McDonald’s is the most-visited restaurant chain in the country, according to a report ranking the 15 most-popular stores published Sunday by 24/7 Wall St.
Based on foot-traffic data from retail tracker Placed Insights, McDonald’s was second only to Walmart, which was the nation’s most popular retail store. More than half of all shoppers across the U.S. visit a Walmart location in a given month, including 52.8 percent in April, in part because it is the largest retail chain, with 4,574 locations.
McDonald’s also wins for sheer size, with 14,259 restaurants across the country. In April, 49.8 percent of Americans visited a McDonald’s, and although foot traffic has declined at the quick-service chain in recent years, it has kept its top position in the ranking, according to the report.
McDonald’s also spends more on advertising than any retail outlet on the list, the report noted. The quick-service chain’s advertising budget was $935.1 million in 2014, a 4.2-percent decrease from the prior year.
Following close behind in the No. 3 slot was sandwich chain Subway, which has 26,960 U.S. locations. Last month, 34 percent of Americans visited a Subway.
The report said Subway’s sales have floundered in recent years as competitors have stolen market share. In 2014 the chain increased its advertising budget by 3.7 percent, to $532.6 million, which was the 20th largest U.S. ad expenditure of any company.
Starbucks was the fourth most popular store, winning 31.2 percent of consumers in April. It had 7,559 domestic locations at the end of 2015. The report credited the coffeehouse chain’s high frequency food-and-beverage offerings, and also its popularity as a community gathering place.
Taco Bell, meanwhile, ranked No. 8 on the list, with 19.3 percent of consumer visits in April across its 6,121 U.S. units.
Taco Bell’s relative popularity may not be surprising given its ad budget. Parent company Yum! Brands Inc. spent $356.6 million on Taco Bell in 2014, more than $100 million more than it spent on sister brands Pizza Hut and KFC the same year, the report said.
Following Taco Bell was Burger King, at No. 9.
Burger King won 19.2 percent of consumer visits in April. The chain spent $237 million on marketing in 2014, putting it among the 75 biggest ad spenders overall, the report said.
Wendy’s was the 13th most popular store in the report, with 16.9 percent of consumer visits in April. The chain has 6,112 U.S. locations. Wendy’s spent $284.1 million on marketing in 2014, and was among the top 50 ad spenders that year.
Wrapping up the list at No. 15 was 7-Eleven, which recorded 15.1 percent of consumer visits in April. The convenience store chain, with 7,800 U.S. locations, claims to dominate the c-store market with half of market share, according to the report.
The survey tracked American shoppers ages 13 and older who visited retail sites in April from Placed Insights. The report also reviewed U.S. sales and store count data from company financial documents and advertising expenditures from Advertising Age comparing 2013 with 2014.