Burgers have been a top item ordered at U.S. restaurants for decades but chicken sandwiches have come on strong over the last several years, according to a press release from The NPD Group.  There are more chicken sandwich restaurant concepts and chicken sandwiches are appearing on more menus, but burgers remain the top sandwich ordered overall.

By the numbers, the average number of times a customer purchased a burger at a restaurant over the 12-month period ending February 2019 was 14.7 times and the customer purchase frequency of chicken sandwiches was 8.7, according to NPD’s receipt harvesting service, Checkout, which tracks the same buyer’s purchasing behaviors over time.

Although chicken sandwiches are #2 in the sandwich pecking order, they are gaining ground. Chicken sandwich servings ordered in the year ending February 2019 were up 4 percent from same period year ago at 4 billion servings. Burger orders, on the other hand, were flat from year ago at 8.6 billion ordered.

“Both burgers and chicken sandwiches are winners for foodservice and restaurant operators,” said David Portalatin, NPD food industry advisor and author of Eating Patterns in America. “Both are popular with consumers and both can be dressed up with different flavors and fixings to meet a variety of different tastes.”