A Data-Driven Guide to the Best Fast Food Fries

How does this work?

I pulled the top ten rankings around fast food fries based on Google’s search engine output of “Best fast food fries” as this shows the rankings that have gotten the most visibility. There are a few caveats:

  • The list has to consist of ten establishments at minimum. This weeds out lists consisting of only three-five restaurants, which heavily favor the large chains.
  • The list can contain no more than fifteen establishments. If a list contains more than fifteen, only the first fifteen will be considered in the ranking.
  • No establishment can be counted twice on one list. No one cares if you had the waffles fries and potato wedges at KFC — KFC counts once.
  • Potato wedges do count as fries.
  • No weight is given to brands. Buzzfeed, while one of the largest brands providing data, was 8th in the search results. Even if Joe from his mother-in-law’s basement started a blog and drove his ranking higher than Buzzfeed, they are counted the same.
  • No attributions are counted. If an article directly references another source, only that source will be counted.

Round One

With all the ranking data collected across ten sources, we had 26 restaurants make it onto atleast one list.

  • Dairy Queen and Del Taco — Four lists. Dairy Queen peaked at a number #3 ranking.
  • Rally’s, Culver’s, and A & W — Three lists. The star here was Rally’s, who peaked at a #4 ranking.
  • Whataburger, White Castle, Jack In the Box, Fatburger — Two lists. While they may be in the conversation for best burger or best indulgence in a stoner movie, they are unfortunately off the list for fries.
  • Checker’s, Taco Bell, Shakey’s, and Red Robin — One list. Let’s be honest, when’s the last time your friend ever dragged you to Taco Bell because you were missing out on their seasoned fries?

Round Two

Thirteen down, thirteen still alive. Lots of familiar faces.

  • Get an average ranking across all selections
  • Incentivize the establishments who appeared on the most lists
  • Sonic — 10.667
  • Carl’s Jr — 10.8
  • In-N-Out — 10.85
  • In-N-Out — 7.36
  • Sonic — 7.66
  • Carl’s Jr — 8.3

Final Round

Now — it’s the moment you’ve been waiting for. Which establishment takes home the top prize?

  1. Mcdonalds: -2.7
  2. Arbys: -2.16
  3. Chik-Fil A: 0.16
  4. Shack Shack: 1.125
  5. Wendys: 1.8
  6. Five Guys: 2.278
  7. Steak N Shake: 4.333
  8. Popeyes: 4.786
  9. Burger King: 4.875
  10. KFC: 5.5



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Kushaan Shah

Kushaan Shah

Growth @Grammarly • Bostonian • Fan of sports and quirky theatre • Marketing Nerd • Substack http://mindmeld.substack.com ✍️