Troubles at McDonald's do not mean restaurants are singing the burger blues. In fact, it's been a "banner year" for the American staple despite challenges in the broader fast-food industry.
Americans ordered 9 billion burgers last year, up 3 percent from the prior year, according to market research firm The NPD Group. This increase is especially high at so-called better burger or fast-casual restaurants that are known for serving up premium ingredients at quick speeds. Fast-casual burger servings rose 9 percent due in large part to an increase in locations from several chains, including Shake Shack, The Habit Burger Grill and Smashburger.
Fast-food burger joints servings rose 3 percent even as visits to these restaurants dropped 3 percent. Helping to prop up that number has been the fast casual segment, which is a subset of fast food.
Fast-food burger chains have also faced increased burger competition from casual dining, where people have been ordering burgers as a way to keep the cost of the check down.