ALL SEEDING WAS DETERMINED BY FAN VOTE
Oh boy, here we go. 64 restaurants. One champion. You decide. Vote below.
Let’s take a look at the regions and who I think the favorites and upset picks will be…
The region is named after the real inventors of McDonald’s, Mac and Dick McDonald, and not Ray Kroc. I promised I wouldn’t be mean in this post, so I will just leave it at that. The 1-seed McDonald’s will be very tough to beat, but there are a few restaurants I see giving it a good challenge including the 4-seed Whataburger. It goes without saying that the best matchup, hands down, is the 8-seed Wawa vs. 9-seed Sheetz. Philadelphia folks fighting with Pittsburgh folks in my mentions on Twitter will be glorious. The 2-seed Chipotle is prone for a Second Round upset to 7-seed Panera Bread in my mind. I think the goodwill there is enough to give a boost, maybe even to the Elite Eight.
My Pick: 4-seed Whataburger
My Prediction: 1-seed McDonald’s
Round One Upset Pick: None
This is 1-seed Chick-Fil-A‘s region to lose and I’d go as far to say they’re the favorite to win the whole thing. Everyone fucking loves Chick-Fil-A. The 2-seed Burger King is quietly strong, but the only other restaurant from the 1 through 8 seeds that I like would be the 4-seed Culver’s. It’s tough picking between my Texas favorite 12-seed Torchy’s (which will pull the upset in Round One over 5-seed Domino’s, I think), but I have fallen in love with Culver’s and they’d be my winner here. I also like 14-seed Church’s over 3-seed Subway and 10-seed Cookout with a sneaky upset-guarantee over 7-seed Papa John’s.
My Pick: 4-seed Culver’s
My Prediction: 1-seed Chick-Fil-A
Round One Upset Pick: 12-seed Torchy’s, 14-seed Church’s, 10-seed Cookout
Another region with a strong 1-seed in Five Guys that could also be considered a favorite to win it all. Like Chick-Fil-A, I never really hear anyone say they don’t like the restaurant. How strong will California be in this voting process? If it’s a big presence, 2-seed In-N-Out has a strong chance at the upset of Five Guys in the Elite Eight. I only see two potential upsets here with 11-seed PDQ over 6-seed Jack In The Box and 10-seed Wingstop over 7-Long John Silver’s. I could see 13-Firehouse Subs with a good challenge of 4-seed Pizza Hut, but there is a chance that the pizza chains (even Domino’s despite my prediction) hold strong. I also love the 8-seed Portillo’s vs. 9-seed Zaxby’s. The Chicago fanbase will be out in full force!
My Pick: 5-Bojangles’
My Prediction: 1-Five Guys
Round One Upset Pick: 11-PDQ, 10-Wingstop
This is the first region where I think the 1-seed (Wendy’s) isn’t the favorite. No chain stays relevant quite like 2-seed Taco Bell and they’re also my pick in this category. I am really curious about 4-seed Shake Shack, which is really popular in the Northeast but, while it has expanded, not as popular everywhere else. The 6-seed Raising Cane’s is such a strong pick here to make a Cinderella run and I’d be surprised if it doesn’t make the Sweet 16. The only big upset I see potentially happening is the college-town favorite 12-seed Wings Over over 5-seed Steak N Shake.
My Pick: 2-seed Taco Bell
My Prediction: 2-seed Taco Bell
Round One Upset Pick: 9-seed Checker’s and Rally’s, 10-seed Qdoba
There you have it! Let the voting begin. (External voting link: https://goo.gl/forms/2441QBIgTxq366po2)
Round Two will be on Monday, March 18th.