Fictional Foodie Franchises Most Likely to Succeed in the Real World

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At Gousto, inspiration for our weekly menu can come from all sorts of places. When we’re thinking of what new dishes would fit well in our food boxes, we don’t just look at food trends and cookbooks, but also consider which dishes our favourite fictional characters are loving at the moment.

A recent lunchtime discussion on which fictional iconic restaurant we’d most like to visit led me to research how likely it would be to see these businesses thrive in the real world.

From Vesuvio’s, in The Sopranos to Los Pollos Hermanos in Breaking Bad, we’ve revealed 20 fictional foodie franchises that would be most likely to make it in the real world.

Our unique scoring system takes each eatery and scores them against three of their closest real-world equivalents. The success criteria includes years open, Tripadvisor reviews and Instagram hashtags to find out who would be the most likely to succeed.

Out of a possible score of 75 points, here’s how the top scoring fictional foodie franchises stacked up:

  1. Breaking Bad: Los Pollos Hermanos 57/75

    Scoring 57 points, Breaking Bad’s, Los Pollos Hermanos took the top spot, which means this fictional chicken shop would be most likely to succeed if it spread its wings into the real world.

    The photogenic fast food joint also topped the list of the most instagrammable fictional foodie franchise. With fried chicken being the 8th most instagrammable world food, we can understand why!
    Los Pollos Hermanos menu

  2. Stranger Things: Scoops Ahoy 44/75

    Coming in at a close second, ice cream parlour ‘Scoops Ahoy’ from Stranger Things was (almost) the cherry on top of the ice cream sundae, scoring 44 points in total. The parlour topped the list of longevity and was amongst the top five franchises employing the most people.

    Selling ice cream at the Starcourt never sounded so good!
    Scoops Ahoy menu

  3. Parks and Recreation: JJ’s Diner 34/75

    JJ’s Diner from Parks and Recreation scored a tasty 34 points, topping the list of franchises employing the most staff (using real-world diners for comparison). If you’re a short order cook, or front-of-house looking for a new challenge, JJ’s is the place to go with your CV. Make sure your work perks include plenty of their world-famous pancakes!
    JJs diner menu

  4. American Psycho: Dorsia 30/75

    This fine dining establishment from American Psycho had exactly the same overall Tripadvisor rating as Central Perk from Friends, proving that silver service isn’t always the secret to success. But still, who could resist the exclusivity of not being able to get a reservation?
    Dorsia menu

  5. That 70’s Show: Fatso Burger 30/75

    Fatso Burger has a 40% chance of success, according to the burger chain’s real-life counterparts.

    Overall, fast food franchises were second most likely to succeed. It seems that grilling juicy burgers and serving crunchy fries is the ‘secret sauce’ when it comes to success in the food industry. It may also help if the local teenagers don’t steal your restaurant’s clown mascot..
    Fatso Burger Menu

  6. Pulp Fiction: Jack Rabbit Slims 31/75

    Quick and easy breakfasts plus comforting classics such as burgers, steaks and chicken pot pie are staple menu items at fictional diners like Jack Rabbit Slims. Our research revealed an appetite for the all-American diner, with these casual eateries featuring the most frequently in the top 10 list. Dance competitions are optional, though.
    Jack Rabbit Slims menu

  7. The Simpsons: Krusty Burger 31/75

    All three of the fictional fast food restaurants included in the study, landed a spot in the top 10.

    It seems that Krusty Burger is doing a great job, opening for a whopping 42 years on average, plus they serve the food that people crave. There’s no wonder the burger franchise scored 31 points. It’s a success story that’s already happened!
    Krusty Burger menu

  8. Gilmore Girls: Luke’s Diner 29/75

    American diners have truly stood the test of time and Luke’s Diner is no exception. According to our research, it’s likely that this diner would have been serving up comfort-filled classics for an incredible 36 years. Enough time to update the specials board, or so you would have thought.


  9. 90210: The Peach Pit  27/75

    The Peach Pit is in joint 9th place, but that doesn’t stop it being a family favourite, serving retro-inspired dishes since the 1950’s; think grilled cheese, onion rings and chopped salads.

    Compared to real diners in Beverly Hills, The Peach Pit wasn’t the top of the list for any categories, which suggests it could face difficulties if it was operating for real. Maybe a couple more appearances from Color Me Badd could build up their profile?
    Peach pit menu

  10. The Sopranos: Vesuvio’s 27/75

    Bottoming out the list is Vesuvio’s, an upscale Itallian restaurant from the hit show The Sopranos. Complete with red and white tablecloths, Vesuvio’s is a classic example of a single restaurant competing with the franchise chains.

    The owner, Artie Bucco does his best to please the mob as well as the whole of New Jersey- but maybe there are other avenues for him to go down…

    Nuovo Vesuvio menu


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