August 28, 2017

Which restaurant has the best french fries?

Ah french fries! Those decadent, delicious complements to hamburgers across the world. We love you so. But whose do we love the most? Which fast food restaurant wins the vaunted french fry war?

Thanks to Quantifind’s SIGNUM for Restaurants, the answer is quite clear. Take a bow, Five Guys.

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It’s not even close. Since the beginning of 2016, an amazing 26.1% 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.

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In the early fall of 2016, Burger King unveiled its Cheetos Chicken Fries limited-time offer (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, that 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 – remember Wendy’s Ghost Pepper Fries? – but it’s proven almost impossible to challenge Five Guy’s supremacy.

Of course just because people talk about something all the time doesn’t mean we like it. That’s where SIGNUM for Restaurant’s sentiment analysis comes in.

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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% of the time. In comparison, the french fries at McDonalds receive positive reviews from its diners 51.1% of the time. Jack In The Box fries came in at only 41.9% positive.

The data presents a very clear case of Five Guys’ french fry pre-eminence across the QSR space. Its customers discuss fries most frequently and in the most positive terms. Our compliments to the Five Guys french fry chef.