RB's annual Future 50 list ranks the nation’s fastest-growing small chains, defined as those earning from $20 million to $50 million in sales. Here’s a check-in with this year’s graduates—the 12 chains from last year’s list that outgrew the threshold.
Shopping center operator Simon Property Group acquired a minority stake in the 10-unit food and entertainment concept as part of a new development agreement in October 2019. The chain had a goal of growing to 100 locations within the next few years.
In jumping from the Future 50 to the Top 500, the Massachusetts-based casual-dining chain picked up where it left off. It was one of the fastest-growing Top 500 chains this year, posting year-over-year sales growth of 58.8%.
The burger chain founded by the Wahlberg brothers is continuing to grow via multiple channels. Besides adding stand-alone units, it partnered with the Hy-Vee supermarket chain last year to eventually open 26 units in seven states and is also expanding its retail beef line.
Roti Modern Mediterranean
Philz, like fellow graduate Blue Bottle Coffee, is among the small coffee chains that made their mark on this year's Top 500.
Blue Bottle Coffee
Blue Bottle added nearly 15 units last year, pushing total sales close to $55 million and landing in the Top 500 for the first time.
Takeout has been the key to this fast casual’s rapid growth. To account for all the off-premise business, the LA-based sandwich and salad chain is shrinking its dining areas, expanding its kitchens and adding seating areas for pickup guests.
The farm-to-table concept shortened its name from Dig Inn to just Dig last summer. It also received $15 million from restaurateur Danny Meyer’s investment fund to expand and grow its proprietary delivery service.
The fast-casual chain snuck onto the Top 500 at No. 498 thanks to another year of massive growth. Sales increased 54.6% and units increased 56.3%.
85C Bakery Cafe
The chain known as the “Starbucks of Taiwan” continued its strong growth last year, increasing sales by 30% and adding 11 units, according to Technomic.
The fast casual told RB last year that it planned to slow its growth to focus on operators and training. Units declined 10% in 2019, but sales still grew by 11%, according to Technomic.