Burgers and fries are an American tradition, but it’s not just burger spots that serve the country’s most craveable chain french fries. What’s more, when diners visit a burger chain to satisfy a craving, sometimes it’s not the burger they’re after—it’s the fried potatoes. Whether they’re hand-cut, seasoned or loaded with toppings, limited-service restaurants have apparently mastered the art of the fry (only one full-service chain appears in this ranking).
Read on to reveal which 10 chains recent restaurant-goers say offer the most craveable fries out of the leading brands surveyed for Technomic’s Consumer Brand Metrics. The chains are ranked from 10th to first by the percentage of diners who say the fries are craveworthy and one of a kind.
More than a sixth of recent customers crave the fries at Fuddruckers. Customers point to each of the fast-casual’s fry options—such as sweet potato and chili cheese—as craveable, but the signature wedge fries garnered the majority of survey mentions from respondents.
The burger joint also serves its wedge fries alongside onion rings as a side option, something many consumers note as craveworthy.
9. Red Robin
About a fifth of recent customers say Red Robin offers a french fry fix that they can’t get anywhere else. The sole casual-dining chain in this list, Red Robin offers steak fries as well as sweet potato fries. Many consumers specifically point to the brand's bottomless steak fries—an all-you-can-eat promotion available with a burger purchase—as craveable. The restaurant even serves its fries in a bottomless metal cup to underscore the endless aspect.
About one in five recent customers find the fries at Arby's craveworthy. The QSR’s curly fries—which come in snack, small, medium and large sizes—are the biggest standout in consumer survey responses, though some customers also note the chain’s loaded curly fries as a crave driver.
Arby's launched the loaded version in 2015, which was the chain's first new take on its curly fries since their 1988 debut. Per Rob Lynch, Arby’s brand president and chief marketing officer, the addition came about “after years of requests from guests in restaurants and on social media to take our famous curly fries to the next level.”
Fries at McDonald’s are a craveable item that more than a fifth of recent consumers say they can only get at the Golden Arches. The chain has tested many fry variations in select markets in recent years, including a do-it-yourself seasoned style, sweet potato fries and, most recently, garlic fries.
But its classic fries that are the biggest hit among survey respondents. Fries are the second-most craveable item offered at the chain, topped only by burgers.
More than a fifth of recent consumers say the fries at Chick-fil-A are a craveable item they can find nowhere else. The sole quick-service chicken chain in this list, Chick-fil-A serves waffle fries cooked in canola oil, and promotes its use of real potatoes in the side item.
Chick-fil-A briefly tested sweet potato waffle fries in select markets during 2011, but they were ultimately discontinued.
5. Charleys Philly Steaks
More than a quarter of recent consumers crave the fries at Charleys Philly Steaks. Fries are the most-craved item at this restaurant chain, which offers a few varieties under the “Gourmet Fries” umbrella.
Many recent customers point to Charleys’ Cheese Fries as a craveable variety they can’t get anywhere else, though a few others also mention its Cheese & Bacon Fries and Ultimate Fries, topped with cheddar cheese sauce, bacon and ranch dressing.
More than a third of recent customers crave Smashburger’s french fries and say they can’t get them anywhere else. Customers point to Smashburger’s Smash Fries—seasoned with olive oil, rosemary and garlic—as one of the most craveable options on the menu, while many others mention the chain’s sweet potato fries.
Smashburger also offers Spicy Buffalo Fries (dry seasoned with Frank’s RedHot and served with a side of ranch dressing) and Veggie Frites (flash-fried fresh green beans and carrot strips), each of which get a few nods for craveability.
3. In-N-Out Burger
Almost two-fifths of recent customers rate In-N-Out’s fries as craveworthy, while about half say the same of the chain’s burgers. The fries, which are hand-cut and fried in 100% vegetable oil, are available “Animal-style” (loaded with melted cheese, grilled onions and the chain’s signature sauce) on the cult favorite’s not-so-secret menu.
In-N-Out also lets customers choose how they’d like their fries cooked.
2. Five Guys
More Five Guys customers say they crave the fries at the chain than those who say they crave its burgers (44.2%). Some recent customers cite the fast casual's use of peanut oil as contributing to its fries’ craveworthiness. Its signature fries are cooked twice upon order, and also come in a Cajun-seasoned version.
The majority of recent Checkers customers say the chain serves up fries they jones for and can’t get anywhere else, elevating the chain to the top spot on this list. Fries are twice as craveable as burgers at this quick-service chain, a fact the chain is aware of, even touting its Famous Seasoned Fries as the menu item that “put Checkers on the map.”
Indeed, many recent customers call out Checkers’ Famous Seasoned Fries—which contain a signature, secret seasoning—as craveable. Several others refer to the chain’s Fully Loaded Fries as one-of-a-kind and craveworthy; these feature the Famous Seasoned Fries topped with cheese, ranch dressing and bacon.