Despite all the lavish attention RocketNews24 has laid upon the altar of the Golden Arches at the cost of our Adonis-like six packs, it seems there’s a fast food chain Japan loves even more than McDonald’s. According to a recent Niconico News survey of adults, the reigning king of fast food in Japan is the country’s own native Mos Burger – although McDonald’s runs a close second.
Since our diets consist of almost nothing but the lard, chicken goo, sawdust and other mystery substances that go into a fast food meal, a win for any fast food is a win for humanity in our book, but let’s take a moment to look at Niconico‘s ranking and examine some of the possible reasons the results:
- First: Mos Burger (45.1%)
Some of those surveyed said that Mos Burger seemed to use higher quality ingredients, while others appreciated that some burgers are offered with grilled rice patties instead of buns on request. Mos Burger has exploded in popularity since its debut in 1972 and we can’t help but think national pride for the native Japanese chain may have a little to do with its strong showing in this survey.
- Second: McDonald’s (37%)
McDonald’s unsurprisingly grabs the second spot, with survey respondents saying the consistent taste and low price kept them coming back. Some with larger appetites also noted that the Big Mac set and other larger meal sets were also a big draw.
- Third: Freshness Burger (3.8%)
Mosu and Makku may take the lion’s share of the vote, but there was still some love for the slightly lesser-known guys. Most of those surveyed commented on the high quality of the burgers at Freshness Burger, which seems to maintain decent customer loyalty despite a piddling market share. Freshness Burger borders on “fast casual” rather than “fast food,” with burgers and fries handcrafted to order and delivered to your table. Many locations also serve beer, which doesn’t hurt.
- Fourth: Lotteria (3.6%)
Another native Japanese chain, Lotteria restaurants can be found near most major Tokyo train stations. While the presence of “shake fries” – french fries that are shaken together with your choice of seasoning – as a persistent menu item kept many survey respondents coming back, we speculate the fact that the chain’s menu engineers succumbed to madness a few years ago and set about creating chocolate chicken sandwiches, towering nine-patty burgers and other mind-bending oddities probably had a role to play in Lotteria’s middling ranking.
- Fifth: Burger King (2.5%)
Some commented in the Niconico survey that it’s Burger King’s signature Whopper sandwich that calls to them every other lunch break. The chain also sticks to its American big brother’s “Have it your way” creed, letting diners customize to their heart’s content; the only limit being their imaginations and their willingness to undergo gastric bypass surgeries.
- Sixth: First Kitchen (1.9%)
Nothing really explains First Kitchen’s poor performance on the survey, as its menu features all the same greasy, calorie-dense delights as the above chains. Hell, it even offers pasta! Then again, perhaps it’s this very “kitchen sink” approach to their menu that spelled First Kitchen’s downfall this time around.
- Seventh: Dom Dom Burger (.8%)
Dom Dom Burger has the distinction of being Japan’s first ever burger chain, established in February, 1970 – beating McDonald’s to the punch by a little over a year. Still, the years haven’t been kind to the chain with apparently only a few dozen locations remaining of the over 400 that once stood in its heyday.
- Eighth: Wendy’s (.4%)
Even less well-known than Dom Dom Burger is the American transplant Wendy’s. We imagine the low penetration of the brand has a lot to do with Wendy’s pulling out of the Japan market less than a decade ago, then, after much waffling, deciding to have another go at it, albeit with slightly fancier offerings like lobster and caviar burgers. Currently, there are just two Wendy’s in operation in Japan – both located in the heart of Tokyo.
However, if the Japanese ever catch on to the fact that a french fry dipped in one of Wendy’s signature Frosty shakes is literally the most delicious thing you can ever possibly put in your mouth, we imagine we’ll be seeing two Wendy’s on every block in our (probably steampunk) future.
Note that the survey results don’t necessarily reflect market share in Japan. McDonald’s, for example, is still the undisputed market leader over Mos Burger in terms of sales. But more importantly, what do you think of these survey results? What’s your favorite Japanese fast food chain?