If Regis Philbin asked people to name the fastest-growing restaurant chains on the planet by units, any operator with a cursory knowledge of the industry could come up with Subway, McDonald’s and Starbucks. But it’s not just the American giants taking over the world.
Nearly half (10) of the 25 fastest-growing multinational chains are based outside of the U.S. While these global giants aren’t homegrown, that doesn’t mean they’re not growing here. Many of the big U.S. chains are mature in the homeland, but once foreign brands figure out which local U.S. markets to target, they can add units and advance quickly, says Darren Tristano, president of Technomic.
It begs the question for U.S.-based operators: Are these international chains bringing something new to the U.S. market that consumers want? And as consumer interest in global foods and flavors grows, do these chains have more credibility as the true-to-ground flavor purveyors?
Lest you think domestic brands would be excluded from the list of multinational growers were it not for their at-home growth, think again. When you exclude new U.S. units from the growth equation, all but four of the restaurant chains with the most global growth were U.S.-based chains.
For a clear snapshot of the restaurant brands that have their sights set on global expansion, here’s an exploration of the top 25 fastest-growing chains in the world.
Headquarters: Bonn, Germany
2015 global units: 164
Y-O-Y unit change: 25.2%
Country count: 30
Top 3 countries: Germany, Austria, Sweden