If you want to thrive today in the brutally competitive fast-food world, then you better cook up a well-known item that diners can't get enough of -- or can't get anywhere else. 

At least that is the takeaway from a new survey out of restaurant industry research firm Technomic that measured the country's "most craveable" fast-food joints. Out of the top five that made the cut, three chains focus almost exclusively on a single menu item.

The scores are based on the percentage of recent customers who said a chain does a "very good" job offering craveable food that they can only buy at one place.

Here are the U.S.'s top five most craveable fast-food chains. And no, McDonald's, (MCD) - Get Report , Starbucks (SBUX) - Get Report and Restaurant Brands International's (QSR) - Get Report Burger King chain aren't on the list.