The Fast Food Bracket Eick March 16, 2010 Fast Food, Fast Food Bracket 90 Comments Have you filled out your Fast Food Bracket yet? (Click on Bracket for larger view) Ah March, that time of year when people put anything and everything into “bracket” form. Last year, So Good brought down the house with our wildly popular Meat Madness tournament. One full month of debates, arguments and voting, leading to some interesting final results, and ultimately, bacon defeating steak to be crowned the greatest meat in the land.Â We even had some controversy along the way, as Deadspin accused an ESPN reporter of copying the idea of a meat bracket. Rather than re-hash Meat Madness, this year So Good has returned with an all new competition: The Fast Food Bracket. The rules are fairly simple. Over the course of the next month, So Good readers will vote, match-up by match-up, to determine what is the best fast food chain in America.Â When we use the term “fast food”, we are using it loosely. These tournament competitors really fall under the larger umbrella of Quick Service Restaurants, or QSR. Please weigh in with your predictions, intriguing match-ups and thoughts in the comments! Here is how the participants and seeding were determined, working off last year’s list of the top 50 QSR chains: You must have a substantial portion of your sales come from food, specifically non-dessert foods (sorry Starbucks, Jamba Juice and Cold Stone, that means you’re out…Dairy Queen, Dunkin Donut’s, you guys have a big enough variety of food offerings, so you’re in) Only 32 chains are eligible. Sure, I could have done 64, but just like with Meat Madness, that would have taken forever to vote on. 32 it is. Complain in the comments about your favorite “bubble chain” that got bounced, but you’re just gonna have to deal with it. The top 16 chains by revenue get automatic berths, with the top 4 holding #1 seeds, next 4 holding #2 seeds, etc. Doesn’t matter how bad people think your food sucks, just like the big conferences get an edge in basketball, so do these guys. I combined Hardee’s and Carl’s Jr. even though they are listed separately on the QSR 50 list, because they are jointly own/run. However, this did not move their seed up – tough noogies. After that, the seeding was at my discretion, but for the most part I stuck to the basic structure of ranking them based on revenue. The only chains outside of the top 32 in revenue that made the cut as “wild-cards” based on reputation and pop culture familiarity were: In n Out, White Castle and Five Guys. Voting begins when the “real” tournament starts on Thursday, with voting on two match-ups at a time during the first round. Make sure to check back to So Good at approximately noon each day so you can vote on each of the match-ups. Last year I heard stories from all across the country of people printing out Meat Madness brackets in their office, running an office pool or making their predictions. Glad everyone enjoyed it so much, and hope they enjoy this competition as well. Just like with Meat Madness, voting criteria is totally up to you. Want to vote just based on which you think is the best tasting and nothing else? Go for it. Maybe you want to factor in cost? Convenience? Quality of service? Number of locations? Variety of menu options? The choice is yours.Â But one thing is clear: in one month’s time, So Good will be crowning one lucky chain as the “Top Fast Food Chain” in America. We love Green Tea. The following two tabs change content below.BioLatest Posts Eick Latest posts by Eick (see all) Live in DC? Do More Tomorrow! - June 5, 2013 Surge Wins Discontinued Foods Bracket! - April 12, 2013 Discontinued Foods Bracket FINAL VOTE: Surge vs. Planter’s Cheez Balls - April 10, 2013 90 Responses Newer Comments » Nick March 16th, 2010 That Panera-Popeye’s 4-5 matchup in round 1 is going to be a tough one. I’m trying to decide if I’m going to vote based on “one last meal” or “stuck in a small town for 3 days and my choices for food every evening are this or Applebee’s.” Reply Youppi March 16th, 2010 final 4: Popeye’s, Chic-Fil-A, Five Guys, In-N-Out Burger… That’s right… not ONE number one seed in the final four. That’s my prediction… Also, shake shack should have had some representation… What the F is Zaxby’s? you know it’s going to lose to BK anyway, so I say come up with another one, a dark horse. Also; sorry Sonic fans, but aside from those Limeades, Sonic BLOWS. Reply Laura M March 16th, 2010 Boston Market vs Wendy’s!? That’s just ridiculous for a first round match. I think Boston Market got the raw deal here and thus will finish far below it’s actual deserved spot. Frankly, I’m outraged. Reply Bruce! Chalupa March 16th, 2010 The Jack in the Box-Five guys match-up is going to be tough. Also, I really with there were JitBs (and In-N-Outs) in Maryland! *drools* I miss my breakfast Jacks and questionable-but-cheap-n-tasty tacos! Reply Chckn 'n Bscts March 16th, 2010 No Bojangles!!!!!!!!!! Would have been a sleeper to take it all! You, my friend, are ON NOTICE. Reply lindno March 16th, 2010 In-N-Out is going to cruise to an easy win. The Animal Burger won’t even break a sweat. FYI, Laura, Boston Market is seriously horrendous. Reply Matt March 16th, 2010 Sonic as a number 3 seed? Jonesed. At least a 2 in any other bracket. Reply slanch March 16th, 2010 Sorry everybody, you’re all playing for second place, I finished in second last year and this year I’m taking the gold! Reply Altissima March 17th, 2010 I loved last year’s Meat Madness. This year’s Fast Food Bracket is totally irrelevant for overseas readers – I am familiar with only about 1 in every eight of the QSR’s included. Please do another bracket on more generic foodstuffs, so we foreigners can play along. Cheers. Reply Eick March 17th, 2010 @Matt – the #1 – #4 seedings were all automatic based on company revenue. Also, didn’t you try Sonic for the first time with me a few months ago? Reply Evan March 17th, 2010 Really only a 5 seed for Chipotle? They have the best food ever. Reply Eick March 17th, 2010 @Evan – sounds like a compelling reason to vote for them. Since the top 16 chains by revenue were guaranteed all the #1-#4 seeds, Chipotle actually got the highest seeding possible. Reply shanson March 17th, 2010 White Castle all the way baby! Reply Christi March 17th, 2010 Seriously? Sonic’s going to the championship game & taking it all! Reply MT Eats March 17th, 2010 In-N-Out. No question. Reply Amy March 17th, 2010 In and Out Burger….. hands down! Reply Tomlovesbacon March 17th, 2010 Final four Five Guys, In-n-Out, Wendys, Burger King. With In-n-Out taking the win. Reply Woody March 17th, 2010 Sonic all the way…Happy Hour rocks Reply J Stats March 17th, 2010 St. Louis Bread Co….good to see the local boy in there (under it’s other name Panera (because I guess the rest of the nation doesn’t wanna give us no love or somethin). Panda v Sonic will be tough to choose though Reply Jennifer March 17th, 2010 My final 2 are Five Guys and Arbys. Arbys I would eat everyday if I could. The rest of my final four is Popeyes and Chik-Fil-A Reply MagnumDK March 17th, 2010 DQ, Subway, Sonic, Taco Bell in the Final Four. DQ pulls a stunning double-overtime upset over Mickey D’s in the Elite Eight round. Reply Bk March 17th, 2010 No Culver’s??? Reply Brian March 18th, 2010 Final 4 Popeye’s( just sneaks by Sonic) Whataburger Checkers Steak and Shake Popeye’s will come out on top….”I’ts N’awlins neighbor”… Reply Travis March 18th, 2010 Jack-In-The-Box, Burger King, White Castle & Taco Bell in the final four JITB vs. Taco Bell in the championship with Taco Bell taking home the crown Reply wibia March 18th, 2010 Dude!!! Missing Qdoba and Culvers. White Castle easily beats Subway. Reply Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen March 18th, 2010 Thanks for all the Popeyes love. Let us know how to vote and we’ll help spread the word to all the folks who love that chicken (and the biscuits, too)! Reply Kenney March 18th, 2010 Final Four: In and Out, Whataburger, Sonic, Jack in the Box Championship: Sonic and Whataburger Whataburger all the way…. they are amazing… Tequitos at 2am can’t be beat…. their double bacon cheeseburgers are out of this world…. fries are fantastic…. shakes are great… Just a great place to eat! Reply Laura M March 18th, 2010 Lindno, I think you are driven by West Coast feelings given your In-N-Out preference, so I will chalk this up to geographical preference. For an upset, Subway and White Castle is looking really good. White Castle has a sick cult following. Reply Val March 18th, 2010 Quiznos v Dairy Queen? Quiznos hands down and the winner in this bracket for sure, unless this is a soft ice cream contest — which I don’t think it is! Reply Pedro Lujan March 18th, 2010 Popeyes RULES! Love that chicken baby! Should win with no problems, they have the most flavorful food of all. Reply Westcoastbeast March 18th, 2010 Final Four: In-n-Out, MickeyDs, Panda, Wendys In-n-Out vs Wendys in the finals. In-n-Out cruises to victory. They’ve got heart, over-coming adversity against Steak-n-shake in the second round. Craving a frisco melt right now…. Reply Brenda March 19th, 2010 Why the stigma between Quiznos and Subway? Quiznos uses fresh sliced meats daily real cheese and the steak sandwich doesn’t look like minced cat food. So in my opinion, and we have tested the two products, Quiznos is the superior product…. Reply Anu March 19th, 2010 I have Sonic beating Taco Bell in the finals I say Sonic will take all. Love their chili cheese dogs and tater tots and limeades Reply Eick March 19th, 2010 @Brenda – personally I think Quizno’s is pretty terrible. The sandwiches are sub-par and until they recently started dropping prices waaaay overpriced. Reply JCA March 19th, 2010 What happened to Del Taco??? Final Four: In-n-Out, Chick Fil-A, Sonic, and Jack In The Box. Winner? In-n-Out hands down. Reply Lewis March 19th, 2010 Baja Fresh got the shaft. Reply Brandon March 19th, 2010 My final prediction. Dairy Queen vs Dunkin Donuts Reply thomas soto March 19th, 2010 vote for sonic Reply Steve Nelson March 20th, 2010 SONIC indeed the best of them all Reply Steve Nelson March 20th, 2010 Mac told Wendy that SONIC is the Burger King Reply KevinB March 21st, 2010 How can In-n-Out win? They’re only available in what, 3 states? I had one once in Vegas, and I thought it was OK, but it took almost 20 minutes after placing the order before I got my food. I know places that can cook a burger from frozen faster than that (and they still end up tasting pretty good!). Reply Stephen March 22nd, 2010 Sonic: Northern Iowa McDonald’s: Kansas I’ll let you figure out the rest… Reply Shane March 22nd, 2010 White Castle is going to be like Cornell – way underseeded there’s going to be some upsets. Reply josh is beasten March 22nd, 2010 zaxby’s is beast Reply josh is beasten March 22nd, 2010 final four Zaxby’s, five Guys, Chick Fil A, and Arby’s, then battle of the Chicken Zaxby’s vs. Chick fil a , winner is Zaxby’s Reply mr dude March 23rd, 2010 dude zaxby’s is the bomb. i doubt theyll win cus not that many people know about it but its the best restaurant ever Reply mr dude March 23rd, 2010 sonic isnt that good. i hope they lose Reply rg March 30th, 2010 Whataburger is the best. Reply david May 19th, 2010 one, twice-hyphenated word>>>> In-N-Out ….sorry that you don’t live in the wild West…i’ll have mine Animal with grilled, ty Reply trey August 5th, 2010 im thinking about creating my own fast food bracket i need help Reply Newer Comments » Leave a Reply Cancel Reply Your email address will not be published. Name* Email* Website Comment Current day month ye@r * Leave this field empty * Notify me of follow-up comments by email. Notify me of new posts by email.