Burgers, fried chicken sandwiches, chocolatey delights – no matter what you order from your favorite fast-food joint, the odds of falling on something you’ll love are pretty much in your favor. And to be honest, even when it’s not that great, it’s still amazing. So, let’s walk through the $640 billion industry of fast food and crown the 10 Biggest Fast Food SUCCESSES Of All Time (Part 5).
10. Shake Shack ShackBurger
Ever since Shake Shack first opened up two decades ago, it has continued to skyrocket in popularity – and for good reason. With unique recipes, an incredible international reach, and an extensive secret menu, who wouldn’t want to give Shake Shack a try? Considered an East Coast favorite, Shake Shack has more than one trick up its sleeve when it comes to tasty burgers. Even though there are many – many – options available, one of the best – if not the superior item to get is the classic ShackBurger. Named affectionately after the chain, the Shackburger is all about gourmet simplicity. It’s simple yet very high quality in terms of ingredients and taste. From the soft bun to the special sauce, everything is done to make you feel satisfied. It’s hard to believe that a fast-food burger could be considered “gourmet,” but when you compare it to its less-refined peers, the difference is blatant. With freshly ground, never frozen beef patty, plum tomatoes, and crisp lettuce, it blows every other contestant out of the water. And if this is still not enough to convince you that this is one of the best burgers, just order it with a side of peanut butter, drizzle it on your burger, and be amazed. The Shackburger on its own is iconic, but as the most popular dish on the menu, the added peanut butter really is a game-changer.
9. McDonald’s Crispy Chicken Sandwich
With the newfound frenzy surrounding fast-food chicken sandwiches, it’s hard to believe that McDonald’s has been in the race for longer than you might’ve thought. With the first McChicken sold in the 1980s, it’s been offering chicken options for what seems like ages. But, the breaded chicken patty and shredded lettuce weren’t enough to earn McDonald’s the title of best chicken sandwich. However, the chain has recently decided to get in the game for real and jump on the fried chicken bandwagon. Even before it was released, the Crispy Chicken Sandwich was already a success. It was already on everybody’s mind – the talk of the town before it even had the chance to make its appearance on the menu. Talk about a successful product! It hadn’t even hit the market yet, and there was already talk of it being the most iconic sandwich of all time! This new line has three different variants, the Crispy, Spicy, and Deluxe Crispy Chicken Sandwiches. Each is topped with crinkle-cut pickles and new buttered, toasted potato rolls. McDonald’s took their sweet time developing every single aspect of these sandwiches, and in the end, it was all worth it. Rolled out nationwide on February 24th, the early critiques were all very positive. With fierce competition like Popeyes and Chick-fil-A, McDonald’s had no choice but to deliver something spectacular – and so they did. Ronald would be proud. Nicely done, McD’s, nicely done.
8. Taco Bell Crunchwrap Supreme
Taco Bell is easily one of the most popular fast-food joints for late-night cravings. It’s a great hang-out spots after a night out. With so many enticing menu offerings, it can be hard to pick your favorite. One of the most basic and popular items sold at Taco Bell is the classic Crunchy Taco – and it’s also what led to the creation of the second-most popular item, the Crunchwrap Supreme. In other words, Taco Bell’s crunchy taco walked so the Crunchwrap Supreme could run and ultimately steal the show. Introduced in 2005 – but made permanent in 2006 by very popular demand – the Crunchwrap Supreme joins together two epic Tex-Mex foods; the trusty crunchy taco and quesadillas. It features ground beef, nacho cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, and smooth sour cream; all tucked inside a lightly grilled soft tortilla. But, here’s the best part – what makes it the best – there’s a crispy, crunchy hard tortilla between the meat/cheese mixture and the veggies, to give it that extra pep. It’s basically everything you could ever want from Taco Bell: cheap, excessive, and amazingly wonderful. The Crunchwrap Supreme quickly became the most successful product introduction after its permanent introduction to the menu and is considered a marvellous feat of fast-food engineering. Many recipes are available online to try and recreate this crunchy innovation, but the real deal is at Taco Bell and Taco Bell only.
7. Sonic Cherry Limeade
A lot of fast-food places have their own signature drinks to go alongside their food. At Sonic, it’s no exception. As a drive-in themed restaurant, Sonic offers a lot of unique and exclusive menu items that drive in a lot of customers. Stuff like cheeseburgers, chicken sandwiches, and potato tots are all very fine options, but it’s the drinks that really seem to bring people back again and again. More particularly, the Cherry Limeade. Made with fresh-squeezed lime juice and poured over pellet ice, Limeade might just be the greatest beverage achievement of any kind in fast-food history. Ok, maybe that’s a bit much – but it’s really really good. Sonic is known for their multitude of drink offerings and this one is made by mixing 7-Up, cherries, lime, and maraschino syrup to create the Cherry Limeade we all know and love today. The flirtation of sweet-and-sour between cherry and lime juice, and just a hint of carbonation, makes it the go-to drink people choose during the daily Happy Hour that features half-priced drinks. Around since the 1970s, Cherry Limeade quickly became the chain’s trademark beverage and has been growing in popularity ever since. Over the years, Sonic began periodically offering limited-time variations like the Cherry Limeade Red Bull Slush, and there’s even a permanent diet version. While, obviously, your teeth and pancreas might not be the biggest fan of this sugary, bubbly drink, your taste buds might have a different opinion on the matter.
6. Chick-fil-A Waffle Fries
Chances are, when talking about the “most successful fast-foods,” the likelihood of these Waffle Fries being brought up is more than high. They’re like the stuff of legend. Chick-fil-A knows exactly how to deliver all kinds of delectable food, but it hasn’t reached star status solely because of its chicken. It turns out that the Waffle Fries are like something else entirely – an entire category of goodness on their own. Made the same way since 1985, the Waffle Fries still reign supreme over any other menu offering. So much so, in fact, that they were placed first on the chicken chain’s list of most-ordered menu items. When you hold a winning recipe, why would you risk jeopardizing its success and try something else? Cooked in canola oil until crispy on the outside and tender on the inside, the Waffle-shaped potatoes can hold their own against any other item on the menu – and yes, that includes the famous Chicken Sandwich. These fries owe all of their accomplishment thanks to their crisscross cut. It allows for an optimal amount of crispy exterior and surface area for salt and ketchup, all while the potato inside remains pillowy soft. If these were to become the new standard for fast-food fries, we sure wouldn’t complain about it. How long before we see McWaffle Fries?
5. Wendy’s Baked Potato
Okay, even though we just sold you on the idea of crispy, salty fries as the ultimate go-to side to accompany your lonely burger, there is still another option that could be just as amazing – and exquisite. Wendy’s was the first – and only, as of now – fast-food place to steer away from certain fast-food conventions and get the ball rolling in the direction of a different kind of potato. One of the ways Wendy’s differentiates themselves from the competition is the outside-of-the-box idea of selling Baked Potatoes. Isn’t it surprising that no other joint had ever tried to do the same? America is traditionally a meat-and-potatoes kind of place, after all. But, still, Wendy’s had the guts to go there, and thank goodness it did – it likely owes part of its success to the baked potato novelty. Seen as a healthy alternative to fries – almost half of the calories – Wendy’s Baked Potato is more than just a plain spud and can be turned into something just as salty and satisfying as fries. You can load them up with sour cream and chives, cheese, or even bacon. And if you want to get the full, intense Wendy’s experience, you can get your baked potato topped with another of the chain’s signature items: their chili. So, if you ever feel like your regular French fries are beginning to look kind of dull, level-up with a fully-loaded Baked Potato from Wendy’s, you won’t be disappointed.
4. Starbucks Frappuccino
Whether you’re a coffee person or not, you’ve probably had Starbucks at least once in your life. With a location on almost every corner, Starbucks can be pretty hard to ignore. Plus, they don’t only serve coffee, so you’re always sure to find something for any time of day or season. Speaking of seasons, the ever-so-tasty Frappuccino is arguably one of the most popular summer drinks. It’s pretty hard to imagine a hot summer day without thinking of a cold Starbucks Frappuccino with the green straw. For over two decades now, the Frappucino has dominated the world of cold drinks, thanks to a very smart barista who got inspired by some ice, some coffee, and a blender. The first-ever two flavors of Frappuccino available were coffee and Moka, but today, you can enjoy more than 36,000 different combinations. From menu staples to limited-editions to secret menu items, the possibilities seem endless. And that’s not even the best part. What do you think about coffee-free drinks? Well, turns out, you can order the same delicious drink without the coffee! So, if it’s late at night or you’ve already had too much coffee that day, worry not; just order a Creme Frappuccino, and you’ll be good to go. Frappuccino changed the entire trajectory of the company by bringing in new customers who didn’t normally drink coffee. The Frappuccino accounted for about 11 percent of its summer sales, which helped Starbucks push its profits to an all-time high.
3. Little Caesars Crazy Bread
Little Caesars is well-known for serving tasty pizzas at some of the most affordable prices. But pizza isn’t the only thing Little Caesars can do right. Its very popular side – Crazy Bread – is all sorts of crazy as well – in terms of price and taste, that is. The much-loved parmesan-encrusted garlic breadsticks are prepared using dough made from scratch in-store each day to create the perfect texture and flavor. The freshly baked bread is then topped with butter and garlic before being sprinkled with Parmesan Cheese and cut into little breadsticks. Since its debut in 1982, Crazy Bread’s popularity has grown to reach a nearly iconic status and has become one of Little Caesar’s most popular menu items. Some even say that Crazy Bread might be better than the pizza itself – but that’s a matter of opinion. And if that wasn’t crazy enough, Little Caesars recently came up with a gooey, melty, cheesy spin-off, the Stuffed Crazy Bread. Available for a limited time, the Stuffed Crazy Bread takes the legendary Crazy Bread to a whole new level. It uses the same fresh breadsticks, only this time, they’re stuffed with gooey cheese – and also topped with garlic and grated parmesan cheese. It’s also served with a side of Crazy Sauce, which is basically a regular marinara sauce. So, if you’re looking for another glorious carb-filled side to go with your pizza, you know what to get!
2. McDonald’s Quarter Pounder
McDonald’s has greatly evolved since its beginnings in the 1950s. In terms of decor, novelty menu items, and even ingredients used in their burgers. But there’s one thing that’s undergone very minimal change and has stayed practically the same during its entire menu life, the Quarter Pounder. Ever since it entered the McD’s scene in 1971, the Quarter Pounder has kept its recipe almost intact. The original 4-ounce all-beef patty was topped with ketchup, mustard, slivered onions, and two dill pickles on a sesame bun. It sold for a solid 60 cents. Today, it’s a tad more expensive, but still almost identical to the Quarter Pounder of 50 years ago. The only thing that might change is how McDonald’s recently vowed to use higher quality beef to compete with fresher ingredients from other chains like Wendy’s, Five Guys, and so on. All in all, the Quarter Pounder is kind of like a regular hamburger, it’s just been just upgraded with better ingredients. What makes this item so successful is its sheer simplicity. The Quarter Pounder doesn’t need any special sauce or even its own jingle. The perfection lies in its humbleness – although every so often, a little recognition is appreciated – so we salute you McDonald’s Quarter Pounder.
1. Burger King French Toast Sticks
If you like to start your mornings with something sweet, then Burger King French Toast Sticks are the perfect way for you to to just that. Sure, BK might not be the first place you think about visiting when you want a hearty breakfast, but as it turns out, they might just have their hands on something here. It’s a simple joy, really. These little sticks of deep-fried bread are served with some sweet maple syrup on the side for dipping, which makes this an excellent way to enjoy French toast on the go. Not only are they heavenly, but they are also egg-free, dairy-free, and hold on to your hat, vegan! Burger King has a relatively underwhelming selection of plant-based options in general, but at least they have something that no other fast-food chain has; vegan French Toast Sticks. If you were hoping to cater to your sweet tooth, all the while abiding by your vegan diet, you don’t need to look any further; Burger King has got you covered.