Hamburger chain Wendy’s Co knocked Burger King Corp from its spot as the second-largest U.S. hamburger chain in 2011, but sales of both companies continued to lag McDonald’s Corp, the country’s No. 1 restaurant chain.

The combined revenues of Wendy’s and Burger King came to just under $5 billion last year, when total revenue at McDonald’s rose 12 percent to $27 billion, according to earnings statements from the companies.

McDonald’s menu appeals to a wider range of customers, and it has used its financial heft to buy ingredients like ground beef at lower prices than many of its rivals.

McDonald’s has been the No. 1 chain in the United States since before consulting firm Technomic began tracking restaurants in 1972.