Top 500 2023


Just 10 chains account for more than 25% of restaurant sales

The Bottom Line: McDonald’s, Starbucks, Chick-fil-A, Taco Bell, Wendy’s, Dunkin’, Burger King, Subway, Domino’s and Chipotle have all grown more dominant since the pandemic.


Chain restaurants had a good 2022. Or did they?

A Deeper Dive: Technomic Managing Principal Joe Pawlak joins the podcast to discuss the Top 500 Chain Restaurant Report, including the strength of chicken concepts, unit growth and the pizza business.

The long-serving family dining chain leader has kept her head down and her sights forward, despite the distractions of a 10-year takeover attempt and setbacks in the search for a fresh growth opportunity.

The Bottom Line: Sonic, pizza delivery chains and bone-in chicken concepts—outside of Wingstop, that is—saw sales slow down last year. Here’s what happened.

Led by Starbucks, the largest chains pushed aggressive development as they recovered locations closed during the pandemic. But sales barely kept pace with inflation.

The Bottom Line: The fast-casual chicken fingers chain believes it can become one of the country’s biggest restaurant concepts in a short period. It took some key steps this week to get there.

The chicken sandwich chain’s domestic system sales increased another 13% last year. But check out how much a stand-alone restaurant makes now.

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