There’s no question that residents of Guilford County and those across the North Carolina are eating out more now that pandemic fears have subsided.  In fact, a new study just released found that, in the last three months, North Carolinians have been eating out 7 percent more than in the previous quarter.

However, one question remains: Of all the delectable choices for fast-food dining in the state, which one gets the most love from North Carolina diners?  Which one reigns supreme in terms of drawing the most customers?

Well, recently, Food Service Direct – a giant national marketplace for bulk goods and food – joined with a data analysis firm to determine the most sought-after fast food and casual dining in the state.

And the winner is, (drum roll please): In North Carolina, Chick-fil-A is the most visited restaurant. (Though it has the hardest name to spell correctly, that hasn’t dimmed the public’s enthusiasm.)

According to the analytics company here are the “Most Popular Chain and Casual Dining Restaurants in North Carolina.”

(1) Chick-fil-A

(2) Wendy’s

(3) Bojangles’

(4) Taco Bell

(5) Burger King

(6) Zaxby’s

(7) Hardee’s

(8) Arby’s

(9) Sonic Drive-In

(10) KFC


While the top 10 choices are all places people are likely to drive thru, the next ten are places were diners frequently sit down and enjoy a meal on site.  Here are the current favorites that fill out the top 20 from the study.


(11) Waffle House

(12) Little Caesars

(13) Cracker Barrel

(14) Olive Garden

(15) Chili’s Grill & Bar

(16) Culver’s

(17) Longhorn Steakhouse

(18) Texas Roadhouse

(19)  Chipotle Mexican Grill

(20)  Panera Bread