Let’s play a word association game, shall we?
Did you just think of McDonald’s? If so, you’re probably not alone. Who hasn’t seen the familiar Golden Arches? Their marketing influence is one of the best. Odds are that you could close your eyes and still see one or two commercials in your mind’s eye. You’ve chomped on a Big Mac and fries. You’ve bought a Happy Meal or two for your kids. That makes you a typical American (unless, of course, you’re a vegetarian and we fast-food consumers don’t truck with your lot).
Now that you’re awash in nostalgia, here’s the proverbial splash of cold water in your face. McDonald’s isn’t as beloved as you think it is. What is this, you exclaim? What sort of foul treachery is this? Who has dared to supplant the Golden Arches in our collective bosom? Burger King or Wendy’s or In-N-Out or Carl Jr.’s, you ask?
Not at all.
Turns out it’s Subway. That’s right. Yes, that franchise chain that tarts up their subs with nary a hamburger or a fry, traditional foods so beloved by fast food restaurants. Don’t believe us? Take a look at the map and see if you can count the red dots. You can’t.
In fact, there are more Subways than you can shake your stick at. (This doesn’t apply if you’re in Nevada, say, but you can’t blame that state since everyone knows Nevadans gamble away their Subway subs.) The East and the Mid-West have bred their Subways like incestuous hillbillies in such numbers that the red dots overlap each other in a furious storm.
For whatever reason, this hasn’t been repeated in the West, except for certain clusters like the ones in Washington, Oregon, California, Arizona, and Colorado. And… amazingly enough in Utah. (Insert the obligatory borderline offensive Mormon jokes here.)
On this side note, we’d like to applaud Nevada for its ingenuity. The state keeps the gamblers firmly entrenched in the casinos. They’ve smartly ensured that the farthest point a person can be from the nearest Subway in the continental US is between the towns of Austin and Eureka. 138 miles to be exact.
We have a number of plausible geographical reasons why Subway hasn’t invaded the West, but personally we’re going with our theory of McDonald’s playing the role of the aging gunslinger and Subway as the young, cocky gunslinger. Guns will ablaze and in the end goes the collective of the American fatties as spoils to the victor.