How to Survive the Fast Food Competition in a Dynamic US Market?

by Business 27 March 2024

Fast Food Competition

Running a fast food business in the United States is not as easy as you think. With the biggest fast food competition, the US market is highly dynamic and has multiple consumer preferences.

The biggest food brands in the United States comprise every food you can imagine. From pizzas to burgers to tacos and literally everything – you can have it all at your fingertips.

But is it that easy to survive in this industry? How do brands do it? If you want to find out too, you are in the right place. Here, I will take you through some of the biggest food brands in the US and how they keep up with the tough fast food competition.

Who Are the Big Players in This Fast Food Competition?

Who Are the Big Players in This Fast Food Competition

The fast food industry is all about the biggest players on top. Millions of dollars float around every day just on food. With a total worth of $382 billion (about $1,200 per person in the US), the fast food sector is one of the most successful ones in the country.

Here is a list of all the big players in the market that you always need to keep an eye on:

  1. McDonald’s
  2. Subway
  3. Starbucks      
  4. Mixue Ice Cream & Tea
  5. KFC
  6. Burger King
  7. Pizza Hut         
  8. Domino’s        
  9. Luckin Coffee
  10. Dunkin’

[Here are the top ten biggest fast food chains in the United States. If you want to know more about these competitors, you can read through our article on the top 50 fast-food chains to make the bigger picture clear.]

Strengths Of Fast Food Chains in The United States

Strengths Of Fast Food Chains in The United States

It was quite impossible to provide a strength analysis of every fast food brand in the United States. So, here is a brief of those areas that provide core strength to the fast food chains of the US.

Fast Food Delivery

Delivery of fast food plays a very important role in the success of these fast food chains. With people wanting more and more comfort these days, home deliveries are way more preferred than going out.

Also, apps like DoorDash and Uber Eats have increased competition in the market. Most franchises have their very own delivery services to compete against.

Fast Food Technology

With the evolution of digital means, people are more into ordering from their phones than calling or visiting the place by themselves. From self-service kiosks to digital menus, brands can keep up with the fast food competition. Technology allows businesses to streamline their operations and reduce their costs by a major portion.

The Increasing Popularity of Wings

When it comes to fried chicken dishes, chicken wings are the most popular ones. If you ever go through the menu of these fast food joints, wings take up a major portion of their serves.

Brands use their unique styles and flavors to create different variants of chicken wings to maintain competition in the market.

How Fast Food Chains Stay Competitive in The US Market?

How Fast Food Chains Stay Competitive in The US Market

The fast food industry is all about competition. The more one brand stays in competition, the better profit they would make out of it. But staying in competition is not an easy job. It requires a lot of effort and factors to be kept in check to make sure that the biggest giants in the country remain just as big.

Quality Control

This is a simple and yet one of the most effective ways to get a position in the food industry. Food, after all, is all about taste and quality. If either of them is lacking, there is a high chance for the business to fail.

Think about it this way: When you visit a new place to eat, other than the ambiance, what is the first thing that impresses you? The quality and taste of food, right? The same psychology is followed throughout the food industry. Without quality, everything else falls apart.

Best Guest Experience

These giants are quite desperate to offer a guest experience like no other. From fun and engaging ambiance to cooperative staff – you get it all when you step inside any of their stores. From McDonald’s to Starbucks, their customer experience is top-notch.

Brand Uniqueness

All these brands cater to some unique sector within the fast food industry. While Starbucks is popular for its coffee, KFC is the best when it comes to fried chicken. Each of them has some uniqueness that helps them fight the fast food competition.

Variations In the Menu

Menu innovation is yet another way to survive through the fast food competition. Change is the only constant – we all know it. To do so, these fast food chains always come up with the best of recipes to make sure that they have a constant preference of the customers.

Fast Food Rivalries

When there is competition, there is rivalry. All these brands are always fighting against one another in a cut-throat competition. Therefore, conflicts and rivalries are way too common. Here are some of the most common rivalries within the fast food market in the United States.

Subway Vs. Quiznos

Subway Vs. Quiznos

Quiznos and Subway might have had one of the most popular mutually beneficial rivalries ever. Both the brands mutually decided that they would pull away the entire customer base for burgers. And they did so rightly, but not for long. In 2008, both got involved in a nasty battle. This was because Quiznos came up with an advertisement that showed people choosing them over Subway because of how meaty their subs are.

This went on till Subway took legal action against Quiznos, marking the downfall of the brand.

Burger King Vs Mcdonalds

Burger King Vs Mcdonalds

This is probably one of the most well-known rivalries that you can ever find on the face of the earth. It was back when Burger King claimed that their burgers were way better than the fried ones of Mcdonald’s and Wendy’s. While both the brands sued Burger King for this. But the brand promised to only nix the ad if both the competition brands dropped their charges.

Even then, McDonald’s has way more profit than Burger King. So, it is quite clear who the winner here is.

Dominos Vs Pizza Hut

Dominos Vs Pizza Hut

While talking about pizza, these are the only two brands that come to mind – Pizza Hut and Domino’s. Back in the time, these two brands catered to completely different markets. While Pizza Hut focused on dine-ins, Domino’s was all about takeaways.

Things changed when people shifted their preferences and started to order food from their homes. This gave Domino’s a benefit as Pizza Hut did not deliver back at that time.

It was then that Pizza Hut started its delivery services, which worked for them, but only for a limited amount of time.

Today, Domino’s is a way better business than Pizza Hut, with more than a $3 billion difference in their reported sales for 2022. So, you can guess who remains the underdog.


Fast food competition in the US market is way more serious these days. With different cultures influencing the food habits of Americans, newer brands are emerging every now and then. The big brands must maintain a tough level of healthy competition to hold the position they are in. From fast deliveries to innovations in their menus, it is one of the most strategic processes they must follow to maintain a healthy cash flow in their businesses and remain at the top.

Frequently Asked Questions!!! (FAQs):

Q1. Are Fast Food Restaurants Monopolistic Competition?

Ans: The entire fast food industry does not fall under monopolistic competition. However, niched sectors are. For example, Burger King and Mcdonald’s have created a monopolistic competition when it comes to burgers. No other burger chain is in the competition when it comes to either of these brands.

Q2. Is The Fast Food Industry Perfectly Competitive?

Ans: Yes, the fast food industry might be considered a perfect competition. This industry does not have entry or exit barriers, and the price remains generic for all items.

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Upasana is a budding journalist who has a keen interest in writing. She considers writing as therapeutic and is most confident when she writes. She is passionate about music, movies and fashion. She writes in a way that connects with the audience in a personal level. She is optimistic, fun loving and opinionated.

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