While there are far more sound and reliable ways of measuring the relative popularity of fast food outlets, like their financial performance – but I think I’ve found the simplest measure – the volume of rubbish generated.
If you assume that people are as equally likely to litter, regardless of the take-a-way food that they eat then the most littered product would be the most popular in the market place.
I see a lot more McDonalds rubbish floating around than any other fast food brands such as KFC or Subway. I know the fast food chains spend a lot of energy on keeping their stores clean, some more than others but I think McDonalds recognise that seeing their product littering a neighbourhood works against the image that they invest so heavily to create. To reduce that negative association, you’ll regularly see McDonalds staff picking up rubbish on or near their stores to make sure they are litter free – even though they didn’t litter and provided the consumer ample bins to do the right thing.
What other crude measures of popularity are there?