This Is the No. 1 Biggest Fast Food Chain in the World (Hint: It’s Not McDonald’s)

There’s no disputing that when it comes to brand recognition and overall revenue, McDonald’s is the king of the quick service restaurant (QSR) industry. But that doesn’t mean they have the most restaurant locations worldwide. In fact, there’s another surprise player who has them beat — by a lot.

Fast food restaurants are more than just sodium-packed meals served via drive-thru in greasy paper bags. Restaurants that provide minimal table service and quickly prepared menu items qualify as QSRs. They may be operated by franchisee agreements or under shared corporate ownership, like McDonald’s is. These restaurants are incredibly popular because of the convenience factor, and in today’s lightning-paced world, time is invaluable.

So who managed to best the golden arches when it comes to sheer number of restaurants? Read on to find out …

15. Dairy Queen

DQ sign

Ice cream is a staple around the world. | Win McNamee/Getty Images

People really love their ice cream.

Coming in at 15th on the list, Dairy Queen boasts 4,800 locations worldwide. This summertime staple was developed in 1938 by John Fremont (who was adorably nicknamed “Grandpa”) and Bradley McCullough in Illinois. With locations in 30 countries and enduring classics like the Blizzard, it’s no wonder DQ is still going strong all these years later.

Next: This QSR lives at your local mall.

More Articles About:   ,  

More from The Cheat Sheet