There is a growing trend among the big players in the fast-food industry these days - coming out with an outrageous product and then hoping that it strikes viral gold online. Take for example Taco Bell's Doritos Locos Tacos and McDonald's Austrian McRibster.
Click here to see the 20 Most 'Liked' Fast-Food Chains on Facebook
The impact of social media has become extremely important for these fast-food brands, so much so that if you look at how the chains stack up popularity-wise, by last count of the likes on their Facebook pages at least, Subway (11,626,974) still has work to do before it overtakes Starbucks (29,299,522) and the Golden Arches (18,155,580) despite having more locations worldwide than either brand.
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When it comes to the popularity rankings of popular fast-food joints, there might be some surprises. Would anyone have thought that Arby's wouldn't have even come close to cracking the top 20 most popular fast-food chains on Facebook? And despite all its cult-like proponents, Five Guys didn't make the cut, either.
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Where did Chipotle land? Dairy Queen? Which chicken chain dominated - Kentucky Fried Chicken or Chick-fil-A? Which pizza chain was more popular - Domino's, Pizza Hut, or Papa John's? Who were the top three most popular fast-food chains?
10. Burger King: 4,689,909 Current Likes (+356%)
At last count, having it your way has garnered Burger King at least 4,689,909 'likes' on Facebook.
Likes as of April, 2011: 1,028,243
Locations worldwide: Over 12,300 locations in 76 countries
9. Chick-fil-A: 4,976,154 Current Likes (+27%)
Despite the flurry of controversy that Chick-fil-A has faced over the past year, they still managed to pull in a whopping 4,976,154 likes on Facebook at last count.
Likes as of April, 2011: 3,931,888
Locations worldwide: over 1,500
8. Domino's Pizza: 5,946,771 Current Likes (+148%)
It's a significant jump up from Chick-fil-A to Domino's when it comes to likes on Facebook - 5,946,771 people like this pizza chain.
Likes as of April, 2011: 2,402,240
Locations worldwide: over 9,000 locations in 60 countries
7. Dunkin' Donuts: 6,041,776 Current Likes
The second coffee-based chain to land on this list, Dunkin' Donuts has 6,041,776 likes on Facebook.
Locations worldwide: 9,760 locations in 30 countries
6. Buffalo Wild Wings: 6,925,386 Current Likes (+52%)
Buffalo Wild Wings comes in at number six on this list with 6,925,386 likes on Facebook.
Likes as of April, 2011: 4,542,508
Locations worldwide: over 800
5. Pizza Hut: 7,068,482 Current Likes (+119%)
At last count, Pizza Hut scored 7,068,482 likes on Facebook, putting it at number five on this list of the most popular chains.
Likes as of April, 2011: 3,231,540
Locations worldwide: 12,800 locations in 90 countries
4. Taco Bell: 8,420,419 Current Likes (+36%)
Taco Bell comes in fourth with 8,420,419 likes on Facebook, nearly 20 million less likes than the top-ranking chain on this list.
Likes as of April, 2011: 6,170,475
Locations worldwide: 5,896
3. Subway: 11,626,974 Current Likes (+186%)
As noted before, Subway has more locations than any other fast-food chain in the world - even McDonald's. But on this list, the 11,626,974 likes it has on Facebook puts it two spots back from Starbucks and just behind McDonald's.
Likes as of April, 2011: 4,059,970
Locations worldwide: 36,426 locations in 99 countries
2. McDonald's: 18,155,580 Current Likes (+132%)
McDonald's is holding it down at number two with 18,155,580 likes on Facebook.
Likes as of April, 2011: 7,813,854
Locations worldwide: over 33,000 locations in 19 countries
1. Starbucks: 29,299,522 Current Likes (+36%)
Starbucks is the clear winner on this list with 29,299,522 likes on Facebook.
Likes as of May, 2011: 21,596,340
Locations worldwide: over 17,000 locations in 55 countries
Click here to see the rest of the Most 'Liked' Fast-Food Chains on Facebook #'s 11-20
- Molly Aronica, The Daily Meal
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