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Top 500 2021

Financing

Sonic gave customers a needed experience during the pandemic

The burger chain was one of the fastest-growing concepts in the U.S. last year as customers flocked to its drive-ins. Its challenge now is to keep that.

Financing

Why a virtual brand won't make the Top 500 anytime soon

Though a few are already big enough to land on the annual list, they are by nature difficult to track.

Chipotle Mexican Grill is the highest grossing fast casual on the latest Top 500 Chain Restaurant Report from Technomic.

The sub chain was an early technology adopter, jumped quickly on the delivery bandwagon and paid for its franchisees’ remodels—and easily bested all other sandwich chains last year.

This week’s episode of the RB podcast “A Deeper Dive” features Technomic’s Joe Pawlak, talking about this year’s ranking of the 500 largest restaurant chains in the U.S.

Large chains dominated the list of the quickest growing concepts, according to the Technomic Top 500, as the pandemic favored big chains over small chains.

Sales at the 500 largest chains fell 8% last year and they closed a lot fewer units than expected, but the 50 largest chains performed far better than everyone else.