While Zagat is known for its rankings of high-end white table cloth restaurants, they also pay attention to food that’s more often carried out in a paper bag.
In a survey asking the opinions of more than 10,500 respondents, Zagat’s annual Fast-Food Survey found that In-N-Out Burger is the most popular large fast-food outlet, followed by Panera Bread and Chipotle. Five Guys and the highly controversial Chick-fil-A rounded out the top five among chains with between 100 and 5,000 locations. Of all the restaurants, In-N-Out was the big winner, taking the Top Food, Most Popular, Top Service and Top Overall awards. Five Guys was voted the best Fast-Food Burger in the United States.
According to Zagat, the average respondent averaged 9.4 meals a month at chain restaurants, 5.8 of them at fast-food joints. That's an amazing 1.2 million chain meals per year. Other voting categories included: best grilled chicken (Chick-fil-A was tops), best coffee (Starbucks), best salads (Wendy’s) and a range of features at full-service chains.
Fast Food - Large*:
1. In-N-Out Burger
2. Panera Bread
4. Five Guys
Fast Food - Mega**:
4. Taco Bell
5. Burger King
*Large chains have 100 to 5,000 U.S. locations
**Mega chains have over 5,000 U.S. locations