The Most Popular Regional Chain Restaurants in Fast Food
As a foodie, or even just as a regular fan of fast food and American cuisine, you might have realized that the cuisine and the taste in food can change drastically across the US, depending on where you are. In Texas, for example, there’s a preponderance of restaurants that serve BBQ and Tex-Mex fare. In Louisiana, you might be able to get terrific spicy Cajun food that you might not get in any other state.
The principle applies to regional fast-food brands, which may have locations focused on a smaller part of the country. These brands may have limited their locations to specific states and regions, but they’ve made sure that these locations are where their more fervent fans can be found.
Some of these regional brands, however, are truly establishing fantastic reputations with their customers. Here are some of the brands that have gained more sales and customers in recent years, and may have also increased their number of locations.
This is probably the most famous of the regional chain brands. Go online and check out various social media posts, and you’ll find plenty of people willing to kill just to have an In-N-Out in their town. In fact, some home sellers even note the presence of a nearby In-N-Out as a come-on.
This is one of the best burgers in the industry, and everyone knows it. It’s just a shame that it hasn’t spread out nationwide. They’re only in 7 states or so, with fewer than 400 locations in total.
However, there’s actually a good reason for this limited number of locations. The brand is so dedicated to offering never-frozen beef that they only have locations that are near enough to their meat distributors.
This is an iconic brand in Texas, and lots of people consider themselves lucky if they’re within driving distance of a Whataburger location. Their burgers are so good that they’re said to rival the In-N-Out burgers.
Just get the Whataburger and the fries, and you might want to try out the taquito with cheese along with the biscuit and gravy. The Honey Butter Chicken Biscuit is so addictive that some people think that it may contain crack.
The acronym stands for People Dedicated to Quality, and they sure stand up to their avowed goals. They have established a solid reputation for their premium-quality menu items, which include delicious chicken tenders and sandwiches, various salads, and handcrafted shakes (full PDQ food menu here). With their 7 signature sauces for their chicken tenders, you’ll have lots of flavors to try out.
PDQ started out in Florida back in 2009, and one of the founders was also the original founder of Outback Steakhouse. The brand is also heavily endorsed by Tim Tebow, who is also part of an investment group that owns 7 locations in Florida. The brand now has at least 65 locations in states like North and South Carolina, New Jersey, and New York.
Yes, this is a gas station that’s also a sandwich shop, and you can find it in Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia, Ohio, and North Carolina. As it’s a gas station, it’s open 24/7. So, you might as well fill up your belly as well as your gas tank.
The thing is, this is not your usual gas station fare. They offer excellent made-to-order sandwiches and subs, along with smoothies and salads. Some places are merely gas stations, with barely tolerable food from their attached eateries. With Sheetz, you have a good dining place, with a gas station attached.
Habit Burger Grill
This is actually a rather relatively old brand, since it started out way back in 1969 in California. More than 50 years later, it hasn’t gone too much over 300 locations, although they’ve started out a few locations outside the US like Cambodia.
The food items here are so good that they’ve won several awards. You have the chargrilled burgers, various sandwiches, chicken treats, plus the sides, salads, and desserts. The place simply offers simple yet flavorful food at affordable prices, and they come with terrific service.
Yes, the name does give some teens the giggles. But the brand started out in 1954, and that was a more innocent time for Dick’s jokes. It started out in Washington, and now they have 8 locations in the state. It’s not exactly exponential growth.
But each location rakes in the customers, as Dick’s Drive-In is also about freshness. They serve their burgers with just the finest fresh beef available. They specifically use Washington potatoes for their fries, which they cut by hand each day. Their shakes are also hand-dipped and individually whipped, so you get that classic creamy texture.
You do have to deal with long lines sometimes. So that’s what happens when a place offers high-quality burgers at very low prices. They also pay their workers properly, so everyone’s a winner.