The final Sweet Sixteen match-ups for the Fast Food Bracket concluded this morning, and now we are down to the Elite 8.  Let’s take a look at which contenders got where they did and how, and preview the upcoming match-ups (starting late afternoon Tuesday!).  Click the bracket below for a recap of all the match-ups so far, as well as the percentage of the vote each contender got in each of their match-ups.

Now lets preview our upcoming Elite 8 Match-ups:

#2 KFC vs. #4 Dairy Queen

Total votes received so far:
#2 KFC: 990 (8th)
#4 Dairy Queen: 1,672 (5th)

Both of these contenders have won decisively in their match-ups so far, but DQ has shown a much better knack for mobilizing their voters through e-mail, Facebook and Twitter.  KFC wasted no time dispensing with Checker’s.  They encountered stiffer resistance from loyal Five Guys voters, but still emerged with a 16% margin of victory.  However, at only 990, KFC has the lowest vote total of any of the Elite Eight, a frightening concern for them.  Dairy Queen has been beating up contenders (and big names) left and right.  They wasted no time in dispensing with Quizno’s in the first round, and pulled off a stunning upset of McDonald’s, the overall #1 seed, absolutely obliterating them 70% – 30%.  They are also a respectable 5th in total votes received. This match-up might be close given KFC’s wider reach, but given their performance so far, at this point you have to call Dairy Queen the  favorite.

#3 Sonic vs. #5 Popeyes

Total votes received so far:
#3 Sonic: 2,632 (1st)
#5 Popeyes: 2,110 (4th)

In my Sweet Sixteen preview I called Sonic the one to beat, and I continue to stand-by that. In addition to having a very fanatical and loyal fan base, these guys have been all over mobilizing the vote, prodding their online fans to support them.  Their 2,632 votes received over the first two rounds is by far the most of any Elite Eight competitor.  Additionally, their 72% margin of victory in the first round was by far the biggest of anyone, and Sonic didn’t even blink at Pizza Hut’s attempts to get out the vote, brushing them aside 61% – 39%.  Popeyes barely snuck by Panera catering menu catering menu in the first round, then beat up on #8 seed Zaxby’s. They have popularity, a loyal fan base and the 4th most votes so far, but it’s hard to imagine them knocking off Sonic who should breeze into the Final Four.

#3 Arby’s vs. #8 White Castle

Total votes received so far:
#3 Arby’s: 1,380 (7th)
#8 White Castle: 1,668 (6th)

In my eyes this is by far the weakest match-up and whoever makes the Final Four should consider themselves lucky they weren’t in a stronger bracket.  I’ve made no secret about my dislike of Arby’s and I thought for sure they’d lose to In ‘n Out in the first round.  Not only did they defeat In ‘n Out, they then cruised past Steak ‘n Shake to the Elite Eight.  White Castle has done a great job mobilizing their voters, which allowed them to beat up on the #1 seed but uninspiring Subway.  I thought Chipotle had a lock on this bracket, people LOVE that place. Alas their social media presence is not strong, and they didn’t mobilize their voters with the tenacity that White Castle did and White Castle easily dispensed with them.  Slight edge to White Castle.

#1 Wendy’s vs. #2 Taco Bell

Total votes received so far:
#1 Wendy’s: 2,170 (3rd)
#2 Taco Bell: 2,260 (2nd)

Due to their loyal fan bases and active social media presence, this is the only region where both the #1 and #2 seeds survived, and both deserve it. These guys most definitely did not coast. Wendy’s overcame a fight from the extremely popular Chick-fil-A, and Taco Bell fought off  a strong effort from Domino’s with each of them edging out their competitors by approximately 10%.  At 2nd and 3rd place in terms of votes earned to date, these guys are both heavyweight contenders. This one is going to be an absolute bruiser of a donnybrook that should be a razor tight vote.  I should call it a toss-up, but my heart tells me Taco Bell has a slight edge.

26 Responses

  1. Jennifer

    KFC, Popeye’s, Arby’s and Wendy’s will get my votes when it goes up. Of those four Arby’s is my fave with Popeye’s at number 2

  2. lindno

    I contest the legitimacy of this tournament. How the hell can In-and-Out not be in the Elite 8?

    Sonic’s gotta be a the favorite to win it all.

  3. Richard

    This is Def not a legitimate bracket.

    Chipolte wins over Papa Johns? this is some random shit

  4. Steve

    lindno’s right. In-and-Out is an American classic.

    and yes, Sonic’s got my vote.

  5. Yenseni

    In and Out probably lost because they are not everywhere and in a very small market comparatively. I know my husband has never heard of them.

  6. Dana

    In-and-Out may be fantastic, but they’re limited to the Southwest. As a Midwestern resident, if I had never visited AZ or CA, I would have never heard of them. As it is, I love In-and-Out, but let’s be realistic.

    3 of the 4 restaurants I had picked for the Final Four are still in it, so I’m pretty excited. 😛 Steak ‘n Shake was my fourth, but that’s another that doesn’t have locations nationwide, so I’m not really surprised they’re not still in.

    I <3 this whole idea, just wanted to put that out there 🙂

  7. matt

    Who has garnered the most votes total? I think that should be some kind of honorable mention for each bracket and could potentially be the harbinger of who wins the next level.

  8. Alex

    In N Out, being regional, just doesn’t have the name recognition to survive in this bracket.

    and Chipotle > Papa John’s. Sorry!

  9. Jbrown

    I agree with Lindno… In my opinion the final two should be Wendy’s and In-and-Out.

  10. Burger boy

    In and Out is nasty. It lives up to its name tho as soon as it goes in it comes right back out the other end
    KFC Rules

  11. Dennis

    In n out suffers tremendously.because of name recognition. I live in Oakland and didn’t even know they exist here. I think there should be 5 brackets 4 regional north south, east and west and 1 national for all the big time players. Its not fair to compare Arbys to chipotle. What the heck is chipotle and what do they make and where.

  12. Jeff

    Not sure how anyone can rate any fast-food place, since they vary from location to location. A new Arby’s may be great, but the older one near me is the worst place I’ve ever eaten. Dried beef, nasty curly fries, and poor service.
    Having traveled all over the country, In-n-Out is by far, the best. Dairy Queen runs a close second. They’re most consistent over other fast-food places.

  13. Eick

    @Jeff – it’s interesting that you ask how anyone can rate any fast food places then you proceed to immediately establish criteria on which to rate them, chooseing In-n-Out and DQ as the best.

    This is a subjective tournament of course, anyone can vote for whatever reason – cost, convenience, variety of selection, quality or freshness of food, consistency from location to location, whatever they wish.

  14. Jim

    I had a foodborn illness from DQ once, so I can’t help but be a little biased against them. I agree with Jeff…the newer Arby’s serve the best!

  15. Travis

    Taco Bell should win, But I can’t beleive Bojangles isn’t even in this, It absolutely destroys Popeyes…there is no comparison…

  16. Kenny

    Seriously, Janice. In n out is only in Cali. How do you expect the rest of us to vote for something we’ve never heard of?

  17. Kuick

    SONIC IS NASTY! In-N-Out has them beat by a mile! Go Taco Bell! Zips should be on here as well.

  18. eric

    never heard of in-out-burger and havent been to like a third of the places but taco bell, chock-fil-a, mcdonals, steak and shake, and wendys are the top 5 here


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