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Best Fast Food and Fast Casual Franchises in America

1st Nov 2017
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Over the past half century, fast food has become an integral part of American culture. An industry that began with a handful of modest hot dog and hamburger stands in southern California has spread to every corner of the nation, selling a broad range of foods wherever paying customers may be found. Fast food can be found virtually anywhere - at restaurants and drive-throughs, at stadiums, airports, zoos, high schools, elementary schools, and universities, on cruise ships, trains, and airplanes, at Wal-Marts, gas stations, and even at hospital cafeterias. The growth of the Fast Food Industry has been spurred by the rise of huge franchises that operate locations all over North America and in some cases all over the world. The brands associated with these franchises have such huge followings and are so well-known that they are now synonymous with Americana itself. Here is a list of the most popular Fast-food / Fast-Casual franchises in the country. Rank this list and help decide which of these are the best! Sources: NY Times, Wikipedia

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Best Fast Food and Fast Casual Franchises in America

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Five Guys Burgers and Fries

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Five Guys Burgers and Fries is an American fast casual restaurant chain focused on hamburgers, hot dogs, and French fries, and headquartered in Lorton, Virginia, an unincorporated part of Fairfax County. The first Five Guys restaurant opened in 1986 in Arlington County, Virginia, and by 2001, the chain had expanded to five locations throughout the Washington, D.C. metro area. A Five Guys restaurant typically consists of red-and-white checkered decorations, open kitchens, a single counter for purchasing and picking up food, and tables and chairs for customers. The Five Guys menu is centered on hamburgers offered with American cheese or bacon, kosher style hot dogs, grilled cheese and vegetable sandwiches. Five Guys uses buns that are sweeter and "eggier" than normal buns. Fresh-cut French fries are the sole side item, available salted only in "Five Guys style" or seasoned "Cajun style". Complimentary roasted in-shell peanuts are also offered for on-site consumption at most locations. For dessert, the chain sells milkshakes available with 10 different mix-ins. Customers can mix and match multiple flavors, and even add bacon to the shake. Five Guys has received numerous awards in D.C. area publications, including "Number 1 Burger" by Washingtonian Magazine for seven years. Former US President Barack Obama is reportedly a fan, buying lunch for himself and his colleagues at the Washington Five Guys branch in 2011. The chain has something of a cult following and remarkable brand loyalty. Five Guys has been rated one of the most talked-about burger brands online. In 2012, Market Force Information, Inc. polled 7,600 fast-food consumers, and Five Guys ranked No. 1 in food quality and taste, service, cleanliness, and atmosphere. In 2011, Five Guys was ranked first in "Fast Food - Large Chains" and "Best Burger" in Zagat's annual Fast Food Survey.
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