Americans and fast food go together like a Big Mac and McDonald's. One is the creation of the other. If we had to choose one fast-food restaurant, of which there are (too) many, which one would reign supreme?
We don't need to disrupt the peace with a fruitless fight; Foursquare, a smartphone app that provides search results to users about their location, used their data to determine the most popular fast-food joint in each state.
Here is the formula that Foursquare used to figure that out: Determine total visits on average per location in each state (based on the total number of visits), then divide that by the number of locations in that state.
Now, for the fun part -- guess which restaurant dominated America.
If you guessed Chick-fil-A, you are correct. According to Business Insider, the fried-chicken chain generates the most revenue per restaurant in the U.S.
Check out which restaurant is most popular in your state (photo below):
As the maroon-colored map indicates, Chick-fil-A seems to be the winner, but not everyone is convinced.
Jason Emory Parker, interactive editor at The Post and Courier and winner of a Pulitzer Prize, posted to Twitter his skepticism over Foursquare's calculations. "Methodology: (number of foursquare visits) / (number of locations). Of course, Chick-fil-a wins by that metric."
Mickey White, from "The Jim And Mickey Show," similarly posted to Twitter, "This map just proves that people who eat at Chick-fil-a are checking into FourSquare a lot."
To determine the most popular fast-food restaurant, Foursquare solely used its own data, in other words, diners who use Foursquare. And as SFGate pointed out --- Business Insider removed Foursquare's map from its Twitter timeline on Thursday, Oct. 19.
Foursquare's results also seemed to bristle the Whataburger fans in Texas and In-N-Out diehards in California; SFGate staffers had to ask, "What's Raising Cane's?" Exactly.
SFGate evaluated Foursquare's formula and pointed out that if you divide the number of visits with the number of locations, a restaurant (like Raising Cane's) with just five locations in California, will yield skewed numbers.
So, the jury is still out on America's favorite fast-food restaurant.