French fry favoritism alive and well in US fast food race

| by Josh Anish
French fry favoritism alive and well in US fast food race

It could be argued that there may be no more decadent, delicious complement to your basic burger worldwide than those crispy accompaniments we in the U.S. call french fries. For fast food customers there may be no more beloved item than a golden sliver of potato in all its glorious hot and crunchy goodness.

Clearly, customers love them, but which restaurant's fries are customers most smitten with? A recent Quantifind comparison analysis makes the answer quite clear ... take a bow, Five Guys. 


It's not even close. Since the beginning of 2016, an amazing 26.1 percent of all conversations by Five Guys customers online mention the chain's french fries. That's especially impressive considering that the fries at every other major fast food restaurant appear in conversations less than 10 percent of the time.

There's only one major exception; here's the unblinded chart.


In the early fall of 2016, Burger King unveiled its Cheetos Chicken Fries LTO, sparking national interest. In fact, the green spike in the chart above shows that the buzz was substantial enough for Burger King to briefly overtake Five Guys in the battle for french fry supremacy. 

It's interesting to note, however, the the lift was rather short-lived and that BK customer french fry conversations returned to normal (or even slightly below normal) levels after the novelty of the Cheetos Chicken Fries waned. 

There have been numerous QSR french fry LTOs over the last 20 months. For instance, remember those Wendy's Ghost Pepper Fries? But the numbers don't lie and all have proven that's it's becoming almost impossible to challenge Five Guy's supremacy in this arena. 

Of course just because people talk about something all the time doesn't mean we like it. That's where a Quantifind Signum restaurant sentiment analysis comes in. 

In this graph, the green area (representing positive sentiment) is much bigger than the red area (negative). More specifically, during the period of the study, customer comments about the industry-leading french fries at Five Guys were positive 77.3 percent of the time. In comparison, the french fries at McDonald's received positive reviews from its diners just 51.1 percent of the time. Jack In The Box fries came in at only 41.9 percent positive.

The data presents a very clear case of Five Guys' french fry preeminence across the QSR space with the brand's customers engaged in the most upbeat conversations about Five Guys' specific version of these critical side items, versus the conversations taking place around the other 14 brands' French fries. . 

Graphs: Courtesy Quantifind

Photo: iStock 

Topics: Food & Beverage, Hot Products, Online Services

Josh Anish
Josh is the head of content at Quantifind, where he uses its platform to share top data insights in the QSR space. wwwView Josh Anish's profile on LinkedIn

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