Step aside, Wendy's. Make way, McDonald's. And don't even try, Burger King. According to an annual poll conducted by Nielsen subsidiary The Harris Poll, it is In-N-Out Burger that reigns supreme. The 2016 poll, picked up by the SF Business Times, attempted to find the best brand in numerous categories, and it was the Irvine-headquartered In-N-Out that came in at the top of the best "burger restaurant" category.
This is the second year in a row that purveyors of the Animal Style have taken top marks. A bit about methodology: "The 2016 Harris Poll EquiTrend Study is based on a sample of 97,120 U.S. consumers ages 15 and over surveyed online, in English, between December 22, 2015 and February 1, 2016," reads the poll description. "The survey took an average of 30 minutes to complete. The total number of brands rated was 3,837 [and each] respondent was asked to rate a total of 40 randomly selected brands."
Importantly, this rating doesn't appear to reflect the quality of In-N-Out's burger itself, but rather the general fast-food brand. Coming in at second place in the brand list was Five Guys Burgers and Fries. Third, fourth, and fifth places went to Culver's, Wendy's, and Sonic America's Drive-In, respectively.
Just how much stock you should put in this poll is an open question (it lists the best coffee spot as Dunkin' Donuts, for example), but one thing is for sure: The people of California get really, really excited about In-N-Out.