Top 500 2022


Here are the country’s biggest burger chains

While consumers have been flocking to chicken concepts, burgers remain a major draw and chains serving them have thrived since the pandemic, according to the Technomic Top 500 Chain Restaurant Report.

Emerging Brands

Inside the plate lunch concept that’s growing ultra-fast with Hawaiian comfort food

Drive-thrus and a super-simple menu propelled Hawaiian Bros. Island Grill into the Top 500, with year-over-year sales growth of 172%.

The franchise brand has come out of nowhere to become one of the nation’s fastest-growing chains. And it has the unit economics to be a long-term success.

The launch of “Eat Fresh Refresh” last July is just the first step in a multi-year, product-by-product menu upgrade.

The seventh fastest grower on this year's list brings value back to the full-service seafood market.

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

On average, one of the chain’s non-mall locations generates more than $8 million in sales a year, soaring 54% the past five years. Those unit volumes have helped propel the concept’s remarkable run.

The pizza and chicken buffet concept has recovered from the pandemic, but not just because it focused more on takeout and installed drive-thru windows. Some credit goes to video games.

The Bottom Line: Jersey Mike’s, Tropical Smoothie, Dutch Bros and Raising Cane’s have enjoyed the strongest growth among the biggest chains. Some of the other winners might surprise you.

A Deeper Dive: The podcast features Technomic’s Joe Pawlak, talking about how big chains were able to recover so quickly from the pandemic.

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