June 2017

rb june 2017 issue cover

In This Issue

June 2017

The Top 500 issue

Also In This Issue: 

Special Report: Trends and insights from the country's biggest restaurant chains

Plus—Technomic's 250 top-grossing chains

Digital Edition

hand magnet

Punch cards are a thing of the past; these new initiatives are meeting modern needs at top chains.

kitchen ovens warmers

New-age kitchen gadgets shave time off guest interactions.

When a potential employee goes hunting for online job posts for Dickey’s Barbecue Pit , they might be met with a few things atypical of other chains’ career pages. Individualized culture sites rolled...

Cover Story

The decline of full-service chains is palpable. Three of the major casual-dining players—TGI Fridays, Applebee’s and Chili’s—were all down more than 2% in sales. What do these brands have to do to...

Over 80% of the limited-service segment’s sales comes from QSRs. While several menu categories performed well, coffee cafes saw sales grow 9.7%. By upgrading offerings, these coffee concepts (all...

modern market pizza

This year's newcomers come in the form of DIY pizza places, better-for-you fast casuals or an unpretentious, approachable vibe wrapped in a full-service experience.

Operators can learn from those chains that jumped in the ranks, as well as from those that plummeted. Revise the better-for-you definition…often “We’re seeing the next generation of healthy concepts...

The Top 500 chains saw a year-over-year sales boost of 3.6% in 2016, down from 2015’s 5% gain and just under the overall industry’s 3.9% growth. Unit buildup among the Top 500 also slipped to 1.7% (...


growth chart comeback

While it may not be all good news yet, these chains have plans in place that are starting to pay off.

In the Know


An ebbing tide lowers all boats, as most restaurant operations can attest at the moment. Then there are the situations more akin to a shipwreck. Here are some high-profile chains that are still struggling mightily to right themselves.

checkers rallys fries

Customers reveal which restaurant chains’ french fries they deem most likely to spark cravings.

kfc space center sandwich

Nevermind better burgers. Chicken is ruling the roost for limited-service restaurants, as the latest round of limited-time items attests.

Best Practices

I understand how to use a Q factor in costing, but how do you figure out what it is? This is not explained anywhere.

Knowing the cost of all of the food and beverage you serve is vital to maintaining good controls. When you cost a recipe accurately, you can be assured that the costs of...


doughbird exterior

Will Doughbird land Fox in the henhouse with high-stakes chain investors again?

The quick-service pizza industry has changed tremendously in the quarter century since Toppers Pizza delivered its first pie. With that in mind, the Wisconsin-based chain is redesigning its units...

Menu Innovation

In the face of high rent and a competitive real estate market, it’s a trend we’re likely to keep seeing from chains: shrinking footprints. But the idea of small stores isn’t new—beverage-focused...

mcdonalds big macs special sauce

Menu options once treated as sacrosanct are now getting makeovers in hopes of rekindling interest.


The successes or failures of one big fast-casual brand have the ability to drastically shift results.