This is an interesting survey; a website called Broke Scholar set out to find what the most popular fast food restaurants were near America’s public colleges and universities.

They analyzed Yelp data for the fast food chains within a 2-mile (walkable) distance from the nation's top 4-year public universities (144 total included in the study). They then ranked each of the 144 universities' number one most popular national, and when available the top regional, and local chains too.

Broke Scholar
Broke Scholar

Here’s what they found for New Jersey:

  • Montclair State University: Popeyes (N)
  • New Jersey Institute of Technology: Blaze Pizza (N), Ambassador Fish & Chicken (L)
  • Rowan University: Jimmy John's (N), Crown Fried Chicken (L)
  • Rutgers University-Camden: Popeyes (N), Red Poke Express (L)
  • Rutgers University-New Brunswick: Jersey Mike's Subs (N), Wings Over (R), Bubbakoo's Burritos (L)
  • Rutgers University-Newark: Blaze Pizza (N), White Castle (restaurant) (R), Ambassador Fish & Chicken (L)
  • Stockton University: Burger King (N), Atlantic City Service Area (L)
fresh tasty burger and french fries on wooden table

Compare that to the national findings:

  • #1 Blaze Pizza: Deemed the most popular fast food chain by 20 college campuses. Finishing out the top 3 most popular chains are #2 Five Guys and #3 Jersey Mikes.
  • Sandwiches are the food type dominating across the top fast food chains. 46 of the most popular chains serve up sandwiches.
  • Lovin' Local: Sorry McDonald's, but local quick eats earn the most stars and devoted fast feasters. Not a single national or regional "most popular" earned 5 stars, but 3 local chains did.
  • What about the old standbys? Of the "classic" fast food eateries of America these are the most popular among the campuses analyzed: Taco Bell ranks #7, McDonald's #5, and Chick-fil-a #4.

I guess TCNJ and Kean didn’t meet the enrollment requirements, since they are not on the list.

Opinions expressed in the post above are those of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Bill Doyle only.

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