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[Image: Weather Sealed]

Stephen Von Worley of Weather Sealed made two color-coded maps that show the locations of the eight largest burger chains in the U.S. and the areas they dominate. Using Star Wars as a metaphor, he dubs McDonald's the McEmpire and all the other chains the rebels who must battle against the McForce. His findings:

By far, the largest pocket of resistance is Sonic Drive-In's south-central stronghold: more than 900 restaurants packed into the state of Texas alone. Sheer density is the key to victory!

The rebels already have the numbers - over 24,000 locations in total - but they've divided and conquered themselves by strict adherence to the peacetime principles of brand identity and corporate structure. This is war, and for the sake of self-preservation, all must be sacrificed! Kings and Queens: get used to hanging with the common folk. Tone down the sarcasm, Jack. And everyone, please, stop yanking Wendy's pigtails! Y'all need to work in harmony to succeed with the winning strategy: an Alliance!

Together, the rebels double the output of the McEmpire, and, behind the united force of their burgers, dominate all but a few stubborn pockets of the Northeast and Midwest.

Fast Company explains in non-Star Wars terms:

[W]hat it reveals is that McDonald's isn't quite the behemoth it seems, but they're pursuing a far different strategy than all the rest. Outside of a powerbase in the Northeast, they cover the country in a loose but consistent density. The other chains are playing a different game, trying to become so common in certain regions that they seem unavoidable.

[via Neatorama]

Related: Data Visualization: Distances to Nearest McDonald's

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