Absurdly Driven looks at the world of business with a skeptical eye and a firmly rooted tongue in cheek.


Everyone has their own favorite burger.

Just as everyone has their favorite burger chain.

For the chains, an element of loyalty is what keeps their businesses going and thriving.

An element of love helps, too.

It's enlightening, then, that American burger opinion appears to have been swayed by a relative newcomer -- at least to national burger-eaters.

For the last two years, West Coast cult wonder In-N-Out has been voted the best in The Harris Poll's EquiTrend Study, according to Business Insider.

Suddenly, it's been relegated to a damp-lettuced second place. No, it wasn't beaten by McDonald's.

Ronald's chain managed to cling only to seventh place.

Instead, Five Guys is now America's favorite. Should you have never enjoyed one of its concoctions, there's actually nothing special about it.

It doesn't do particularly fancy. The kitchen is open for you to see and it isn't exactly new. In fact, it's been around since 1986, when it opened its first restaurant in Virginia.

But it's been rapidly expanding over the last few years. So in a survey that looks at overall quality, brand familiarity and likelihood of buying its burgers, Five Guys won.

To which these words come to mind: Are you sure?

I've tried both. I'd give Five Guys a five and In-N-Out an 8. Personally -- and we all have different mouths and gullets -- it's not even close.

In-N-Out is simply garlanded in a certain individual character and glory that no other chain can quite match. Why I eat one every year on Valentine's Day. (No, I'm not kidding. It goes very well with champagne.)

In-N-Out has always expanded very slowly. It's obsessed with ensuring that its ingredients are fresh.

And if you don't want to take my word for its superiority -- and you shouldn't -- listen to Anthony Bourdain.

"It's the only fast-food chain that I actually like," he said. Please remember, he's an East Coast person. He's not a Hollywood luvvie, desperate to appeal to West Coast tastes.

He explains that whenever he's carrying an In-N-Out bag, he is assailed with "nothing but love and admiration."

He says that if he puts a simple picture of an In-N-Out burger up on Instagram, he'll get 10 times the number of likes than he would for any other burger shot.

Please, I have no hot dog in this fight. I'm delighted for Five Guys, as it's a family-run company and has risen from very little.

I'm just naturally skeptical of surveys. You can never be entirely sure about their ingredients.