In the fast-food world, it’s always a sink or swim type of deal. Either a product will fail miserably or become the greatest of them all. We’ve talked a lot about the sinking ones in the past, so now let’s focus on the ones that not only swam brilliantly but won the race. Let’s dive into some of their successes over the years.
Chick-fil-A Chicken Sandwich
As you might have heard before, it’s said that Chick-fil-A is the one who started the whole boneless chicken sandwich thing. The one we should thank for bringing this magical, exquisite concoction into our lives — and into our stomachs. So, it makes sense that their chicken sandwich is one of the most popular — and delicious — on the market. In fact, Chick-fil-A sells more chicken sandwiches than any other rival chain — yes that includes KFC and Popeyes. Back in the 1940s, Truett Cathy, a restaurant owner, wanted to help out a local poultry supplier and decided to add chicken to his menu. Not knowing what to do with the boneless chicken, he battered, then pressure fried it, and put the final result between two buns and created an alternative version of a hamburger — all in about the same amount of time. Little did he know that by taking that small step, he would create one of today’s fast-food staples. Even though Chick-fil-A has been in the middle of quite a few controversies over the years, no one can deny that the chicken sandwich is a major success — and a ridiculously tasty one, at that.
Pizza Hut Pepperoni Pizza
The star of your parties, the apple of your eye, the one thing you keep going back to because it’s just simply too darn good; the Pepperoni pizza. But not any kind of pepperoni pizza, no no, the classic, delicious one from Pizza Hut. You simply can’t have a pizza party without a Pepperoni pizza from Pizza Hut. Arguably one of the most popular dishes across America, and possibly across the world, Pepperoni pizza is a literal icon, with pepperoni being voted as America’s favorite pizza topping. Sure, there are a lot of other good options out there, but let’s all agree, pepperoni pizza is superior in so many ways. This round, cheesy disk of goodness is responsible for ranking Pizza Hut as the number 1 most popular pizza chain in the U.S., finally dethroning Domino’s and obtaining the title it deserves. The large pepperoni pizza is the most popular item sold at Pizza Hut, and with roughly 5,900 stores, it’s easy to assume that that’s a lot of good pizza being eaten every day. And wait until you try it with the stuffed crust: heaven in every bite, guaranteed.
Dairy Queen Blizzards
Possibly the only dessert you can turn upside down and still be able to eat afterward, the Blizzard from Dairy Queen is the most popular item from the fast-food chain and is one of the most successful ice cream creations ever. With a new flavor being promoted every month, Dairy Queen has successfully turned the Blizzard into an absolute icon since it first came out in 1985. These dense concoctions made with soft-serve ice cream, loaded with pieces of various candies, baked goods, and/or decadent sundae toppings are the biggest thing to ever happen to Dairy Queen. Believe it or not, DQ sold over 175 million Blizzards the first year it was on the market. Not too shabby for a new product, that’s for sure. You may have wondered why your ice cream-based delight was being held upside down in front of you, taunting you and threatening to slip right out of the cup and straight to the counter. While some might do it just for show, there was actually a promotion in some locations a while back in which, if the employees didn’t flip your blizzard, you would get a free one. Plus, it’s now the company’s signature, so why not? It’s fun, it’s entertaining, well, unless it falls. But let’s not focus on the negative. Today, Blizzards have become a must-have dessert and a true ice-cream classic that we cannot live without. And to that, we say thank you, Dairy Queen, for this delightful, cold, wintry storm.
Oh, people and their undying love for bacon. You would think there’s not a single thing better than bacon in the whole wide world. Seriously. Some die-hard bacon fans have taken this obsession to some pretty crazy extremes over the years. Maybe that’s why Wendy’s Baconator continues to be so popular and one of the chain’s bestsellers. Two beef patties topped with melting cheese, accompanied by mayo and ketchup, and the main event: bacon. Six strips of delicious, crispy bacon, perfectly placed across each square patty. No vegetables, no mustard, nothing to take away from the savory taste of the bacon. The Baconator was a huge part in helping Wendy’s get back on the fast food map after it had been struggling for a while, battling bigger chains like McDonald’s. After only 2 months after its release, 25 million of the already iconic bacon cheeseburgers were sold. The Baconator was declared one of the most successful new product introductions from Wendy’s in a long time. With an 11 percent growth in sales following the Baconator’s arrival, it’s safe to say that people enjoyed this cheesy treat quite a bit. And well, we still do. Believe it or not, there’s even a Pringles flavor dedicated to the Baconator. If that’s not a sign of success, then what is?
Subway Italian BMT
With so many sandwich options, it’s hard to declare only one victor in the Subway arena. Steak and cheese, pizza sub, or even the tuna melt are all pretty decent contestants. But there’s one we can all agree that’s just one step ahead, the Italian BMT. BMT used to stand for Brooklyn Manhattan Transit, in reference to New York City’s subway lines — a little odd, we gotta admit, but that’s no longer what we associate this acronym with. No, instead, BMT stands for “Bigger, Meatier, Tastier,” which perfectly describes the yummy sub that is the Italian BMT. Not to be confused with the BLT, please. Enough with the bacon. Let’s talk cold cuts now. The BMT is a glorious combination of Genoa salami, spicy pepperoni, and Black Forest ham and is typically served on Italian bread and garnished with various vegetables, and it is exquisite. And don’t forget to add a generous amount of your favorite sauce to top it off. The BMT is arguably Subway’s best selling-sandwich but is also the highest in fat and sodium. It might not be the healthiest, but it sure is one of the tastiest, and that can’t be overlooked. This sandwich is revered for a reason. The Italian BMT is everything every other sub should be.
Taco Bell Doritos Locos Tacos
What do you get when you combine an iconic fast-food chain with an iconic chip brand? You get one of the most successful fast-food items ever: The Doritos Locos Tacos from Taco Bell. The definition of both a tasty and fruitful partnership. For those who aren’t familiar with these delicious indulgences — which, let’s face it, is practically impossible because they’re one of Taco Bell’s most famous concoctions, but hey, we never judge — the Doritos Locos Tacos are crunchy tacos made with yummy Doritos taco shells filled to the brim with premium seasoned beef, crisp shredded lettuce, and real cheddar cheese. Is your mouth watering yet? These babies hit the Taco Bell menu in 2012 and we’ve been nothing but grateful ever since. And because people were loving this version of the Nacho Cheese classic so much, Taco Bell decided to spice things up a bit, literally, and added the Fiery Doritos Locos Tacos to the menu, along with fan favorite, Cool Ranch. Sadly, these two were pulled from the menu and people were left in despair. Maybe the new Flamin’ Hot Doritos Locos Tacos will be able to compensate for the loss of our beloved departed. Either way, the Doritos Locos Tacos are actually something worth going loco over, that’s for sure!
McDonald’s Egg McMuffin
The 1970s: the decade the breakfast game was changed forever. It was the decade one of the most iconic breakfast items was introduced to the world and became a forever beloved treat. The Egg McMuffin is basically responsible for the ongoing fierce fast-food breakfast war, since it proved how successful fast-food for breakfast could be. Of course, the Egg McMuffin wasn’t always as popular as it is today. It took a lot of time and convincing to get these bad boys on the menu. A sandwich for breakfast just sounded like such a crazy idea and didn’t seem like it would be a big “hit.” But, oh, were they wrong. People were hooked. The sizzling bacon, the perfectly round egg, and the melted cheese served on a crispy English muffin was just too much to handle. The EggMcMuffin could even be one of the reasons why we still have McDonald’s today. It helped raise sales during a shallow period. The all-day breakfast gave another boost to McDonald’s, and they were back stronger than ever. Who would’ve thought that a breakfast sandwich could’ve single-handedly saved a multi-billion dollar corporation? You go, little Egg McMuffin!
KFC Mashed Potatoes with Gravy
Whether it’s at a Thanksgiving dinner or to accompany your Wednesday night roast, mashed potatoes are always the side of choice. There’s never a bad time to eat mashed potatoes soaked in heavy, sumptuous gravy. There just isn’t. And when you’re craving that nice big bucket of KFC chicken, chances are, you’re also craving the mashed potatoes it often comes with. And for good reason, too. It’s the perfect alternative to the usual french fries — they’re warm and cozy, and they’re the definition of comfort food. Plus the gravy; yum. That rich, brown sauce made from leftover, greasy bits of chicken scraps is just so good, you’ve probably found yourself asking for a little extra scoop — or two — on top of your potatoes, and that’s okay. The mashed potatoes are easily KFC’s most iconic side dish and represent all that is right with the world, in the form of delicious food. Yes, an individual portion of those mighty potatoes packs a solid 530 milligrams of sodium, but as we’ve established before, if it’s good and consumed in moderation, then who cares? One little cup of KFC’s mashed potatoes once in a while won’t kill you. So don’t worry, you’re good to go.
Dunkin’ Donuts: Munchkins
When you don’t have a big appetite, or simply when you don’t have time to eat an entire doughnut, but you still want to enjoy the comforting taste of these round delicacies, Dunkin’ has got the perfect treat for you. They’re small, round, and simply delicious. The Munchkins, basically little tiny baby doughnuts, are one of the chain’s most successful items ever, and we can clearly see why. They’re just so dang cute! And oh, so good. Dunkin’ started selling these little treats back in 1973, and they’ve been thriving ever since. So much so that they sell around 3 billion Munchkins globally every year. So yea, thriving is the perfect term to describe these little spheres of goodness. They’re also known as “doughnuts holes,” and they can be jelly-filled, glazed, chocolatey, powdered sugar, basically, any way you want them. And a little fun fact — yes, the Munchkins are actually named after characters in the Wizard of Oz.
McDonald’s French Fries
Alright, admit it, you knew this was coming. Nothing could ever top the tremendous success McDonald’s French Fries have had over the years. Nothing. Not even the Big Mac. McD’s iconic fries were part of the official menu back when the restaurant first opened its doors in the 1950s and they continue to reign over every single other item even to this day. Not only are they ridiculously delicious, but they also bring a lot to the table. They’re basically a big part of the economy at this point. According to one estimate, 7% of all potatoes grown in the United States become McDonald’s french fries. Now, that’s got to mean something. The Golden Arches buy over 3.4 billion pounds of potatoes per year and sell around 9 million pounds every day. Apart from the obvious pleasing taste, the fries actually contain a whole lot of sodium, and surprisingly enough, a whole bunch of beef seasoning as well. But hey, you know what, whatever they’re doing to them seems to work because they are simply too tasty to stop eating, and they’re definitely one of the biggest fast-food successes of all time.