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Video: Zagat rates Five Guys, McDonald’s

  1. Transcript of: Zagat rates Five Guys, McDonald’s

    ANN CURRY, co-host: Back now at 8:45. And the average Americans eats at a fast food restaurant about 10 times a month, so which chains are the best of the best ? Well, the famous restaurant guide Zagat is out with the results of a new survey. Tim Zagat is the CEO. Good morning to you and thanks for correcting me because I've been saying Zagat the whole time that I've been reading the books.

    Mr. TIM ZAGAT: As long as you buy it, it's fine.

    CURRY: You do this survey every year.

    Mr. ZAGAT: Yes.

    CURRY: And so what is the headline from this year's findings?

    Mr. ZAGAT: I think the headline is Five Guys .

    CURRY: Hm.

    Mr. ZAGAT: It's a chain which has over 500 outlets, but that's small by the standards of most of the chains we're talking about. And it's growing like topsy and it has wonderful burgers. And they have the most amazing combinations, they say they have 250,000 combinations, I think they're kidding, but it may be true.

    CURRY: Well, let's see how they did on the survey. Let's going to -- you're going to take them by topic by topic. For example, the most popular -- and by the way, you conducted this survey online, I think there was something like 6,000 people who weighed in.

    Mr. ZAGAT: Sixty-five hundred people.

    CURRY: There you go. A lot of people. And so the most popular of these fast food restaurants , mega fast food chains is?

    Mr. ZAGAT: Subway.

    CURRY: Hm.

    Mr. ZAGAT: And given the fact that it has over 30,000 outlets around the world, that's not a surprise. But they really have a combination of things, they're quick, they're convenient, they're reasonably priced, and most importantly, they have healthy product.

    CURRY: They have wheat bread and things like that that you can choose, and so they give people options.

    Mr. ZAGAT: They really specialize in fresh ingredients and healthy end product.

    CURRY: OK. In terms of the list for the top overall chain, which, by the way means what exactly?

    Mr. ZAGAT: It's a combination of the averages for food facilities and service.

    CURRY: OK.

    Mr. ZAGAT: And that means that they are -- average have the highest overall experience.

    CURRY: All right. And the winner of that one?

    Mr. ZAGAT: And that's Wendy's .

    CURRY: Wendy 's.

    Mr. ZAGAT: Wendy 's. People think of Wendy's as the burger, the square burger, but actually it also does just about everything else right according to winning this award.

    CURRY: Now we talked just a few moments ago about healthy options, these are healthier, I'm not sure that people might say they're 100 percent healthy, I would think, but healthier than you expect at fast food restaurants . Who wins in that category?

    Mr. ZAGAT: Subway again. Combination of fresh ingredients and healthy end product.

    CURRY: So that's not the headline, but the headline is also that Wendy's takes the number two position in that one as well.

    Mr. ZAGAT: That's right .

    CURRY: All right. OK. Now moving on to the best burger. Now we get to go back to the top.

    Mr. ZAGAT: Five Guys.

    CURRY: And they beat out all the others, In- N-Out , Wendy's , Burger King , McDonald's . Why?

    Mr. ZAGAT: That's right . That was a big surprise to me because I've never yet eaten a Five Guys burger. But boy, people love their burgers. And they are growing so fast that it must be because people appreciate them.

    CURRY: OK. Moving on to the best French fries . Now this one was an overwhelming landslide winner.

    Mr. ZAGAT: Yeah. And it's almost expected every year, McDonald's , McDonald's , McDonald's . Their French fries -- our surveyors voted for them overwhelmingly.

    CURRY: Why do you think?

    Mr. ZAGAT: You know, all I know is that's because thousands of people like their French fries better than anybody else's. I know that I happen to personally like their French fries better than anybody else's. But, you know, it's 6500 people.

    CURRY: On the -- on -- in the category of best coffee, perhaps it's not a surprise because it's so ubiquitous, but who won for best fast food coffee?

    Mr. ZAGAT: Starbucks. And Starbucks kind of says -- the name says great coffee.

    CURRY: Mm-hmm.

    CURRY: Dunkin' Donuts was number two on that list, which is interesting, but also interesting is Peet 's Coffee Tea , because I think a lot of people don't know about Peet 's. Comes from the Northwest .

    Mr. ZAGAT: Well, Peet 's is an excellent coffee chain. So far, though, it's not everywhere and Starbucks is.

    CURRY: And in fact, sometimes I think when you go to Dunkin' Donuts , you get a cup of Peet 's, I mean I think sometimes they use actually the Peet's coffee . Isn't that true?

    Mr. ZAGAT: I don't know.

    CURRY: You don't know that.

    Mr. ZAGAT: I don't know.

    CURRY: OK. Well, hopefully I didn't say anything wrong there. And in the last category, the best value meal. So we're basically saying that you get the most for your money. Who wins there?

    Mr. ZAGAT: McDonald 's. And again, if you look at all the other categories in which McDonald's wins, they win for a variety of things that they do very well.

    Mr. ZAGAT: But at the end of the day , they do it for a very low price.

    CURRY: Mm-hmm.

    Mr. ZAGAT: And people appreciate it, it's a great value. The dollar menu that they sell speaks for itself.

    CURRY: All right. OK. So what's your -- what are you studying next?

    Mr. ZAGAT: Well, we're doing things about movies, we're doing nightlife, we're doing all kinds of things. We're always doing it, there's never a time when we're not surveying something.

    CURRY: And that's from Tim Zagat .

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