Australia’s Most Addictive Fast Food Restaurants, Ranked

Australia’s Most Addictive Fast Food Restaurants, Ranked
Image: iStock

I’m trying to decide whether or not I’m surprised by the fact that McDonald’s remains Australia’s favourite fast food, over the likes of KFC and Subway. I’m going to say “no” — despite moves from smaller franchises and a general push for healthiness, one cannot simply ignore the pervasiveness of the big yellow M.

Recent research from Roy Morgan, covering 17 million Australians aged 14 or older, shows that McDonald’s remains the top dog, with 52.7 per cent of respondents saying they’d eaten at one of the chain’s restaurants between April 2017 and March 2018.

In a distant second place at 40.8 per cent is KFC, followed by Subway (30.8 per cent), Hungry Jack’s (29 per cent) and Domino’s (28.3 per cent).

Australia’s Most Addictive Fast Food Restaurants, RankedImage: Roy Morgan

It also appears fast food, particularly Macca’s and KFC, is most popular with those born between the years of 1991-2005 (the so-called “Generation Z”). At the bottom are “pre-boomers” (born before 1946), which isn’t any great shock.

Australia’s Most Addictive Fast Food Restaurants, RankedImage: Roy Morgan

While Macca’s has come out ahead of its competitors, the data doesn’t reveal how often the respondents ate fast food, making it difficult to determine the overall popularity of burgers, fries and thickshakes compared to other types of meals.

McDonald’s, KFC & Subway most visited Aussie restaurants [Roy Morgan]

This story has been updated since its original publication.


  • Hmm, so it’s not necessarily the favourite. If the graph just charts whether people have eaten it recently. I ate Macdonalds only a couple nights ago. However, I’d much prefer to have had Hungry Jacks or better yet – Subway. The problem is that Hungry Jacks is in a bad location to get into, so Maccas is more convenient. And Subway is even more difficult since it’s not only in a bad spot, it also doesn’t have a drive-thru.

    Looking just at the names on the chart, we don’t even have a Noodle Box or Grill’d anywhere nearby so they’re out. Red Rooster is the furthest drive and most inconvenient location, Nandos being second last followed by Pizza hut. In contrast, the big five on that list have the best locations with the easiest access (Maccas, Dominos, KFC, HJs then Subway) so they’re the ones we eat more often than not.

    This is an interesting example of success leading to more success. Prime locations have already been snapped up by the leaders so they get more traffic. The late-comers and strugglers are the ones that have to settle for smaller, cheaper, out of the way locations which in turn drives their sales down, which in turn makes it harder to expand or move to a better location.

    • I think McDonalds is the favourite mostly out of convinence, Price and its place in our culture.

      I usually only ever go to McDonalds because i either because i just want something cheap and easy to get or because nothing else is open.

      • Exactly what I was thinking. I bought it the other day because I was in a hurry to get to a friends to watch the footy. I figured it’s the best location and it has a drive thru, I can be in and out quickly and make kick off 🙂

        The only thing I really like from Maccas is the Bacon and Egg muffins.

  • I don’t eat much fast food. However I would eat Maccas the most. However I would always choose Hungry Jacks over it when available. Unfortunately the one near where I lived closed and Maccas is the closet.
    I do sometimes get a whopper craving but no HJ is convenient. It’s my go too food court meal at airports. Unless I’m in LAX where Umami burger is where it’s at.

    I don’t get why KFC is so popular. It’s literally always disappointing in my experience.

    • KFC is a huge gamble, if the person cooking pays attention it can come out amazing, on the flipside if they arent it can come out as a big ball of oil with some chicken in it, its usually hovers somewhere inbetween. If you time it well and you get freshly cooked food, its usually pretty good

      I have found the burgers/twisters at KFC to be a lot more consistent too. And Maccas/HJs/Red Rooster cant beat KFC burgers (at least for my taste anyway)

      • Oh really, I find the burgers and twisters to be always bad. I used to love twisters as a teen.

        I find the burgers have pretty crappy buns. The chicken is kind of mismatched to the bun size. There’s a small dollop of mayonnaise/sauce on one side of a bun. Then some sad lettuce. None of it keeps together when trying to eat it.

      • I think it also depends how quickly you eat it too. There is that sweet spot where it’s just cool enough to eat when it’s really nice. But if it cools down too much it’s like eating lard. And no amount of microwaving to warm it up will help.

        To be honest I’ve found most takeaway food is like that though. Once the burgers drop below a certain temperature they’re horrible.

      • My local KFC is one of those depends what day of the week it is, not just in food quality but service quality as well.
        The clincher is that to leave feedback you need you receipt number which you have to get at the very start when you pay and you have to ask for one, they don’t freely give it to you.

  • They should have included the kids in the survey.KFC is closest to us but the grand kids would rather have a “kiddie burger” than a microwaved stale bun with a lot of warm grease and stodge on it.So for our fussy eaters we by-pass KFC every time and enjoy the delicious food at Maccas.Because they are always so busy,the food is always fresh and the excellent “fries” are always hot.

  • Seems strange that Gen Y (or now Millennials) year starting is getting earlier and earlier. Used to be early 80’s that started, now it’s getting more towards mid 70’s. Who’s pushing and repeating this stuff. Someone just wants to be included and feel younger.

Show more comments

Log in to comment on this story!