Each State’s Favorite Drunk Fast Food (Spoiler: Not nearly enough Taco Bell)

By Kathy Morris - Mar. 26, 2021

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Anyone who’s worked fast food knows after midnight the majority of your customers are more sauced than the food.

For whatever reason consuming copious amounts of alcohol seems to be correlated with consuming copious amounts of foil wrapped food covered in cheese. It got us thinking, what is the best, quintessential drunk food?

Taco Bell or McDonalds? Maybe Denny’s? Better yet, do some states have different hankerings than others?

We hit the data to uncover each state’s favorite drunk food. Results? Taco Bell is way underrated and a certain restaurant with golden arches is extremely beloved.

Fun Findings

  • Sorry Burger King, McDonalds is the king of drunk fast food: 22 states love the golden arches.
  • A respectable 14 states do prefer Burger King for their drunk food.
  • Only Wyoming has the good taste to know Taco Bell is the best.
  • The other 49 states don’t properly appreciate the Crunchwrap Supreme.
  • Some states show strict loyalty to regional favorites- Such as Texas and Whataburger and California and In-N-Out.
  • Alabama, Georgia, and South Carolina all love Waffle House when intoxicated, which for anyone who’s been to a Waffle House….makes 100% sense.

How We Determined This

When we set out to find each state’s favorite drunk fast food, we had to first determine two things:

1. The fast food everyone craves when drunk
2. Which fast food joints see the biggest influx of tipsy customers

The first was fairly simple. We simply took a list of popular fast food restaurants, nixing some that didn’t fit (Sorry Subway) and others with limited hours and thus limited time for late night drunken shenanigans (Chic-fil-a, for example.)

To determine the second, we had to get a bit more creative. We decided to measure google search trends on some of the “drunkest days of the year” (The Wednesday before Thanksgiving, New Year’s Eve, Halloween, and July 4th.)

While we can’t guarantee all customers on these days are drunk, they’re more likely to be than other days, which seemed a good measure to start with. All trends data for each fast food joint in each state was then averaged together. The more disproportionately high the volume, the more beloved the fast food by drunk people.

For example, while Texas enjoys a Big Mac like the rest of the country does, the search interest in “Whataburger” is disproportionately higher than the remaining states on the examined dates- making “Whataburger” more popular in Texas than anywhere else.

What This Means For Workers

If you’re working past midnight at some of these locations, it might mean you have to put up with some unpleasantly intoxicated customers.

However, after enough shifts of the after bar crowd, you probably won’t be too surprised by the weird orders and slurring words. Hopefully you have a supportive manager to help keep the sloshed masses in line as they get their fill of fries, quesadillas, or whatever your work’s equivalent is.

If you do find yourself sick of dealing with late night shifts where people are ordering the Big Mac at Burger King, you could always try bartending– At least in a bar, you have a chance of getting generous tips from your hammered customers.

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Kathy Morris

Kathy is the head of content at Zippia with a knack for engaging audiences. Prior to joining Zippia, Kathy worked at Gateway Blend growing audiences across diverse brands. She graduated from Troy University with a degree in Social Science Education.

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Topics: Food