Washington State’s first Chick-Fil-A opened in 2015 in Bellevue just outside of Seattle. Since then, the chicken purveyor has opened a few more but they still trail national brands like McDonald’s, Taco Bell, and Jack In The Box in terms of reach and popularity.
In nearby Oregon, Chick-Fil-A has two locations total. In Montana, there is literally just one outpost.
Somehow, according to Business Insider and Foursquare, Chick-Fil-A is the favorite fast food option in those states. Furthermore, their data shows that Chick-Fil-A is the most popular fast food option in 39 states across the country.
This is, of course, bullshit.
BI says they “looked at which chains received the most visits on average per location in every state based on the total number of visits to each chain divided by the number of locations in that state.” Somewhere along the way, they must have forgotten to carry a one or something. We’re thinking they might have forgotten to do the second part and divide by the number of locations, because Chick-Fil-A has far fewer restaurants in many states than other major fast food places, not to mention local and regional favorites, which would then make their numbers seem larger based on comparisons.
Austin360 has a pretty good explanation as to how this mess came to be.
Say there were 10 Chick-Fil-A’s in Texas, but there were only five In-N-Outs. By Business Insider’s and Foursquare’s formula, if both restaurants each had 50 visits, In-N-Out comes out on top with 10 visits on average to Chick-Fil-A’s five, even though there are more Chick-Fil-A restaurants than In-N-Outs in Texas (in this imaginary scenario).
That’s how Wyoming, which has two Chick-Fil-A locations, ends up with that as their “favorite” fast food joint.
[me]: the map said that Chik-Fil-A was the most popular fast food place in like, 45 states. it's outrageous
[therapist]: your hour is up
— mavis beacon (@vodkalemonades) October 19, 2017
Beyond that, things get even weirder when you look at the other restaurants that won out. California’s iconic burger joint In-n-Out was named the favorite of Texas. What?
— Ben Baby (@Ben_Baby) October 19, 2017
Meanwhile, in California, everyone loves…Raising Cane’s? For real?
I’ve lived in CA for 33 years. Never even heard of Canes and im fat (fast food enthusiast).
— 🤷🏻♂️ (@Emaddahere) October 19, 2017
No love for Whataburger, Taco Bell, Burger King, or Carl’s Jr. to be found here. However, there is perhaps one fast food place that the whole nation can agree on…
Those clowns did a map of each state's least favorite fast food restaurant but I can't say I disagree pic.twitter.com/pVRWf7VkD0
— James Hell Brooks (@BobbyBigWheel) October 19, 2017