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The Most Popular Places for Late-Night College Eats

Written by Sarah Spagnolo on Sep 16, 2016 - Read time: 2 min - Read Later

We recently used Foursquare's foot traffic data to determine the most popular places for late-night college eats (spoiler: the top universities and party schools love tiki bars and taverns; see this interactive map for more). But it left us wondering, if we expand the analysis to include the general population, which fast food chains lure the largest percentage of their diners late at night?

Thanks to Foursquare's technology, we have a unique map of the world and a deep understanding of consumer foot-traffic trends. We analyzed check-in and visit data from Foursquare's city guide and Swarm check-in apps to determine how much foot traffic leading QSR chains see between 10 p.m. and 4 a.m. and highlighted the percentage of each chain's total visits that occur during these late-night hours.

What we found: White Castle reigns supreme as a top late-night pick (meaning it gets the highest percentage of its total visits during late-night hours (21.5%) compared to other same-chain analysis), followed by Jack in the Box and Taco Bell. McDonald's may be winning the breakfast wars, but it's in the middle of the pack past 10 p.m. Getting the fewest of its visits post-dinner? Qdoba. Seems the Mexican chain's Knockout Tacos are best during the day, and nothing beats a teeny, tiny burger in the wee hours of the morning.

the most popular QSR chains for late-night dining

Want to know more? Find all the details on Foursquare data analytics products at

Methodology: Foursquare analyzed foot traffic data from Foursquare's city guide app and Swarm check-in app to measure visits and check-ins to the top 20 restaurants listed by QSR Magazine in the QSR 50 (excluding any chains that do not have more than 10% of their locations open past 10pm). Analysis looked at data from January 2016 through June 2016. Final calculations reflect the percentage of each chain's total visits that occur during late-night hours of 10p.m. through 4a.m.


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The Most Popular Places for Late-Night College Eats

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