good and what some would consider not so good.

            I seldom actually visit a McDonald's but when I am on a road trip it just would not be complete without at least once stopping at McD's for chicken nuggets with mustard dipping sauce. Something about them just makes the trip a little more fun. And please DO NOT give me actual strips of fried chicken breast. I want chopped processed chicken meat formed into nuggets. Yum.

            1. In N out seems to be the only regional chain mentioned in any part of the survey, which might speak more to where the voluntary respondents live.
              6500 people eating 830,000 FF meals is kind of stunning.
              QUICK SURVEY FACTS

              Number of surveyors: 6,518
              Average number of meals per month at fast-food chains: 6.1
              Average number of meals per month at full-service chains: 4.6
              Collective total meals per year at fast-food/full-service chains: 837,000

              2 Replies
              1. re: bbqboy

                I believe 5 Guys is a regional chain. Or at least they only expanded to the West Coast fairly recently. They're certainly not in the same league as the others. According to their website, they have 625 (compared to over 13,000 McDonald's) stores in 40 states and 4 Canadian provinces.

                1. re: Ruth Lafler

                  In 'n Out is only located in four western states -- Arizona, California, Nevada and Utah with a total of 249 locations.

                1. i think there is a lot to say about a chain (in-n-out) that exists only in four states and has less than 300 locations, and still makes it to the top of the list. i just had five guys for the first time tonight. it was good, very good. my only complaint was that the bun on one of my burgers was a bit doughy; an unusual complaint for sure. i like the ability to highly customize your burger at five guys. i am still going to have to sneak in-n-out ahead of five guys though. for one i am a simple man, and the in-n-out menu has only made one major change in the history of the chain; the addition of the double double. they are open far later than five guys as well. and here is the kicker for me. in-n-out has no freezers, which means, you guessed it, everything is delivered fresh every morning from local farms. this fact is also one of the main reasons in-n-out doesn't really expand, it would be impossible for the owners to regulate the quality of the product. and no, in-n-out does not franchise and probably never will. well i guess i just don't know enough about five guys to give them the blue ribbon, so for now and me, the double double animal style, is the undisputed champion of the burger world.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: anthunee

                    Everything you mentioned that you liked about In-n-Out happens to be the case for Five Guys as well. They pride themselves on using fresh meat (never frozen, delivered everyday), fresh potatoes with location of origin listed, and their menu hasn't changed since its inception.