The Best Burger Chains in America, According to a Study

Burgers are an American classic just as much as baseball or apple pie. After all, an American invented the cheeseburger. It only makes sense people would vote for their favorite (page 5). In a study conducted by The Harris Poll, Americans did just that. Keep reading to learn which burger chains Americans love the most.

About the study

McDonald's burger and fries

McDonald’s burger and fries | Johnnieshin/iStock/Getty Images

  • Fun fact: The average American eats three burgers a week, according to PBS.

Photo: A ballot? Or a person eating a burger? The Harris Poll, a company that’s been conducting their EquiTrend study for 30 years, asked Americans, ages 15 and older, to cast their vote for the best burger chains in the country. A total of 77,031 people voted, according to The Harris Poll. The goal of the study, to determine “brand equity,” meant “familiarity, quality, and future consideration” were considered.

Next: 17 burger chains were considered.

Burger chains in the survey

Burger King Opens First European WHOPPER Bar

Burger King burger | Miguel Villagran/Getty Images

  • Fun fact: Burger King operates as Hungry Jack’s in Australia because another business had the same name, according to MSN.

Photo: Any of the chains listed below. The burger chains considered in the study, including the following: Jack in the Box, Hardee’s, White Castle, Carl’s Jr., Checkers/Rally’s, DQ Grill & Chill, Burger King, McDonald’s, Wendy’s, SONIC America’s Drive-In, Five Guys, In-N-Out Burger, Culver’s, Steak ‘n Shake, Whataburger, Shake Shack, and Smashburger.

Next: The third best burger chain in the country.

No. 3: Shake Shack


Shake Shack Burger | Andrew Burton/Getty Images

  • Fun fact: Shake Shack published a burger cookbook.

Shake Shack, a burger chain that got its start in 2001 with a hot dog cart, took the number three spot in the study. Fans of this burger chain go back for the wide variety of shakes and burgers. But they didn’t take the top spot. See who did on page five.

Next: This burger chain with a massive following took second place.

No. 2: In-N-Out

In-n-Out Burger

The famous burger joint won over Guy Fieri. | In-N-Out via Facebook

  • Fun fact: In-N-Out is “credited with being the first-ever drive-thru restaurant,” according to Thrillist.

In-N-Out lost a two-year winning streak as the best burger chain in the country, according to the study. “Familiarity holds In-N-Out Burger back in the standings as a majority of consumers “just know the name” of the brand (35 percent),” Amir Kanpurwala, EquiTrend Director, told Yahoo. See who took the top spot, next.

Next: Formerly a regional chain, this brand got voted the best.

No. 1: Five Guys

Five Guys burger

Five Guys burger | Paul J. Richards/AFP/Getty Images

The top burger chain in the country is Five Guys, according to the study. It’s considered to be the best and most well-known brand. While McDonald’s got the highest score in the Familiarity category, Five Guys got the highest Purchase Consideration score, putting it at the top. In short, Americans know the brand, like the food, and would go back to Five Guys.

Next: Why Five Guys beat In-N-Out.

Why Five Guys took the top spot

A bacon cheeseburger with French fries is viewed outside the popular Five Guys hamburger chain

Five Guys burger | Paul J. Richards/AFP/Getty Images

  • Fun fact: The world’s largest hamburger collection is in Seymour, Wisconsin.

Photo: person eating burger Compared to In-N-Out, “Five Guys has expanded at a much faster rate,” Kanpurwala told Yahoo. Five Guys name recognition is constantly growing because more locations are created regularly, which gave the chain the edge in the survey.

Next: People will do this for a good tasting burger.

Consumers were happy to pay more for burgers, study found

Five Guys restaurant

Five Guys restaurant | Paul J. Richards/AFP/Getty Images

  • Fun fact: During World War I, soldiers called hamburgers ‘Liberty Sandwiches,’ according to

Photo: money A burger at In-N-Out costs $2.10. And a burger at Five Guys starts at $7, according to Yahoo. However, consumers didn’t mind the price discrepancy, according to the study. Five Guys beat out In-N-Out in the Future Consideration category, meaning more people would go back to Five Guys for a burger than In-N-Out. Check out The Cheat Sheet on Facebook! Read more: These Restaurants Serve the Worst Burgers in America