Over 40% Of People Agree That This Fast Food Restaurant Has The Best Soda

For some, soda is simply soda. At Mashed, however, we know better. So we asked you which fast food restaurant has the best soda and received 656 responses. First, we must put aside the aforementioned "some," who, in this case, actually make up the smallest group of the poll. Sixty-two respondents, which make up 9.45 percent of the votes, opted for "Other." This section includes a few novel selections, such as Culver's or Sonic, but is mostly represented in a split between "They are all the same" and "Never drink soda."

As for the ones who chose the options given, 66 went to Wendy's, 72 to Burger King, and 85 to Chick-fil-A. These represent 10.06 percent, 10.98 percent, and 12.96 percent of the vote respectively. Easily clearing these, Taco Bell climbs into second place with a 15.55 percent derived from 102 votes. Still, as the article's title spoils, second place fails to reach halfway to first place. The winner of the survey was McDonald's. With 269 votes, or 41.01 percent, McDonald's fails to claim a majority but holds an unassailable plurality.

So good soda

McDonald's easy victory may confuse some who voted for "Other." After all, soda is soda. Except, as Business Insider reported in 2018, not all sodas are created equal. In their reporting, the main difference is between soda machines at fast food restaurants and the cans you can buy in a store. This is due to how the soda machines mix the syrup in the restaurant, as opposed to decanting pre-mixed drinks into cans. Furthermore, each store can alter the proportion of syrup that gets mixed at its discretion. Besides this, the piece also suggests the use of ice and straws as further factors that alter the taste.

None of this explains the huge preference for McDonald's. The answer might be found in an interview given by Chris Kemczinski, CEO of McDonald's, to Time Magazine. McDonald's has a special relationship with Coke. This relationship, which began with Ray Kroc setting up an exclusive deal with Coke, involves Coke delivering its syrup in tanks, as opposed to plastic bags, according to The New York Times. This keeps McDonald's bulk orders fresher than the competition. 

The importance of McDonald's to Coke is evident in the fact that they have a specific McDonald's division. "When you'd ask Coca-Cola in what countries it had the biggest sales, it would say something like the United States, Japan, Germany and McDonald's — and in that order," Dick Starmann, a confidant of Mr. Kroc's, recalled. As our poll might indicate, the relationship is still paying off.