Top 10 Most Popular Global Fast-Food Chains

| August 26, 2013 | 0 Comments

The notion of ‘fast-food’ is a befitting one for today’s fast paced lives. The original idea was to provide customers with food without letting them wait, and at affordable prices. The production of fast food menu items is standardized- reflecting an inspiration from the production line innovations of Henry Ford. The food is cooked in advance and kept fresh so it is ready for take away. Another feature of fast food restaurants is that they provide a family friendly atmosphere, especially suitable for children where they offer play-areas and tailored menus for the children so the moms can have some relief. Thus, with their promise of quality and affordable prices, these fast food restaurants began to provide a great alternative to greasy spoon restaurants on one hand, and extremely expensive restaurants on the other. The whole point of fast foods is that they do not require one to sit down and use cutlery; one can eat them on the go. Most common fast foods include burgers, sandwiches, French-fries, fried chicken, nuggets, pizzas, and ice-creams. Here is a list of the world’s top 10 most popular fast food chains ranked according to their international presence.

10. Papa John’s

Papa John’s

Papa John’s is a pizza restaurant chain, founded in 1984. It is the U.S’s third largest pizza chain after Domino’s and Pizza Hut. It has 4,200 restaurants around the World where more than 2,600 are located in the U.S. It is present in about 35 countries. Its famous slogan is: Better Ingredients. Better Pizza. Papa John’s. With more than 755 international stores, it ranks 10th in our list of most popular fast-food chains around the world.

9. Dairy Queen

Dairy Queen

Dairy Queen is a fast-food restaurant chain, opened in 1940. Its headquarters are in Edina, Minnesota (U.S). Its products include hamburgers, hotdogs, ice-creams, milkshakes, and frozen yogurt. Its most famous product is ‘Blizzard’ (a soft-serve with sundae toppings). It has 6,321 store locations around the World with 1,135 international franchise units. Dairy Queen is present in about 27 countries and ranks 9th in our list of fast-food restaurants.

8. Dunkin Donuts

Dunkin Donuts

Dunkin Donuts, founded in 1950, is an international coffee and donuts chain. It competes with Starbucks in terms of its coffee sales while it competes with Krispy Kreme in terms of its doughnut sales. Its products include hot/cold beverages, bakery goods (including doughnuts and muffins), and sandwiches. Dunkin Donuts has more than 10,083 stores around the World and is present in about 32 countries. Owning approximately 3,005 international stores, it ranks 8th in our list.

7. Domino’s


Domino’s, founded in 1960, is an international pizza restaurant chain. It is America’s second largest pizza chain after Pizza Hut. It owns about 10,300 outlets in around 75 countries. Globally, Domino’s delivers more than a million pizzas each day. Its products include pizzas, submarine sandwiches, wraps, chicken wings, pastas, and desserts. Domino’s owns about 4,422 international restaurants, earning it the 7th rank in this list.

6. Burger King

Burger King

Originally founded in 1953 (Florida) as the Insta-Burger King, the Burger King is a global hamburger fast-food chain. It has targeted the male (18-35) customers by focusing on big meaty burgers. In 1957, it introduced its Whopper burger which has now become the Burger King’s signature burger. It owns about 12,700 outlets in 73 countries where about 66% are located in the U.S. With about 4,998 international restaurants, it ranks 6th in this list.

5. Starbucks


Founded in 1971, Starbucks is the World’s largest coffee restaurant chain. In addition to coffee, it also sells snacks. It is an American global coffee company with 20,891 outlets providing services in about 62 countries around the World. Majority of the stores are located in the U.S (13,279 stores), followed by Canada (1324 stores), then Japan (989 stores), and China (851 stores). Owning around 57,27 international stores, Starbucks ranks 5th in this list.

4. Pizza Hut

Pizza Hut

Pizza Hut is a restaurant chain owned by the Yum! Brand (the World’s largest restaurant company which also owns KFC and Taco Bell). Its main menu item is pizzas but it also offers side dishes including salads, pastas, and garlic bread. Founded in 1958, Pizza Hut is located in about 95 countries with approximately 11,139 outlets all around the World. Hence, with about 5,890 international restaurants, Pizza Hut ranks 4th in this list.

3. Subway


Subway is a fast-food restaurant franchise most famously known for its health friendly products (submarine sandwiches and salads). Founded in 1965, it is owned and run by the Doctors Associates, Inc. Subway is the largest single restaurant chain and one of the fastest growing franchises in the World. It has about 39,747 restaurants in 101 countries around the World. With approximately10,109 international restaurants, Subway ranks 3rd in this list of top 10 fast-food chains.

2. KFC


The Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) was founded by one cook, Colonel Harland Sanders in 1930. It boasts as the World’s best chicken restaurant where the secret lies in a recipe which is still locked in a vault in KFC’s Louisville headquarters. After McDonald’s, KFC is the World’s second largest restaurant chain. It has more than 18,000 outlets in 120 countries and territories around the World. After the United States of America, It is very popular in China where it has more than 4,200 outlets. Thus, with about 11,798 international restaurants, this world’s leading chicken restaurant ranks 2nd in our list.

1. McDonald’s


Originally founded in 1940 as a barbeque restaurant, today McDonald’s is the World’s largest hamburger fast food chain. With about 34,492 restaurants around the World in 118 countries, McDonald’s serves 69 million people every day. The majority of the restaurants are located in the United States (about 14,157) followed by Japan (about 3279). It tops other food chains in terms of international presence where 80% of its restaurants are franchised (about 18,710 international restaurants). In 2012, it hit a record of annual turnover of $27 billion. McDonald’s is best known for its burgers, fries, nuggets, and shakes. It has adapted its menu according to the customer needs of particular countries for example McDonald’s in India does not have beef items. It has also introduced salads and juices for the health conscious customers. Thus, with its continuous expansion, customer sensitivity, and popularity, it ranks #1 in this list.

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