We've got the Hudson Valley's top 5 favorite fast-food restaurants.

Oh the fast food restaurant, the Hudson Valley has a lot of them. We have always appreciated the convenience of fast food. Fast food was created as a commercial strategy to accommodate large numbers of busy commuters, travelers, and wage workers with a strong priority placed on speed of service. In 2018, the fast food industry was worth an estimated $570 billion globally.

Arguably, the first fast food restaurants originated in the U.S. with White Castle in 1921. Today, American-founded fast food chains such as McDonald's and KFC are multinational corporations with outlets across the globe.

National Fast Food Day

According to National Day Calendar, food lovers get a dose of their favorite convenience food each year in November. First popularized in the United States in the 1950s, the day calls us to grilled, fried and broiled menu staples. Merriam-Webster dictionary first recognized the term "fast food" in 1951.

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We asked the Hudson Valley what their favorite fast food restaurant was and have compiled a top 5 list.

Hudson Valley's Top 5 Favorite Fast Food Restaurants

5. Popeyes

Popularity Of Fast Food Chicken Helps Drive Nationwide Chicken Shortages And Price Increases
Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images

Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen Inc. takes the number 5 spot on our list. Popeyes is an American multinational chain of fried chicken fast-food restaurants formed in 1972 in New Orleans, Louisiana with headquartered in Miami. As of 2021, Popeyes has 3,705 restaurants, which are located in more than 46 states and 30 countries worldwide. About 50 locations are company-owned with the vast remainder franchised.

4. Arby's

Arby's Facebook
Arby's Facebook

Arby's takes the number 4 spot on our list. The American fast food sandwich restaurant chain with more than 3,300 restaurants company-wide and third in terms of revenue. In Oct. 2017, Food & Wine magazine called Arby's "America's second largest sandwich chain (after Subway)." Sadly, there is only one Arby's located in the Hudson Valley area these days, located in Newburgh.

3. Five Guys

Five Guys Facebook
Five Guys Facebook

Five Guys Burges and Fries takes the number 3 spot on our list. The American fast food restaurant chain focused on hamburgers, hot dogs and French fries, and is headquartered in Lorton, Virginia. The first Five Guys opened in 1986 in Arlington County, Virginia. The company was the fastest-growing fast food chain in the United States, with a 32.8% sales increase from 2010-2011. As of 2016, Five Guys had over 1,700 locations worldwide, with 1,300 locations under development.

2. Burger King

Google Maps
Google Maps

Burger King takes the number 2 spot on our list. The American-based multinational chain of hamburger fast food restaurants was originally founded in 1953 as Insta-Burger King in Jacksonville, Florida. As of 2018, Burger King reported that it had 17,796 outlets in 100 countries, with nearly half located in the United States with 99.7% privately owned and operated.

1. Wendy's

Chef Spike Mendelsohn Shows His Respect For Bacon As He Enhances The Wendy's Baconator By Creating A Chili Cheddar Cheese Baconator
Photo by Lester Cohen/Getty Images

Wendy's takes the top spot at number 1 by an overwhelming majority. The American international fast-food restaurant chain was founded by Dave Thomas in 1969 in Columbus, Ohio. As of 2018, Wendy's was the third-largest hamburger fast food chain with 6,711 locations, following Burger King and McDonald's. The Hudson Valley loves its Wendy's!

Interesting to note, and very surprising not to see McDonald's make this top 5 list. I was sure it would be included, but the response to this poll didn't yield many votes for the popular chain.

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