Fast food connoisseurs unite! If there’s one hot topic that can never be exhausted, it’s who has the best (or worst) food. Although opinions may vary, there is one universal truth that we can all agree on: you have to shop around. This is because burgers are best in one place while fries are best in another. No one is master of everything.
And it doesn’t matter. We love hunting. However, if you’re looking for the perfect menu staple that you can’t quite find, you’ve come to the right place. Surveys by data firm Technomic asked consumers about their favorite staples from America’s top restaurant chains.
Hundreds of milkshakes were drank, thousands of fries were nibbled on and tons of burgers were tagged and bagged as fans wondered who had the best of the best to offer. And the counts were added up to create the ultimate menu featuring America’s favorite meal.
The milkshakes are as American as it gets. And that’s because the first modern version was actually made at a Chicago Walgreens by an employee who was experimenting with new concoctions.
So when it comes to the best milkshake, consumers really know their stuff. And their favorite place to grab a frozen shake? It’s none other than the classic Steak n’ Shake burger chain.
Steak ‘n Shake actually popularized pairing the ice-cold malt drink with a juicy burger, and fans haven’t forgotten that. One fan interviewed said, “My husband and I always crave their shakes. For some reason, they’re very satisfying, delicious, and inexpensive (especially during happy hour),” according to Catering company.
Staff at the line must also be certified to make their frosted malts, according to a Reddit post. The job requires a basic training test, experienced and even a master on his milkshakes. Under the authority of the employee who created the position, all milkshakes are hand-dipped and prepared according to strict guidelines, which is what makes them so good.
The chain is popular shake flavors include cheesecake, Nutella, chocolate chip cookie dough, and mint chocolate chips.
A burger is as synonymous with American cuisine as anything else. And if you can believe it, according to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA)we eat an average of 2.4 burgers a day, so it’s a big craving to satisfy.
As for our big craving for burgers, however, it turns out a smaller square will do. Technomic surveyed 72.4% of respondents who ranked White Castle sliders as the most searched burgers, according to Catering companies.
Steamed, sprinkled with onions and topped with a pickle, these compact burgers really hit the mark. “Only White Castle makes them like this and they sure taste great,” said one respondent who noted that the burger’s uniqueness added to its appeal.
The century-old brand is credited with pioneering the fast food industry in many ways as a first in the burger business. Having won first place in Time magazines list of influential burgers hailed by Initiated As a “shiny fast food castle on the hill”, it’s no wonder White Castle reigns supreme.
Hot summer days call for cool balls and America never seems to have enough ice cream. In fact, the average American consumes about four gallons per year!
And to help them hit that quota, there’s a place with plenty of irresistible options and a wide array of flavors: Baskin-Robbins.
In Technomic’s survey, more than 66% of customers said Baskin-Robbins was their favorite place to get the scoop, according to Catering company.
Baskin Robbins is known as the largest ice cream specialty store chain in the world and is said to have created over 1,000 flavors in its 76 year history. Currently, the brand only has 31 varieties in store, but there’s still plenty to choose from.
Technomic respondents said the Coffee, Heath Bar Crunch and Chocolate flavors were the most satisfying. According to the chain, however, its top-selling flavors are vanilla, chocolate, mint chocolate chips, pralines, and cream and chocolate chips.
“The best coffee ice cream when you crave that flavor,” said one respondent.
French fries have risen from the shadow of burgers and sandwiches to become a favorite in their own right. More and more restaurants have dedicated themselves only to spud and when done right, we find that it can make all the difference. Same fast food giants like Wendy’s have taken a step back and re-evaluated their friesdeciding it wasn’t something they were going to neglect anymore.
And it turns out that customers care about them too. Soft, soggy, and cold spuds will no longer cut it. We want hot and tasty and when it comes to tasty fries, we’ve found it at Checkers and Rally’s, which Americans say are the most delicious.
Technomic polled 51% of respondents who said Checkers and Rally’s “famous seasoning” made all the difference, according to catering company. Not only that, but the fast-food chain also allows fries lovers to top them with cheese, chili, ranch dressing and bacon, which really takes it a step further.
The chain’s fry seasoning is made “from a blend of flours, starches, and 15 different herbs and spices.” said Ryan Joy, Senior Director of Research and Development at Checkers Drive-In Restaurants. The restaurant also has a method of coating and frying potatoes in batter, which retains their consistency longer and makes them crispier.