In fast food war, burgers and subs sink wings and pizza

Top fast food joints

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Top fast food joints

Top fast food joints
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Papa John's sinks on earnings

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Papa John's sinks on earnings

How much do Americans love their fast food? This much: $254,541,589,000.

That's the amount the NPD Group says we spend to buy food that’s quickly thrown together and put in a wrapper, then held in one hand and downed in record time with a soda chaser while driving our cars.

This is 'Merica. That's how we roll.

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In a land of 316 million people, $254 billion last year works out to $800 for every man, woman and child, or around $2.20 a day, enough to buy you only half a Big Mac.

But you already knew that. You already eat a lot of Big Macs. Your iPhone map app has been instructed to find every Golden Arch within five miles of your GPS position at any given moment.

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McDonald's is by far the most successful fast food chain in the known universe. QSR magazine said Americans bought more than $35 billion worth of Mickey D's in 2012, nearly three times more than second place finisher Subway, at $12 billion.

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Latest available data. Source: QSR Magazine

What other fast food joints are succeeding, and which ones still have too much bun and not enough burger, financially speaking? Where does pizza fit in, and when will chicken wings finally get some respect?

Watch the video. But have the TUMS ready.

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