From burger behemoths to international pizza joints, F&W rounds up the world's largest fast food chains.
Food & Wine
Updated May 08, 2017
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Number of stores: approximately 33,000 worldwide
Subway tops the list with the most stores in the world, including in Singapore (79 stores in a nation with less than 300 square miles) and Germany (778 stores, including one situated inside a windmill, pictured). The most exclusive opened in June solely to New York City's Ground Zero construction workers—it's in a movable pod on top of the rising 1 World Trade Center skyscraper.
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Number of stores: approximately 32,000 worldwide
The burger behemoth trails Subway by only about a thousand fewer stores worldwide. While the Big Mac is ubiquitous in the United States, in Germany the double-decker burger is replaced by the Big Rösti—beef patty, hash brown patty, Emmentaler cheese, and bacon on an onion-flavored bun (pictured).
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Number of stores: approximately 16,700 worldwide
Yes, coffee is served in every Starbucks, but stores in Japan also serve Coffee Jelly Frappuccinos, which have a texture similar to bubble tea (pictured), and stores in Korea offer lemongrass iced tea and Bulgogi (barbecued beef) sandwiches.
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Kentucky Fried Chicken
Number of stores: approximately 16,200 worldwide
The world's sixth-largest fast food chain serves over 12 million customers daily, but its largest store isn't in Kentucky—it's in Qian Men, China, with 300 seats. A fried chicken alternative in Malaysia: Tom Yam Chicken (chicken marinated with lime juice, chilies and lemongrass with a crispy breading); instead of KFC's Apple Pie Minis, stores in Vietnam offer fried taro pies.
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Number of stores: approximately 13,300 worldwide
Pizza Hut locations in the U.S. already give a number of crust options, including Thin N' Crispy, Hand-Tossed, Stuffed-Crust, and Stuffed-Crust Pan. Some international spots get more creative: Egyptian stores offer a crust option that mimics a crown (the points can be filled with meatballs or cream cheese or both), and Pakistani stores have a version stuffed with spicy BBQ kebabs.
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Number of stores: approximately 12,000 worldwide
Burger King sells approximately 2.8 billion burgers globally each year, but the world's third-largest fast food chain also offers some country-specific sandwiches. The Piri Piri Chicken Sandwich, flavored with a tangy tomato and red wine vinegar-based sauce (pictured), is sold only in stores in the United Kingdom.
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Number of stores: approximately 9,200 worldwide
Dunkin' Donuts sells 2.5 million doughnuts daily, but flavors vary from country to country. Stores in China and Japan offer green tea-glazed doughnuts and mochi rings (pictured), and in Taiwan, pineapple-glazed doughnuts are served.
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Number of stores: approximately 6,600 worldwide
Wendy's may be best known in the U.S. for its cheeseburgers, chili and chicken sandwiches, but a number of its international stores make nods to the local culture. In Jamaica, jerk chicken is on the menu, and in Central America, refried beans are the most popular side item for breakfast.
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Number of stores: approximately 5,800 worldwide
Taco Bell's astounding numbers: two billion tacos and one billion burritos served each year. While most international stores serve a standard menu, stores in India offer potato-filled tacos and burritos stuffed with potato and paneer (an unripened cheese).
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