Famous fast food logos: Fast food restaurant logos and brands
How many famous fast food logos can you envision right now? Chances are there’s quite a few restaurant symbols popping to mind. From the golden arches of McDonalds to the slick wordmark of Subway, there’s no shortage of fast food logos.
Currently, the fast food market continues to grow at speed, estimated to reach a value of around $931.7 billion by 2027. While there are plenty of local and lesser-known fast food eateries out there, most of us more easily recognize the larger chains, thanks to their iconic emblems.
Famous fast food brands are excellent at appealing to our inner consumer. They know how to cultivate familiarity with mascots and use color to inspire hunger. Today, we’re going to be looking at some of the most famous fast food logos out there.
A well-known choice among famous fast food logos, Applebee’s is an American company with an extensive restaurant chain. The concept of Applebee’s focuses heavily on casual dining, with mainstream dishes like pasta, burgers, and chicken.
The Applebee’s emblem is simple and eye-catching, featuring the image of a shining red apple, above a serif-style wordmark. The logo also features the tagline “Grill & Bar” underneath.
A popular US sandwich chain known for its premium slow-roasted turkey, beef, and steak, Arby’s logo is enough to get anyone’s mouth-watering. The Arby’s symbol is simple but effective, featuring a serif wordmark to highlight authority, and a simple cowboy hat outline.
The use of the cowboy hat gives us an idea of the kind of food we can expect from the brand. Indeed, the “cowboy hat” of Arby’s has remained a consistent part of the company’s visual identity for many years.
When it comes to fast food logos and names in America, it’s hard to overlook the long-standing impact of A&W Restaurants. The origins of the company date back to 1919, when Roy Allen created a roadside stall to sell a thick and creamy drink – root beer.
The restaurants today sell “All American Food” as shown in the logo and specialize in root beer floats. The logomark, designed in shades of brown, draws the mind back to the iconic drink which helped the company rise to fame.
Baskin-Robbins, first launching in 1945, is an American fast-food brand specializing in ice cream and cake. According to the company, Baskin-Robbins is actually the world’s largest chain of ice cream specialty stores. The logo looks like a simple, and friendly wordmark, placed inside of a dual circular border. The colors of pink and blue are fun and childlike, much like the company’s menu.
Notably, unlike many fast food symbols, the Baskin-Robbins’ logo features a hidden element. The pink parts of the letters “B” and “R” form the number “31” – the number of ice cream flavors offered by the brand originally.
More than just a burger joint, Burger King has quickly become one of the best-known fast food chains in the world. First launching in 1954, Burger King specializes in selling fast-food burgers, competing mainly with companies like McDonalds.
The current Burger King logo features a stylized wordmark written in red, with two orange shapes intended to look like buns. The latest version of the logo is a simplified iteration of the logo which ran from 1999 to 2020.
One of the most popular fast food logos in America, thanks to the overwhelming presence of the brand itself, Chick-Fil-A’s emblem is simple but effective. The current logo is a cursive white wordmark written on a red background.
The swooping lines of the typography convey both playfulness and elegance the same time. The stylized “C” creates the shape of a chicken, highlighting the primary menu item of the company.
Otherwise known as “Chipotle Mexican Grill”, Chipotle is one of the most popular fast food brands in America, best-known for its Mexican style foods. The company has restaurants across the United States, UK, Canada, France, and Germany.
Chipotle’s logo features the inspiration for its name – a chipotle pepper, with a swirl in the center. The colors of deep maroon and red help to highlight the menu of the brand, which focuses heavily on burritos and tacos made to order.
Compared to other fast food symbols, Cinnabon’s wordmark may seem a lot more elegant and traditional. The design is simple but effective, conveying an essence of authority, with the scroll-style bordering for the wordmark.
The swirling “C” at the beginning of the name doesn’t just give an air of creativity to the image, it also refers to the swirl in Cinnabon’s products.
A popular American ice cream parlor chain, Cold Stone Creamery specializes in a unique style of ice cream, made on location and customized for patrons. Over the years since it launched in 1988, the company has begun offering a wider range of foods, including sandwiches, pies, and ice cream cakes.
The Cold Stone Creamery logo looks extremely traditional, with serif writing and a detailed image of an ice cream cone. This gives the company an essence of extra heritage, despite it being one of the newer fast food brands on this list.
One of the more traditional fast food logos, Cracker Barrel’s emblem is quite a bit more complex than most of the images on this list. The logo for the brand (first established in 1969) features a man leaning against a barrel.
There’s also the wordmark for “Cracker Barrel” to consider too, written on a stylized golden yellow oval. The use of traditional colors (shades of brown), as well as highly detailed components helps to draw attention to the company’s classic southern heritage.
DQ, otherwise known as Dairy Queen, first launched in 1940 to become one of America’s most popular fast-food restaurants. The company sells softy-serve ice cream to countless customers across 27 countries.
The logo for Dairy Queen features the letters “DQ” in a serif font, written atop a stylized oval shape. The geometric elements combined with the selection of bright colors makes DQ’s image fun, yet sophisticated at the same time.
Denny’s current logo has been in use since 2002. Otherwise known as Denny’s Diner, Denny’s is a diner-style restaurant change operating across 1700 locations.
Denny’s has one of the most recognizable fast food logos and names. It’s bright, colorful and easy to remember. The current Denny’s logo features a sans-serif wordmark in red written on a golden yellow background.
Dunkin’, otherwise known as “Dunkin’, Donuts”, is a coffee and doughnut fast-food brand in America. The company has also recently started making its way around multiple other countries. Currently, there are 12,900 shops in 42 countries.
Since 1950, Dunkin’ has experimented with its logo to help attract a wider range of customers. The current design is a bright orange wordmark, with a pink apostrophe at the end.
Known worldwide as one of the biggest pizza companies around, Domino’s started life in 1960, when James and Tom Monaghan took over a small, local pizza chain in Michigan. Since then, the company has grown incredibly, to the point where the name of the brand no longer needs to appear in the logo.
Today, the simple brandmark of the organization features two squares in red and blue, with white circles emblazoned on them. The shape looks like a domino.
Originally launching in 1986, Five Guys LLC, or Five Guys Burgers and Fries, has quickly risen to fame in the fast-food landscape. Focusing on simple foods like French fries, customizable hotdogs and hamburgers, Five Guys is quickly expanding around the world.
The simple but effective logo for Five Guys features a sans-serif word mark in thick, blocky letters. In some instances, the words “Burgers and Fries” is written in a more informal style underneath the main wordmark.
IHOP, or the International House of Pancakes, has one of the best-known fast food names and logos in the US. Owned by Dine Brands global, the company launched in 1958, and specializes in offering various forms of pancakes and breakfast foods.
The company also offers some alternative foods, like burgers, but it’s best-known for its pancakes. IHOP’s logo is simple and engaging, the thick blue wordmark with the red curved line beneath creates the image of a smiling face.
One of the more popular fast food logos on this list in America, Jack in the Box’s image is simple, but eye-catching. The fast-food restaurant first started in 1951 and offers a wide selection of burgers to consumers across the US today.
Jack in the Box’s logo simply has the word “Jack” written in white on as stylized “box” shape in red. The words “in the box” are displayed in sans-serif font underneath the 3D cube.
There aren’t many fast food lovers in the world not familiar with the image for KFC. Since launching in 1952, KFC has released various versions of its logo, featuring an iconic serif-style font for the “KFC” wordmark, and the memorable Colonel mascot.
The KFC brand’s logo is an excellent insight into how a mascot can make a food brand more engaging and memorable. Currently, KFC competes with the likes of McDonalds and Burger King for fast food world domination.
Krispy Kreme’s logo is one of the few in the fast food market with its own name. Referred to as the “Bowtie”, the Krispy Kreme logo was originally created by a man named Benny Dinkins in 1937, and it hasn’t changed much since then.
The image features a beautiful cursive font for the name “Krispy Kreme”, followed by a simple sans-serif font for the word “Donuts”. The red and green colors complement each other perfectly and give the logo a festive vibe.
Launching in 1959, Little Caesars is a worldwide restaurant chain, specializing in pizza. The company is the third-largest pizza chain in the United States, falling just behind Pizza Hut and Dominos pizza.
The logo for Little Caesars features a mascot-style version of a Roman man, with a pizza skewered on a kind of staff. The wordmark for the company, written in orange, is a serif typeface, intended to demonstrate the class and heritage of the company.
Easily the most iconic of any fast food logo, McDonald’s emblem appears all over the globe. McDonald’s is the world’s largest fast food brand, with countless locations throughout the world.
Though the company has experimented with its brand image over the years, the “golden arches” of the letter “M” at the beginning of McDonalds has always been one of the most significant parts of the aesthetic.
The colors red and yellow used by McDonalds are also proven to help inspire feelings of hunger.
Compared to most fast food brands, Outback steakhouse is often considered quite unique for its choice of menus. The Australian-themed American dining restaurant chain serves a wide selection of casual foods like steaks and pastas.
Though this company actually comes from the US, the logo and the menu pull attention to its Australian theme. There’s a rugged landscape sitting above a highly textured “Outback” wordmark on this emblem. The words “Outback” and “Steakhouse” are also written fully in capitals.
A popular Chinese themed restaurant in the US, Panda Express has over 2,200 locations, making it he largest Asian-segment restaurant chain in the country. Panda Express restaurants originally started life in food courts and shopping malls, but they have expanded to other venues since.
The Panda Express logo features the name of the company in an exotic serif font, with the words “Chinese Kitchen” underneath. There’s also a central image of a Panda for the company’s mascot.
Panera bread is an American chain featuring fast casual foods, usually covering categories like pasta, salads, and bakery items. The Panera bread logo used to feature a person apparently holding a loaf of flat bread.
In recent years, the company has simplified its brand image, and also updated its color scheme. The olive green coloring of the word mark today, mixed with the handwritten style of the font create an idea of artisan, hand-crafted, and exotic foods.
Another excellent example of famous fast food logos comes from Papa John’s Pizza. Papa Johns is currently the fourth largest pizza delivery restaurant chain in the United States, founded by John Schnatter.
The logo for Papa John’s today is a simple wordmark, written in full capital sans-serif letters. The use of the color red helps Papa John’s to align with other major fast food companies – particularly in the pizza landscape.
The Papa John’s wordmark also increases in size slightly towards the middle, creating a kind of curve.
Pizza Hut is one of the biggest pizza-focused fast food brands in the world today. The logo the company currently uses today was originally introduced between 1974 and 1999 and was re-adopted in the United States from 2019 onwards.
Pizza Hut originally launched in 1958 and now has 18,703 restaurants worldwide. It’s a subsidiary of the Yum Brands company, which is one of the world’s largest owners of fast food corporations.
One of a handful of fast food companies focusing heavily on fried chicken as a central menu item, Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen launched in 1972. The company has updated and evolved its brand image over the years, often focusing on the use of a playful serif-style wordmark.
Today, the entire design of the brand logo is in orange, with a vintage-looking stamp placed above the Popeyes wordmark. The stamp includes a picture of a chicken, the words “Louisiana Kitchen” in sans-serif font, and the number 1972, to highlight the history of the brand.
Sonic, sometimes referred to as “Sonic Drive-In”, is a drive-in restaurant chain owned by the same company responsible for Arby’s. Sonic is well-known for its use of carhops on roller-skates, and hosts competitions regularly to decide on the top roller hop team in its system.
The logo of Sonic is simple but effective, with a slick sans-serif wordmark written in red on a white, bow-tie shaped background. The logo also has a bright blue border.
One of the most famous fast food logos in the coffee world, Starbucks has an unforgettable image, featuring a mermaid on a simple green background. The style of this brand emblem has evolved a number of times over the years as the company has changed its menu and offerings.
Today, the logo in use was designed in 2011, and features a woman in white on a deep green background. Starbucks’ logo often appears on its cups as well as various accessories available to buy from the brand.
Easily one of the most popular sandwich shops in the world, Subway started life in 1965 in America, and has since evolved into a global chain. The company focuses specifically on wraps, salads and submarine sandwiches.
The word “Subway” refers to the idea of being able to have a “Sub” made “your way”, which is one of the unique selling points of the company. The colors of yellow and green convey feelings of happiness, while drawing attention to the natural ingredients in the Subway salad bar.
Best known for its wide selection of unique cheesecakes and savory dishes, the Cheesecake Factory is all about sophistication and quality food.
The heavy-rounded typography with all its compelling flourishes within the Cheesecake Factory’s logo matches the personality of the brand perfectly. The fact there are only two colors in the logo also make it easily adaptable to suit a range of media types.
The Cheesecake Factor has used the same logo since 1978.
Similar to KFC, Wendy’s iconic image in the world of famous brand logos comes in part from the use of a memorable red-haired mascot. In the digital age, this mascot has also taken on a new identity through social media.
The latest version of the Wendy’s logo features a handwritten-style wordmark in the classic fast food color of red. There’s also a simple drawing of the Wendy’s character, with ruffles around her neck which appear to spell the word “Mom”.
Popular fast food logos
There are dozens of amazing fast food logos out there, each with their own unique appeal. Hopefully, this guide to the top fast food restaurant logos has given you an insight into how today’s food retailers make their brand images stand out.
Don’t forget to check out our other Logofile posts for more information on some of the better-known emblems in the world.