The novelist Nora Ephron once quipped, “Everyone loves fried chicken. Don’t ever make it. Ever. Buy it from a place that makes good fried chicken.”
But which eatery makes the best fried chicken? A new data report on the leading U.S. fried chicken restaurant chains finds American public opinion divided on the subject.
The Winner Is: The market research agency TOP Data culled the numbers of customer traffic from the sector’s leading chains in the continental U.S. (sorry, Alaska and Hawaii) and found the privately-owned Chick-fil-A as the most popular destination in 22 states, with Yum! Brands Inc.’s (NYSE:YUM) KFC as the primary choice in 11 states.
Chick-fil-A’s popularity was heavy in the mid-Atlantic and Midwest states and throughout much of the West Coast states, while KFC split New England with Chick-fil-A and dominated in the northern Great Plains states.
Other chains that resonated in the survey were Raising Cane’s, which ranked first in nine states, and Church’s Chicken, which was top ranked in three states. Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen, Inc., a division of Restaurant Brands Inc. (NYSE:QSR), was the most popular fried chicken outpost only in Washington State, while Bojangles was the local favorite for Kentucky and Zaxby’s reigned in Oklahoma.
Photo courtesy TOP Data.
What Else Is Happening: July 6 is National Fried Chicken Day, and several restaurant chains are using that date to highlight special promotional meals.
Popeyes will be offering a five-piece deal for $6.99 on National Fried Chicken Day while White Castle will be offering a BOGO promotion for its Crispy Chicken Slider, Chicken Ring Slider, or Chicken and Waffles Slider. Cracker Barrel will enable customers ordering the Southern Fried Chicken Family Meal Basket to receive a free family-sized side of Bacon Baked Beans.
And the National Fried Chicken Day festivities are not unique to the U.S. The Canadian Mary Brown’s Chicken chain offering its signature two-piece Chicken & Taters special for only C$4.99 plus taxes, while the Korean-cuisine Gami Chicken & Beer chain in Australia will be giving away 40,000 chicken wings for National Fried Chicken Day.
But wherever the meal is being consumed, perhaps celebrity chef Paula Deen said it best: “I think no matter what the occasion may be, you can never go wrong by showing up at the dinner table with a hot plate of fried chicken.”
Photo: Sharon Ang / Pixabay