Bye Bye Burger King, Wendy's Is Now the No. 2  Fast Food Burger Chain in America

A blog about business and economics.
March 20 2012 9:02 AM

Bye Bye, Burger King, Wendy's Is Now the No. 2 Fast Food Burger Chain in America

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Customers walk to a Wendy's restaurant on June 13, 2011 in Chicago.

Scott Olson/Getty Images.

As predicted in January, now that the full year of data is in, we can say for sure that Wendy's outpaced Burger King in revenue in 2011. Both are still well behind McDonald's, of course, but the really bad news for Burger King in this is that they operate substantially more units than Wendy's, meaning that per-store sales are lagging. Slate's own Seth Stevenson did a great piece about BK's fall from grace, looking through the lens of their ad agency, whose failings he thinks helped bring the King down.

The official position of Moneybox continues to be that the correct order at Wendy's is the Spicy Chicken Sandwich and that, therefore, classifying Wendy's in the burger sub-genre is a bit of a mistake. If you were to reclassify Wendy's as a chicken chain, it would be No. 1 over KFC by a wide margin. The entire chicken market I find slightly baffling as clearly Popeye's is better than KFC, and yet the latter is more popular.

Matthew Yglesias is the executive editor of Vox and author of The Rent Is Too Damn High.

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