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Big chains’ growth accelerated this year, Techomic says

The nation’s 500 largest restaurant chains increased their unit counts by a combined 2.3 percent this year, a slight acceleration from the prior year’s growth of 2.1 percent, according to the Chicago research firm Technomic.

The growth was generated within both the full and limited-service segments, according to the company. Asian fast-casual and quick-service chains led the way with an 8 percent expansion. Asian full-service places also had a growth spurt in 2014, clocked by Technomic at 5.1 percent.

Full-service seafood chains expanded by 3.9 percent, and steakhouse brands opened 3.4 percent more stores, according to the findings.

Bakery cafes and coffee houses, the mainstays of the fast-casual segment, saw growth in unit totals of 5.2 and 4.2 percent, respectively.

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