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What are the most successful food chains in Europe

Updated on October 22, 2015

From Finland into France, European food chains titillate palates everywhere!

American food brands are dominant across the world, but the fact of the matter is that there are scores of popular European food chains that have won the hearts and minds of people across the European Union. In fact, some would go so far as to say that European food chains offer far superior meals than their American counterparts. And there is a lot of truth in that. Europeans tend to eat more balanced meals with more fruits, vegetables, wine and other delectable accoutrements. That's not to say that fried food doesn't have a place in European society – quite the opposite. However, this expose will not be making any reference to McDonald's, Burger King, Wendy's, Arby’s, Kentucky Fried Chicken, Olive Garden or Panera. The focus of this guide to the top food chains in Europe will introduce readers to some of the most popular European eateries.

Without further ado, let's skip right through the intro and head into the top food chains!

Kochloffel from Germany

For those of you who don't know, the word Kochloffel is a cooking school in German. But for the purposes of our discussion, it is a fast food restaurant chain in Germany, and other European countries. It was founded back in 1961 by Martha and Clemens VD Berg. It now operates in 3 countries including Turkey, Germany and Poland. According to 2012 figures, this fast food chain generated €43 million from its overall operations. To date, this food chain has served over 12 million customers in over 90 restaurants. The company is still run by its founding family, and some of the most interesting stats from the company in 2012 include the following:

  • 1.4 million sausages were sold
  • 6.7 million hamburgers were sold
  • 0.4 million salads servings were sold
  • 1000 tonnes of French fries were sold

Flunch from France

France is a virtual hive of culinary delights, so for any single food chain to rise above the rest requires something uniquely special. One such food chain that has developed a passionate following among foodies is Flunch. Today, over 200 restaurants operate across the country, and it is comparable to the US food chain Sizzler. Most of the fast food outlets of this brand are found in shopping malls or service stations across the country. Unlike many other fast food experiences, Flunch allows customers to watch their food being cooked in front of them. The company began in 1971 in a city known as Lille. It is owned by the Agapes Restaurant Group and the name is a Portmanteau of quicklunch.

FEBO from the Netherlands

Proudly Dutch, FEBO offers customers an exciting and mouthwatering culinary experience. It's all about burgers, beverages and French fries. Their award-winning recipe for success has won the admiration of Dutchmen across the country. In fact in the capital city alone there are some 20 outlets, and this fast food chain runs off a franchise-based model. Among others, customers can enjoy many popular food items including hotdogs, croquettes, cheese wraps and the like. This is definitely a good food choice when visiting Amsterdam. It sports a fascinating history that dates back over 75 years to 1941. The food is served in an automatic format, and counter service is available for side orders like French fries. In total there are over 60 shops across the Netherlands, with 22 in Amsterdam alone. Menu items include chicken wings, corn dogs, burgers, milkshakes, wraps, ice cream and nuggets among others.

Spudulike from the United Kingdom

If you like potatoes – who doesn't - you are going to love this UK food chain. As far as culinary preferences for potatoes go, this brand is bang on the money. They have been serving up baked potatoes since 1974. Five years later the company was bought out by the British School of Motoring. The brand offers fantastic fillings for your spuds and it is a household name across Scotland, and the rest of the United Kingdom. Spudulike typically operates in shopping malls. The brand offers 100% natural foods with no frying and no chemicals. The ingredients are mouthwatering as one might expect. Spudulike uses the motto Beautiful by Nature, and there are no saturated oils used in any of the food. This is one of the quality fast food alternatives to junk food brands.

Goody’s from Greece

Mediterranean food is one of the preferred ways of eating in Europe. Goody's from Greece is one such fast food chain that impresses with massive numbers of patrons every day. In fact, this highly popular Greek fast food franchise claims to have 100,000 visitors every day. It was founded back in 1975 and it has since become the go-to destination for quality hamburgers. Patrons can also order their own customized burgers for a nominal fee. Goody's operates in Belarus, Bulgaria, Albania, Macedonia, Portugal, Cyprus and Greece. For a rich experience, Goody's offers everything and the kitchen sink. Yes it is fast food but it tastes so good!

Yo! Sushi from the UK

You would be forgiven for thinking that Yo! Sushi is Japanese in origin. In fact, this incredibly popular fast food brand was founded by Simon Woodroffe of the UK. Sushi has literally taken over as the food of choice for many countries around the world. While it will likely play second fiddle to curry in the UK, Yo! Sushi is incredibly popular. This brand has now expanded across the European Union and can be found as far afield as the Middle East. Thanks to the popularity of this brand, supermarkets around the world are now stocked up on sushi. The company has an estimated 70 restaurants globally with 5m patrons per annum. Among others, customers can enjoy other dishes such as tempura, chicken Katsu Curry, and much more. The total variety of dishes on the menu exceeds 80.

Leon from the United Kingdom

This UK fast food chain is impressive beyond compare. First of all you will be enjoying a gourmet meal in a takeaway box. In London alone, there are some 20 restaurants available. The company was founded by Henry Dimbleby and John Vincent. Patrons will be able to enjoy all three meals including breakfast, lunch and dinner as well as brunch and slunch too. Typical menu items include poached egg is, saucy beans, pork chili, lentil salad, meatballs, mackerel, veggies and a full children's menu too. Other popular brands in the UK include West Cornwall Pasty Company, Poppys, Chicken Shop and Pret a Manager.

Try them All and Experience a Culinary Sensation!

Each European country certainly has its own cultural identity and food preferences. For this reason, it is impossible to pick one food chain over another in Europe. However the aforementioned selections will serve you well in your visits to European countries. There is a literal smorgasbord of top-tier restaurants across the UK and continental Europe. If you're looking to excite your taste buds, any of the above food chains will do that for you!

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