Earlier this week, Google released its 11th annual Zeitgeist list, ranking the most popular and fastest-rising search terms. Under the lifestyle category, Google revealed the 10 restaurants with the highest number of searches in the U.S. so far this year:
1. Pizza Hut
3. Papa John’s
6. Olive Garden
9. Jimmy John’s
10. Buffalo Wild Wings
The top rankings of the major pizza franchises come as no surprise because I assume people are going to Google as the first step in ordering their pizzas online. Loyal followers of Starbucks, McDonald’s, and Subway are probably looking at the store locator to find the nearest branch, or reading about new product launches. I’m impressed with the strong showing of Jimmy John’s because they really have grown in popularity over the last couple years. What surprises me the most is the presence of Olive Garden, Applebee’s, and Buffalo Wild Wings on the list because these are full-service concepts that have fewer locations than most other fast food chains.
Another interesting tidbit: Mexican food was the No. 7 most searched term on Google Maps, behind airports, casinos, and veterinarians.
The top general terms include Rebecca Black, Google+, Ryan Dunn, Casey Anthony, Battlefield 3, iPhone 5, Adele, 東京 電力 (TEPCO) Fukushima Plant, Steve Jobs and the iPad 2.