Graduation Year

Spring 2012

Document Type

Open Access Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts



Reader 1

Mark A. Costanzo

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Rights Information

© 2012 Alex Leon Lichtenberg


The primary goal of this paper is to critically examine five of the top nine US fast food chains to look at their history and to determine what factors have lead to their massive success. The companies that will be analyzed include: McDonald's, Taco Bell, Kentucky Fried Chicken, Domino's Pizza, and Subway. Similarities and differences of these companies are compared and contrasted throughout the paper and clearly demonstrate how each company has managed to capture and maintain major market share in their respective food categories. Areas that are examined range from product quality to to business models to consumer psychology. A review of these companies reveals that there are specific success factors for each, and one overarching factor for all. Specific factors include, but are not limited to marketing technique, organizational structure and overall business concept. The one factor that seems critical to all is entering the market with an innovative and unique concept.