Future 50

Restaurant Business Magazine's annual ranking of the fastest growing small chains in America

The Future 50, our annual ranking of the fastestgrowing small chains in the U.S., offers a snapshot of restaurant concepts on the rise: the up-and-comers that are the ones to watch, invest in or be inspired by.

Compiled by our partners at Technomic, The Future 50 spotlights chains with annual sales between $25 million and $50 million and unit growth of at least 10 percent in 2013, a milestone signaling chains on the brink of national recognition and remarkable growth.

Ranksort descending Chain name Systemwide Sales % Change in Sales Average Unit Volume Total Units
1 PDQ $28,500,000* 280.00 $2,500,000* 18
2 BurgerFi $44,500,000* 178.10 $2,000,000* 33
3 Hakkasan $32,000,000* 100.00 $8,000,000* 5
4 Del Frisco’s Grille $44,100,000 83.90 $5,500,000 11
5 Umami Burger $37,400,000* 70.00 $2,100,000* 22
6 Bareburger $33,400,000* 62.90 $2,500,000* 17
7 Veggie Grill $26,600,000* 60.70 $1,400,000* 22
8 Bowlmor Lanes $37,600,000* 49.20 $3,600,000* 14
9 Lime Fresh Mexican Grill $42,500,000* 47.20 $1,700,000 27
10 Tender Greens $40,500,000* 44.60 $3,900,000* 12
11 PepperJax Grill $31,200,000* 44.40 $1,200,000 34
12 Pinstripes $30,800,000* 42.60 $6,200,000* 6
13 Taziki’s Mediterranean Cafe $28,800,000* 41.90 $1,100,000* 31
14 The Original Brooklyn Water Bagel Co. $30,500,000* 38.60 $1,900,000* 19
15 16 handles $32,400,000* 37.90 $875,000* 43
16 Bobby’s Burger Palace $38,600,000* 36.90 $2,700,000* 17
17 Marlow’s Tavern $41,000,000* 34.00 $3,400,000* 13
18 Chop't Creative Salad Company $44,000,000* 33.30 $2,000,000* 24
19 Native Foods Café $33,200,000* 30.20 $2,100,000* 17
20 Roti Mediterranean Grill $27,000,000* 29.80 $1,500,000* 20
21 Freshii $31,600,000* 29.00 $890,000* 42
22 Sharky’s Woodfired Mexican Grill $33,600,000 25.40 $1,600,000 21
23 Barcelona Restaurant & Wine Bar $33,800,000* 25.20 $4,500,000* 9
24 Elevation Burger $30,000,000* 25.00 $980,000* 32
25 MacKenzie River Pizza Co. $25,700,000 22.90 $1,400,000 19
26 Bob’s Steak & Chop House $30,600,000* 22.40 $3,600,000* 10
27 Pita Jungle $30,600,000* 22.40 $1,700,000* 20
28 Boloco $26,700,000* 22.10 $1,200,000* 23
29 Crave $30,000,000* 20.00 $3,500,000* 9
30 Becks Prime $25,700,000* 19.50 $1,800,000* 15
31 Fadó Irish Pub & Restaurant $47,800,000* 19.50 $4,800,000* 14
32 Eddie Merlot’s $43,000,000 19.40 $4,800,000 9
33 Wings Etc. Grill & Pub $27,200,000* 17.40 $1,100,000* 26
34 Gigi’s Cupcakes $35,000,000 17.20 $400,000* 95
35 Karl Strauss Brewing Company $26,900,000* 17.00 $3,600,000* 8
36 Zoup! Fresh Soup Company $39,600,000* 16.50 $785,000* 55
37 Lee’s Sandwiches $26,200,000* 16.40 $530,000* 53
38 Tokyo Joe’s $25,600,000* 16.40 $1,000,000* 26
39 Pancheros Mexican Grill $48,800,000* 16.20 $855,000* 65
40 Pluckers Wing Bar $30,200,000* 16.20 $2,000,000* 16
41 Taco Casa $31,300,000* 15.90 $545,000* 16
42 Stanford’s Restaurant & Bar $34,200,000* 14.00 $3,600,000* 10
43 Alonti Catering Cafe $35,900,000* 14.00 $970,000* 42
44 Grimaldi’s Coal Brick-Oven Pizzeria $31,900,000* 13.90 $1,000,000* 33
45 Roberto’s Taco Shop $34,800,000* 13.70 $605,000* 63
46 WaBa Grill $45,800,000* 13.60 $945,000* 53
47 Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant $26,700,000* 13.60 $2,800,000* 10
48 East Coast Wings & Grill $32,600,000* 12.40 $1,300,000* 27
49 Roosters $41,300,000* 11.60 $1,400,000* 31
50 Crumbs Bake Shop $48,000,000* 11.60 $701,000* 78

Published in Restaurant Business Magazine

Editor's note: Perhaps as evidence of too much growth too fast, Crumbs announced on July 7 (after The Future 50 article went to press) the abrupt closure of all of its stores. A week later, it filed bankrupty in accordance with a deal it struck with Dippin' Dots founder Marcus Lemonis to takeover the cupcake chain. The plan: Reinvent the concept with a slightly broader focus on sweets and snacks.


Methodology (2014)

The Future 50 is a measure of the fastest growing restaurant concepts between $25 million and $50 million. Data is compiled by Chicago research firm Technomic. Rankings are based on percent change in systemwide sales from 2012 to 2013; chains must have opened new units in 2013 to qualify. All unit counts are as of Dec. 31, 2013. Information was collected via mail, phone and email. When data was not provided, Technomic estimated sales based on public information, comparable concepts, market and other factors.