I've heard that McDonalds is not as popular with many these days and while some want to say that it's because of the desire for healthier foods with me it's more about taste and actually more about McDonalds trying to be something it's never going to be, healthy.
I can remember, very fondly I might say, the McDonald French fries of old where there was no competition and hands down the French Fries that you got at McDonalds were the best tasting. It may have been due to the totally unhealthy, fattening peanut oil with vegetable fat added that brought about that but when McDonalds decided to try and have healthier fries they just kind of lost their great appeal to me. Sure they are still good but they don't have that undisputed #1 taste slot anymore. To me Wendy's fries along with Five Guy's and Chick-fil-a have some of the best tasting fries anymore.
I can actually remember the last McDonald's that I ate at where they actually hand cut fresh potatoes to make their fries and cooked them in that original most unhealthy oil. It was actually at the "East Lake" (as in North of Birmingham, Alabama) Alabama McDonalds (the original building that was similar to the Muscle Shoals new building with two entry doors on the front of the restaurant and a small lobby where you ordered and, across the whole restaurant, front counter and yellow arches that protruded through the roof from front to back. That store (restaurant building) along with their method of cooking, is long gone and replaced by the new feed the masses concept.
I wonder how many actually remember going down the street seeing the McDonald's street sign just to see how many (hamburgers that is) were now served? I can remember the 10's of thousands, 100's of thousands and finally the over one million served. Today they stopped counting. It would be amusing because someone somewhere (you just know it) would have replaced that number system by just putting up on the sign "over a S#!+lload" or something similar. Well enough of the fond memories as today there are many other places taking a piece of the pie and actually, I believe, doing it far better.
To me I far prefer the charbroiled taste of Burger King over the flat grill McDonald's burgers and BK's fries have greatly improved as well not to mention the availability of onion rings. Second, with respect to the burger wars places, I have to say that under Burger King I would be hard pressed to choose between Sonic and Wendy's. Five Guy's is also very good but very expensive for their product but the quality, and taste, is right up there. I can't say anything bout What-a-burger as I've never eaten there needless to say McDonalds has moved way down on my list of desired burger restaurant and while I may be in the vast minority of people, with respect to McDonald's customers I have to say I'm not impressed with their new cook fresh Quarter pounder these days.
My choices don't even take into consideration the non-burger places such as KFC, Popeyes, Chick-fil-a and Arby's. I'm looking forward to trying the Roast Beef back at Hardees since I've heard they have reintroduced it but I'm wondering now if it's the same as they once had? Hardees has changed to charbroiled offerings but other than their disappearing ad concept, of using sexy, scantily clad girls to sell, has all but fallen off the burger grid and is in danger of even having to look up at Krystal these days. I even miss the Danvers that used to be all around and the Lum's where they had the burger bars where you arranged your burger from their burger bar. Cheeseburger Bobbys is a new place in Decatur, AL that has a burger bar concept where you get a burger (meat & bread) and you add what you want (dress it up) at their burger bar. Fuddruckers is another place that allows you dress your burgers at a burger bar but they are few and far between. Other concepts like Johnny Rockets and Red Robin are fighting to keep growing but are finding it more difficult to break out of the market with only a few places in larger cities.
For me I miss "The Varsity" an Atlanta burger restaurant that was, and still is, very popular with the Atlanta locals, and visiting Presidents. Then some new entries into the market from places like IHOP have yet to receive the verdict on if they will succeed in the highly competitive burger market. But here we are in little ole Florence, Alabama so we'll have to drive to Madison/Huntsville to try some of the new and other growing places.