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Emerging Brands

Top 500: The pandemic-fueled chicken craving still has legs

Fast-casual chicken chains grew their sales by more than 24% over 2019—more than any other segment tracked by the Top 500.


Industry vet Sharlene Smith named Zaxby’s COO

Smith most recently served as VP of operations excellence for Papa John’s and has also held leadership posts at McDonald’s.

The chicken QSR once again topped the semi-annual survey of young peoples’ spending from Piper Sandler. It was followed by Chipotle, Starbucks, McDonald’s and Dunkin’ on the list of teens’ favorite restaurant chains.

Two top Las Vegas chefs transform the NBA legend's family favorites into brand signatures and add menu stars of their own.

The fast casual claims its proteins are “naturally and humanely” raised, but the suit says the animals face inhumane treatment. Dos Toros said it’s investigating the allegations.

The 11-unit chain spent 18 months sourcing meaty thighs that more closely resemble chicken wings.

The cheesesteak chain has added chicken wings and technology to its concept and is suddenly thriving in traditional locations.

The Chef’s Chicken Sandwich debuts nationally March 30, expanding the fast casual’s warm and hearty options.

The fast casual plans to open four ghost kitchens in Madrid in the coming months, part of a broader global expansion effort.

Morrison is leaving to become CEO of 50-unit drive-thru salad concept Salad and Go. Wingstop President and COO Michael Skipworth is now chief executive officer.

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