Ever had a Wimpy Burger? If you have never feasted your eyes on a Wimpy restaurant, you’re not alone. It’s one of many fast-food chains that have not made it to the U.S., and it's likely to be a fast-food restaurant you’ve never heard of. The Daily Meal has compiled a list of fast-food restaurants that are worth seeking out if you’re headed abroad.
Fast food is no small industry here in the U.S. — Americans spend nearly $100 billion on fast food every year. There are close to 50,000 fast-food chain locations in the country, according to the Palo Alto Medical Foundation, and of those, McDonald’s is the largest fast-food chain.
By now, you are likely familiar with Birthplaces of Fast Food in America, here is a recap: the contemporary fast-food industry was born on Sept. 13, 1921 in Wichita, Kan., when Walter A. Anderson teamed up with Edgar Waldo "Billy" Ingram to open the first White Castle. In the next 15 years, White Castle would open seven more locations, expanding to other mid-Western markets.
Almost two decades after the first White Castle opened, the fast-food movement experienced a surge of momentum when the McDonald brothers, Richard and Maurice, opened their first hamburger restaurant, McDonald’s in San Bernardino, Calif., in 1940.
From then on, the industry proliferated. Colonel Sanders, who had opened his first restaurant in 1930 in North Corbin, Ky., opened the first Kentucky Fried Chicken franchise in Salt Lake City, Utah, in 1952. Burger King’s predecessor, Insta-Burger King, was founded in Jacksonville, Fla., in 1953, while the first location of the current company opened in Miami in 1954. Dave Thomas opened the first Wendy’s in Columbus, Ohio, in 1969.
Many American fast-food institutions, such as McDonald’s, Kentucky Fried Chicken, and Burger King, have gained major traction overseas, but their counterparts abroad don’t always make it to the U.S. While some overseas restaurants emulate major American institutions, others have created their own regional versions of fast food.
From Nigeria, where Mr. Bigg’s has more than 170 locations serving traditional cuisine such as moin moin and ofada rice, to Barbados, where Chefette, famous for its roti, is celebrating its 40th anniversary, diners are likely to find a localized fast-food chain almost anywhere in the world.
After searching all over the world, The Daily Meal found 10 fast-food restaurants you haven't heard of, but should definitely know about.