Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Fast Food Nation

Stephen Von Worley, burger cartographer extraordinaire, has created a map that presents fast food dominance across US territory in delectably manichean terms:

hamburger map of the us

Not wrongly, Von Worley frames the Empire of the Gilded Parabola as evil and (more wrongly) the other fast food outlets as a scrappy alliance of insurgents. Says he:
In this and the following graphic, each individual restaurant location has equal power. The entity that controls each point casts the most aggregate burger force upon it, as calculated by the inverse-square law – kind of like a chart outlining the gravitational wells of galactic star clusters, but in an alternate, fast food universe.

By far, the largest pocket of resistance is Sonic Drive-In’s south-central stronghold: more than 900 restaurants packed into the state of Texas alone. Sheer density is the key to victory!

The rebels already have the numbers – over 24,000 locations in total – but they’ve divided and conquered themselves by strict adherence to the peacetime principles of brand identity and corporate structure. This is war, and for the sake of self-preservation, all must be sacrificed! Kings and Queens: get used to hanging with the common folk. Tone down the sarcasm, Jack. And everyone, please, stop yanking Wendy’s pigtails! Y’all need to work in harmony to succeed with the winning strategy: an Alliance!
I.e., black space is McDonalds land. The only other contiguous territory of any real scale belongs to Sonic, across much of Texas and subsidiary areas. But Jack in the Box shows some strength in the Southwest, Burger King's got a far-flung string of outposts from the Southeast to the Northwest, and even Hardee's puts up a fight in the Carolinas. Dairy Queen, which I had always thought of as sort of the village pub of small Texas towns, actually looks to be even stronger in precisely the areas of the Upper Midwest which are most prone to actual blizzards.

Go to Von Worley's post to see another map that shows that as a combined force, the upstarts swamp the McHegemon.

Via Andrew Sullivan.

91 comments:

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Every map is incomplete without Arby's.

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Brian - LOVE this particular post - AND your comments.

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Anonymous said...

Where's Whataburger? I mean really, what a burger. Not really "fast food" since they take longer to cook the stuff, I guess.

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Would you please help my pony?

Chachy said...

Thanks RK - but who's Brian?

Yeah, Whataburger should be on there. I'd think it would have strength in some of the old stomping grounds of the Apache and Navajo, etc.

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