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Zagat Names Winners of Fast-Food Survey
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From Elissa Elan of Nation's Restaurant News ( Zagat released the findings Monday for its latest survey on the nation's best fast food, and McDonald's topped the list in several categories.

The winners were based on the responses of 6,107 consumers who participated in the survey, which charted 103 chains nationwide. According to Zagat officials, the typical surveyor eats at chain restaurants 11 times a month.

“These chains offer a lot of value to diners, and in the current economic times that’s more important than ever,” said Tim Zagat, chief executive of Zagat Survey. “Given the large number of such chains, even the most avid fast-food aficionados may need help in figuring out what’s best.”

Among fast-food chains, McDonald’s took first place for best French fries, best breakfast sandwiches, most child-friendly, best drive-thru and best value.

In-N-Out Burger, a West Coast chain, took best burger honors, followed by Wendy’s, Burger King and McDonald’s.

As the coffee wars heat up in fast food, Starbucks is still consumers' favorite, followed by Dunkin' Donuts, Peet's Coffee & Tea, McDonald's and Caribou Coffee, according to the survey.

Other fast-food winners included KFC for best fried chicken, Chick-fil-A for best grilled chicken; Long John Silver’s for best fish; Ben & Jerry’s Scoop Shops for best shakes; and Panera Bread Co. for best salad.

Among the full-service chain winners, Outback Steakhouse took the prize for best steak; Olive Garden for best pasta; IHOP, best breakfast; Red Lobster, best seafood; and Chuck E. Cheese’s for most child-friendly.

For full-service best value honors, Cheesecake Factory, Olive Garden and Cracker Barrel topped the list.

For more survey results, click here. 

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