Taco Bell just dethroned Burger King as the fourth-largest fast food chain in the United States, according to a report from research firm Techmonic on Wednesday.
The Mexican-themed restaurant joins McDonalds (No. 1), Starbucks (No. 2) and Subway (No. 3) as the top four most-profitable chain fast food establishments.
Techmonic reported via Bloomberg that Taco Bell's system-wide sales jumped five percent in the United States in 2017 to $9.8 billion. The site speculates that the restaurant's emphasis on indulgent foods (chicken-fried taco shells, nacho fries) and the dollar menu appealed to younger customers looking for cheaper options.
Burger Kings' sales rose a mere 1.5 percent domestically at $9.3 billion, causing it to drop to fifth place.
"They certainly continue to do pretty well, and bring out some interesting and new menu items," Techmonic senior principal David Henkes said. "They've done a good job of connecting with the millennials and Gen Z."
McDonald's was far and away the most-profitable restaurant in 2017 with $37.5 billion in profits. Starbucks came in second at $18.4 billion and Subway took the bronze medal with 10 with $10.8 billion.
The top 5 chains, in terms of U.S. sales in 2017:
1. McDonald's ($37.5 billion)— TicToc by Bloomberg (@tictoc) February 21, 2018
2. Starbucks ($18.4 billion)
3. Subway ($10.8 billion)
4. Taco Bell ($9.8 billion)
5. Burger King ($9.3 billion) pic.twitter.com/3ANvuDvfY2
Social media reacted to the news with more than a few jokes.
"I'm proud of my team," Twitter user Jordan Payton wrote in a retweet of the story.
I'm proud of my team. https://t.co/evu70xJYL8— Jordan Payton (@LEGIQN) February 21, 2018
"I know I helped," Mir Yeti tweeted.
I know I helped https://t.co/xNY2YNbSY4— Mir 👁 Yeti (@iKalonity) February 21, 2018
"The Demolition Man prophecy is one step closer to coming true," Matt Jarbo tweeted, referencing how in the Sylvester Stallone action film Demolition Man, all other restaurants were wiped out by Taco Bell after the "Fast Food Wars."
The DEMOLITION MAN prophecy is one step closer to coming true https://t.co/cJGfk9UTtU— Matt Jarbo (@mundanematt) February 21, 2018
"Burger King is losing out to Taco Bell because they need 24 hour locations (to be honest," Chris Estevez pointed out.
Burger King is losing out to Taco Bell because they need 24 hour locations tbh🤷🏽♂️— Chris Estevez (@chris__estevez) February 21, 2018