Ever had a Wimpy Burger? If you have never feasted your eyes on a Wimpy restaurant, you're not alone. It's one of many fast food chains that have not made it to the U.S., and it's likely to be a fast food restaurant you've never heard of. The Daily Meal has compiled a list of fast food restaurants that are worth seeking out if you're headed abroad (Photo Credit: © Flickr / harry nl).
Fast food is no small industry here in the U.S. -- Americans spend nearly $100 billion on fast food every year. There are close to 50,000 fast food chain locations in the country, according to the Palo Alto Medical Foundation, and of those, McDonald's is the largest fast food chain.
By now, you are likely familiar with Birthplaces of Fast Food in America, here is a recap: the contemporary fast food industry was born on Sept. 13, 1921 in Wichita, Kan., when Walter A. Anderson teamed up with Edgar Waldo "Billy" Ingram to open the first White Castle. In the next 15 years, White Castle would open seven more locations, expanding to other mid-Western markets.
Almost two decades after the first White Castle opened, the fast food movement experienced a surge of momentum when the McDonald brothers, Richard and Maurice, opened their first hamburger restaurant, McDonald's in San Bernardino, Calif., in 1940.
From then on, the industry proliferated. Colonel Sanders, who had opened his first restaurant in 1930 in North Corbin, Ky., opened the first Kentucky Fried Chicken franchise in Salt Lake City, Utah, in 1952. Burger King's predecessor, Insta-Burger King, was founded in Jacksonville, Fla., in 1953, while the first location of the current company opened in Miami in 1954. Dave Thomas opened the first Wendy's in Columbus, Ohio, in 1969.
Many American fast food institutions, such as McDonald's, Kentucky Fried Chicken, and Burger King, have gained major traction overseas, but their counterparts abroad don't always make it to the U.S. While some overseas restaurants emulate major American institutions, others have created their own regional versions of fast food.
From Nigeria, where Mr. Bigg's has more than 170 locations serving traditional cuisine such as moin moin and ofada rice, to Barbados, where Chefette, famous for its roti, is celebrating its 40th anniversary, diners are likely to find a localized fast food chain almost anywhere in the world.
After searching all over the world, The Daily Meal found fast food restaurants you haven't heard of, but should definitely know about.
- Ryan Glasspiegel, The Daily Meal
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What better way to celebrate your time in tropical paradise than with fast food? Chefette, a chain with 14 locations in Barbados, was named by combining the words "chef" (to cook) and "fete" (to party). The chain is famous for its roti, made with curried vegetables and meat and wrapped in wheat flour wrap. Celebrating its 40th anniversary this year, Chefette’s menu includes pizza, chicken, sandwiches, and salads. Click here to see The One Food Andrew Zimmern Doesn't Like Photo Credit: © Flickr / javajoba
Mr. Bigg’s currently has more than 170 locations, spread across 28 of the 36 states in Nigeria, and is still expanding. Moin moin and ofada rice — two Nigerian staples — are two of its most popular dishes. Click here to see 10 Chain Restaurant Menu Items You Must Try Photo Credit: © Wiki / FlickreviewR
With more than 30 locations in India, Jumbo King was open by husband-and-wife Dheeraj Gupta and Reeta Gupta to serve vada pav, an Indian snack of a spicy deep-fried potato patty sandwiched between a bread roll. Click here to see 10 Fast-Food Items You Must Eat Before You Die Photo Credit: © Flickr / lawtonjm
Burger Ranch was originally opened in South Africa but is most popular in Israel. While its restaurants aren’t classified as kosher, the individual ingredients for its burgers, chicken nuggets, french fries, and the like are, and items like cheeseburgers and seafood and extras like bacon are not on the menu, Click here to see Which US Airlines Still Offer Free Amenities Photo Credit: © Flickr/ fabcom
Headquartered in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Secret Recipe is a popular café chain that is most famous for its cakes, but its menu is also filled with Asian classics like Japanese soba, curry curry laksa (a spicy noodle and soup dish), and pho (Vietnamese noodle soup with beef or chicken). Secret Recipe has locations in Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Indonesia, the Philippines, China, Pakistan, Australia, and Brunei. Click here to see Where to Get Deep-Dish Pizza in Chicago Photo Credit: © Wiki / Cindylim123
Founded by school teacher Pat McDonagh in Galway, Ireland, in 1978, Supermac’s has more than 100 locations in Ireland and Northern Ireland. The company claims to have pioneered curry chips and the snack box craze in Ireland. Supermac’s menu has burgers, chicken sandwiches, cod and chips, and eight different varieties of french fries, including coleslaw, taco, curry, and cheese fries. Click here to see the Best Chinese Takeout in America Photo Credit: © Wiki / Magnus Manske
Henny Penny currently operates 15 locations in the New South Wales, Australia. Opened in 1968 when Steggles Poultry expanded to serve fast food, it’s no surprise Henny Penny is famous for its chicken, particularly its barbecue chicken. Click here to see Top Travel Apps to Guide You to Destination's Best Eats Photo Credit: © Wiki / Adam Daley
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