America has crowned a new burger king (and, no, it's not Burger King).
Five Guys Burgers and Fries was, for the first time, named America's best burger brand in the Harris Poll's 2017 EquiTrend Study. The burger chain beat In-N-Out Burger, which slipped down to second place after holding the top spot for two consecutive years.
The Harris Poll's annual study spans a multitude of categories, asking consumers to rank a variety of brands on familiarity, quality, and likelihood of purchase. The other chains rounding out this year's top five in the burger category are Shake Shack, Wendy's, and Culver's, while McDonald's, Whataburger, and Smashburger also cracked the top 10.
Stern Show staffer and "Fast Food Maniac" author Jon Hein disagreed with the EquiTrend Study's overall burger findings. He believes Five Guys and In-N-Out both make "excellent burgers" but said they don't deserve the top spot.
"If you're talking about 'branding,' Five Guys shouldn't win," the fast-food expert told HowardStern.com. "They don't have the national reach that other brands on the list have. Taste has nothing to do with it—it's all about awareness which would put McDonald's or Wendy's on top. I'm not saying those are the best burgers, but they do have the best brand awareness."
In terms of taste, however, Hein admitted that all of the top contenders present tasty offerings. "You cannot go wrong with any of the top five," he said, adding "Whataburger is also worth the trip."