Biggest Fast Food Chains in the World

Meet the biggest fast food chains in the world in this article. Rise of healthy food options has given the fast food industry a lifeline. People used to live on burger and fries but now the dynamics have changed. To be one of the best fast food chains in the world, you need to have healthier options and a diverse menu.

In the past half-century or so, fast food chains have grown in numbers, reach, and revenue across the world because of one simple fact:

People want tasty food, fast and cheap!




While, these fast food chains may not be the healthiest places around, but these top chains have made themselves a name (and huge bottom line) by serving some of the tastiest and cheapest meals you’ll ever get.

One of our earlier posts mentions Top Fast Food chains in the world and thus we have tried to add some diversity to this post.


Biggest Fast Food Chains around the world


1. Dairy Queen


Going by the shortened moniker DQ, Dairy Queen is one of the biggest fast food chains in America.

The famous saying at DQ is that they serve ‘Fan Food and not Fast Food’.

It offers both fast-food and soft-serve items on its menu, including burgers, sundaes, milkshakes, hot dogs, and, most recently, salads.

Its most popular item on the menu, however, is the Blizzard frozen treat. Established back in the 1940s, DQ has grown in annual revenue, employees, and eateries.

In total, DQ has over 5700 restaurants worldwide. That’s some number for sure which speaks of the popularity of this extremely popular fast food chain.



Image Courtesy- Dairy Queen


2. Taco Bell


It would be a surprise if you haven’t heard of this fast-food chain.

When it comes to Mexican delicacies, Taco Bell is clearly the biggest fast-food chain worldwide.

With their nifty slogan “think out of the bun,” Taco Bell has grown from a local eatery in San Francisco in 1962 to a taco behemoth that rakes in over $2 billion in revenue each year.

With over 6700 restaurants across the globe, Taco Bell is certainly unbeaten in the tex-mex category of fast foods that include burritos, nachos, tacos, and quesadillas.

Taco Bell is a subsidiary of Yum Brands Inc.


3. Burger King


Together with McDonald’s, Burger King has grown to become synonymous with burgers in the US.

It has expanded rapidly around the globe as well making it one of the biggest fast food chains in the world.

Catapulted to fame by its Whopper burgers, Burger King (BK) now has more than 14000 restaurants in over 95 countries.

BK was established by two hospitality graduates in Miami, FL, in 1954.

Apart from burgers, BK offers salads, shakes, wings, and much more.

It is highly unlikely that you would not find one of the fast food outlets of this chain in the vicinity. Such is the expanse of this fast-food chain. Certainly one of the biggest.


4. Starbucks


We all know a lot can happen over a cup of coffee. Starbucks leads the way all across the globe in terms of spreading coffee love. That too in style.

Starbucks is the name-brand in fast food coffee and entries across the globe.

In fact, it’s the biggest fast food chain worldwide that sells exclusively coffee and other gourmet services.

Though the first Starbucks restaurant swung its doors open for customers in 1972, it now has over 24000 shops worldwide.

With over $16 billion in annual revenue and presence in 64 countries, Starbucks isn’t too shabby.

It works in joint ventures in a lot of countries making it one of the most loved coffee shops around the globe.


5. McDonald’s


No list of fast food chains will ever make sense without even a slight mention of McDonald’s.

Established by McDonald’s brothers, Maurice and Richard, in 1940, McDonald’s has transitioned into the biggest fast food chain in America and worldwide.

McDonald’s, however, is famous for its combo meals that include burgers, salads, shakes, desserts, and so forth. Currently, McDonald’s boasts over 3,50,00 restaurants worldwide.

Over the years, its annual sales have soared to surpass the 29-billion-dollar mark.

Recently, McDonald’s has also included a lot of healthier options making it one of the healthier fast food chains in the world.

While we all keep bragging about how healthy choices we make in the 21st century, would you believe this study as displayed by Forbes? The study says that fast-food chains used to serve healthier food in the 1980s and the options are unhealthier in recent years. Don’t believe me? Have a look in the below infographic.



Coming back to McDonald’s, it also happens to be one of the top hospitality companies in the USA and the world.




These were our pick for the Biggest Fast Food Chains in the world. We, of course, gave a few big names a miss just to keep this post crisp and a quick read. So, let’s look at another image which lists the top 20 biggest fast-food chains in the world.

This list created by Businessinsider provides the profitability data of 2017 but still serves the purpose in 2019.

Through this list, we would like to reiterate that while we presented only 5 top fast food chains in this post, we love the remaining dozens of other extremely popular fast food chains like Subway, Pizza Hut, Dunkin’ Donuts, KFC, Sonic and more. Have a look at the below infographic to find them all here. And, while you visit the list, don’t forget to remember the taste of the food they server. Umm, yum isn’t it?



Well, here you have it. Some information about the biggest fast-food chains. Tasty, healthy and cheap. Although, fast-food might not be cheap anymore with Organic items becoming more and more popular.

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