It's no secret that America loves fast food, but do you know just how much and just which restaurants?

Fast food chains, known in the food industry as Quick Service Restaurants or QSRs, get ranked every year by lots of different criteria. Here are your top ten, America, by both revenue generated in 2011 and number of locations, as ranked by QSR Magazine.

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  • 10: Chick-fil-A, $4,051,000,000

    Although Chick-fil-A has recently found itself <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/07/30/chick-fil-a-brand-approval-rating-anti-gay-controversy_n_1719359.html" target="_hplink">embroiled in social controversy</a>, it managed to make the top ten in 2011.

  • 9: KFC, $4,500,000,000

    Although KFC lost 275 locations last year, they still managed to remain in the top ten in 2011.

  • 8: Pizza Hut, $5,500,000,000

    Pizza Hut came out on top in a <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/07/27/pizza-hut-ads_n_911106.html#s316917&title=Super_Sincere" target="_hplink">study on ad effectiveness in 2011</a>. An ad for the chain's Ultimate Stuffed Crust Pizza made consumers the hungriest.

  • 7: Dunkin' Donuts, $6,500,000,000

    With 115 new locations, Dunkin' Donuts had the second largest location growth in 2011 (beaten by Subway by an insane margin -- they opened 872 new locations).

  • 6: Taco Bell, $7,000,000,000

    Taco Bell's 2011 started out turbulently, with a well-publicized lawsuit surrounding the content of their beef. They counteracted the suit with (among other measures) <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/01/28/taco-bell-beef-meat-lawsuit-ads_n_815303.html" target="_hplink">full page ads in the <em>New York Times</em> defending their meat</a>, managing to right the ship and have a great year -- even before the launch of this year's famous <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/06/05/doritos-locos-most-popular_n_1571160.html" target="_hplink">Doritos Loco Taco</a>.

  • 5: Burger King, $8,400,000,000

    Burger King hopped on the avocado band wagon last year, which was only one of many changes the chain underwent, including the <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/08/19/burger-king-de-thrones-king_n_931208.html" target="_hplink">dethroning of their mascot, The King</a>.

  • 4: Wendy's, $8,500,000,000

    It seemed likely that <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/03/19/wendys-burger-king-number-two_n_1364514.html" target="_hplink">Wendy's would dethrone Burger King to become the second biggest burger chain in the U.S.</a> -- and it turns out, they totally did.

  • 3: Starbucks, $9,750,000,000

    Starbucks closed the most locations of any of the chains in the top ten last year, shuttering 310 locations. In 2011 the chain also <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/01/17/starbucks-new-size-trenta-graphic_n_810083.html" target="_hplink">rolled out its insane, 31oz Trenta size</a>.

  • 2: Subway, $11,400,000,000

    Subway was recently crowned both <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/05/10/best-fast-food-restaurants_n_1507319.html" target="_hplink">America's favorite fast food restaurant</a> and its <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/03/07/worlds-largest-restaurant-chain-subway_n_832511.html" target="_hplink">biggest chain</a>. Opening 872 new locations in 2011, their total number of U.S. locations rose to 24,722, nearly beating McDonald's and Starbucks combined.

  • 1: McDonald's, $34,172,000,000

    Well, no surprise here, right? While no longer the largest fast food chain in America, McDonald's is surely the most successful -- their 2011 U.S. revenue beats Subway and Starbucks' totals combined. A recent American Consumer Satisfaction Index survey revealed that the chain is, however, <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/06/21/mcdonalds-low-customer-satisfaction_n_1615606.html" target="_hplink">at the bottom in terms of customer satisfaction</a>, so McDonald's may not reign forever.


Revenue isn't the only measure of success when it comes to fast food chains -- they also compete for size and reach. Here are the biggest QSRs in the U.S., by number of locations:

  1. Subway, 24,722
  2. McDonald’s, 14,098
  3. Starbucks, 10,821
  4. Pizza Hut, 7,600
  5. Burger King, 7,231
  6. Dunkin’ Donuts, 7,015
  7. Wendy’s, 6,594
  8. Dairy Queen, 6,187
  9. Taco Bell, 5,670
  10. Domino’s Pizza, 4,907

[via Eater/QSR Magazine]

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