2016 Top 500: Fast-casual chains

Panera Bread

Fast casual continues full speed ahead, with two decades of double-digit growth. With $34 billion in sales—an 11.5% increase—the segment now comprises about 12% of the Top 500. For the first time, its largest player earned a spot in the ranking’s top 10: Panera Cafe took the No. 10 slot from Applebee’s.

2016 Rank

Chain Name

2015 U.S. Sales ($000)

2015 U.S. Units

10Panera Bread/Saint Louis Bread Co.4,795,9001,955
13Chipotle Mexican Grill4,419,5901,987
27Panda Express2,550,1841,790
33Jimmy John's Gourmet Sandwiches2,018,700*2,450*
41Zaxby's1,478,400*748
42Five Guys Burgers and Fries1,319,4911,215
54Wingstop768,622786
56Qdoba Mexican Eats744,943*670
63Jersey Mike's Subs675,0001,046
65Jason's Deli654,300*262
66Firehouse Subs648,528943
68Moe's Southwest Grill638,120637
71Boston Market610,000*452
74Raising Cane's Chicken Fingers567,269249
77McAlister's Deli547,701361
82Dickey's Barbecue Pit519,600*530
83Noodles & Company517,943491
84Einstein Bros. Bagels511,900*742
97Corner Bakery Cafe380,969197
99Pollo Tropical368,175160
102Au Bon Pain363,300207
106Pei Wei Asian Diner350,343213
112Taco Cabana331,431*166
114Schlotzsky's319,638350
119Smashburger306,517328
129Portillo's275,300*41
137Fuddruckers253,000*173
139Habit Burger Grill, The251,366*142
155Zoes Kitchen230,835166
157Fazoli's228,600214
160Rubio's221,973192
164Which Wich Superior Sandwiches214,400*375
168Bruegger's Bagels209,000*280*
170Baja Fresh Mexican Grill206,700*166
174Shake Shack199,37749
177Cafe Rio Mexican Grill196,200*89
182Taco Bueno185,000*175
183Donatos Pizza183,600153
184Newk's Eatery183,20095
187Le Pain Quotidien182,700*88
192Penn Station East Coast Subs176,700*295
194FREEBIRDS World Burrito168,700*95
197la Madeleine Country French Cafe165,400*76
215Pret a Manger147,600*64
234Cosi129,717*104
243Farmer Boys122,800*78
250Tijuana Flats120,000115

*Technomic estimate

 

View the full Top 500 report

Today's top stories

1
The U.S. Department of Labor does specify how an unpaid internship can be legal , but most restaurant operations would either fail this test or have to significantly alter how they handle internships...
2
Dave Theno, one of the restaurant industry’s most prominent authorities on food safety, drowned Monday off the coast of Hawaii while swimming with his grandson, according to media reports . He was 66...
3
Sonic Drive-In plans to test a burger patty made with a blend of ground beef and mushrooms to reduce the meat content, a health initiative believed to be a first for a national quick-service chain...
4
In a move likely to intensify competition in the growing fun-and-food category, the private-equity firm L Catterton has invested in Punch Bowl Social, a six-unit contender. Terms were not disclosed,...
5
Paul Damico and Kat Cole have been shifted into new positions by Roark Capital and its Focus Brands holding for the rollout of Roark’s Naf Naf Grill fast-casual Middle Eastern concept. Damico has...
6
Sustainability has long been a trend influencing the industry, but it’s one that operators still need to consider today. Consumers are aware of what it means to eat sustainably—including using local...
7
Expect the unexpected—that’s the theme of the menu trends presentation during next month’s Restaurant Trends & Directions conference in Chicago. “The accelerated pace of demographic, cultural,...
8
In the struggle to pinpoint why restaurant traffic is falling, some Yoda types have cited increased competition from a gray area between restaurants and supermarkets—the place where alternatives like...
9
Customer traffic is among the biggest problems in today’s restaurant environment. In the face of the competition to bring guests in the door, operators are challenged with setting themselves apart...
10
After craveable food and beverages and well-trained staff, a hard-working menu runs a close third as a marketing and profitability tool. With shrinking margins and a growing competitive environment,...