In this post, we have listed some of the top fast-food chains in the world.
The fast-food industry isn’t what used to be a century or even two decades ago.
Fast-food chains have gone global big-time. They now control trillions of US dollars in revenue and employ millions of hospitality graduates across the globe.
To be one of the best fast-food chains in the world, your company needs to have healthier options and a diverse menu.
Without much ado, here are the top 14 fast-food chains in the world.
Kindly ignore our liking and numbers as we have not ranked these in any order. Please feel free to reshuffle them as per your taste and liking. The list is all yours :).
In the past half-century or so, fast food chains have grown in numbers, reach, and revenue across the world.
All because of one simple fact: People want tasty food, fast and cheap!
Established a half-century ago, Subway has made massive strides and now boasts over 33,000 eateries in more than 100 countries worldwide.
There has been a greater awareness for healthy food which has led to the appearance of Healthy Fast food chains around the globe.
Healthy and calorie-conscious consumers have ensured that Subway keeps its great run going around the world.
At Subway you can always expect to eat Fresh.
McDonald’s is one of the Biggest Fast Food Chains in the world. Chiming in the second position is burger giant McDonald’s, trailing Subway by nearly 1,000 fewer locations in the world. As of this date, McDonald’s has over 3,50,00 stores in more than 118 countries worldwide. Over the years, its annual sales have soared to surpass the 29-billion-dollar mark.
It has pioneered the concept of Fast Food.
No list of fast-food chains will ever make sense without even a slight mention of McDonald’s.
McDonald’s, however, is famous for its combo meals that include burgers, salads, shakes, desserts, and so forth.
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 at 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.
Its menu offers an assortment of beef, chicken, and fish burgers.
It is located across the world serving over 68 million people daily.
The burger behemoth employs over 420000 people in all its global stores.
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.
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.
Amm!! It’s finger-licking good, isn’t it?
Sure, KFC needs to be in any Top fast-food chains in the world list.
Kentucky Fried Chicken is the 6th largest, and one of the most popular fast-food chains in the world for its Southern-style chicken drumsticks and breasts.
KFC has become a true international fast-food chain, replacing its signature chicken in Malaysia with one that’s marinated in chillies, lemongrass, and lime juice with a crispy breading.
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 has entries across the globe.
In fact, it’s the biggest fast-food chain worldwide that sells exclusively coffee and other gourmet services.
With over $16 billion in annual revenue and a 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.
6. Papa John’s
Papa John’s is one of the most popular fast-food pizza chains in the world, with over 3,000 locations in the US alone.
Papa John’s claims to offer some of the freshest ingredients and toppings on the pizzas.
And true to its hype, the pizza chain has a huge customer base, with most of them making their orders over the phone and online.
It is thus a worthy entrant into our list of biggest fast-food chains in the world.
7. Noodles and Company
‘Noodles and Company’ is certainly one of the most loved and frequented eateries in the Asian or Chinese fast-food chains category.
Since opting for healthier hormone and antibiotic-free chicken to go with their bowls of noodles, Noodles and Company has burgeoned in the number of locations and foot traffic in their eateries.
The company has cut the grease out with its use of soybean oil.
You can get a bowl of noodles with lean proteins, including hormone-free chicken, shrimp, beef, and organic tofu.
8. Pizza Hut
Although the Pizza Hut Menu Prices have tumbled over the years, the popularity of the chain remains the same.
Not many fast-food pizza chains can claim the popularity or revenue that Pizza Hut garners each year.
The allure of its eateries lies in the fact that they offer numerous crust options and a variety of fresh toppings.
9. 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 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.
10. 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.
11. Bon Au Pain
Bon Au Pain is a pioneer in the healthy fast food scene.
If you want to know how to eat healthy at fast-food chains, you should definitely start with the Au Bon Pain menu that comprises healthy soups, sandwiches, salads, and hot entrees made with veggies, whole grains, and hormone-free chicken.
With its headquarters in Boston, USA; Bon Au Pain has over 300 global cafes around the globe and expanding at a rapid pace.
The best thing is that you can search for your healthy food options. May it be a gluten-free breakfast meal, a low-sodium diet or a vegan diet. Just skim through its menu for an ideal diet.
12. Panera Bread
With over 1230 outlets across the US and Canada, Panera Bread is one of the frontiers when it comes to healthy fast food restaurants.
As you might have already inferred from its name, Panera Bread is a bakery cafe-based fast-food restaurant chain.
The chain serves sandwiches made with whole-grain pieces of bread, salads, half-sized soups, and antibiotic/hormone-free chicken.
The allure of healthy dishes served by Chipotle lies in the fact that the healthy fast-food chain puts you in control.
That means you get to pick the ingredients that go into your burrito.
As a buffet-style eatery, Chipotle allows you to add tinges of green tomatillo salsa and fajita veggies to your burritos.
14. Taco Del Mar
Taco Del Mar brings the best out of Mexican cuisine with fresh and healthy ingredients.
Here, think in the line of fish and other healthier alternatives to chicken and beef.
Taco Del Mar uses whole-grain ingredients including whole-wheat tortillas for their burritos.
They have also eliminated the use of lard in their beans.
Even better, they bake their taco shells and fish instead of frying them.
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 for 2017 but still serves the purpose in 2023.
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 serve.
Umm, yum isn’t it?
So, the post was dedicated to all the food lovers in the world and to the top cuisines in the world.
The world would be tasteless without these and travelling would never be as exciting without these food chains and cuisines.
Here we go, a quick visit to the list of best fast-food chains in the world. We will keep updating the list with more players in the fast-food industry.
While presenting this list of top 14 fast-food chains, we would like to reiterate that while we presented only a few fast-food chains here, we love the remaining dozens of other extremely popular fast-food chains like Dunkin’ Donuts, Sonic and more.
These were our picks for the top 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.