When California-based hamburger chain In-N-Out Burger donated $25,000 to the California Republican Party this summer, it faced a backlash from some of its fans, who called for a boycott of the chain.
But political groups were happy to keep spending at the iconic burger chain, which offers a simple menu of hamburger staples and a “secret menu” of cult favorites, such as its animal-style burger, which mixes burgers grilled in mustard with thousand island dressing, grilled onions and pickles.
McClatchy identified roughly $40,000 spent by political committees during the 2018 election cycle at many of the nation’s biggest hamburger chains.
The most popular?
Upscale hamburger chain Shake Shack, which traces its roots to New York City. Political groups spent nearly $13,000 at the chain, best known for its hamburgers, crinkle cut french fries and frozen custard.
Second to Shake Shack was Five Guys, the recipient of roughly $9,500 in political spending, with In-N-Out the third most popular with political groups, selling nearly $5,500 worth of food.
The top spender was the Republican National Committee, which spent roughly $6,500 at national burger chains, with more than two-thirds of that spending at Shake Shack.
That despite the fact that Danny Meyer, founder and chairman of the burger chain’s board, donated nearly $50,000 to Democratic candidates and committees in 2018.
But the burger spending flagged by McClatchy paled in comparison to the amount they spent on pizza. Political groups spent more than $52,000 combined at national chains Domino’s Pizza and Pizza Hut and a whopping $135,000 at the Washington, DC chain We, The Pizza, which has a location a short walk from the U.S. Capitol.
As for the home of the Whopper? Committees spent nearly $1,200 at Burger King, less than half what they spent at its competitor, McDonald’s.