Emerging Brands

The Future 50: graduates + up-and-comers

These are the brands that have moved beyond the emerging chain ranking, along with those poised to make the list next year.
Photograph courtesy of Corelife

The current Future 50 class brought in $1.72 billion in 2018 from a total of 1,666 units. Those 50 emerging chains saw 39% cumulative sales growth and opened 417 new locations in 2018. Clearly, they are brands on the rise. But what about the brands that were on the ranking before them, and the ones with the potential to make the list once their predecessors surpass the $50 million threshold in total annual sales? Here, we look at the brands that graduated from last year's ranking, as well as those on a growth path to appear on the list next year. 


Every year, the Future 50 highlights growth chains—those with upward mobility that are poised to crack the ranks of the country’s largest chains. Several chains from last year’s ranking grew enough to make it onto Technomic’s 2019 Top 500 Chain Restaurant Report, which ranks the top-grossing U.S. chains. Check out which chains from last year’s list graduated.

CoreLife Eatery
The Halal Guys
Kura Revolving Sushi Bar
Vitality Bowls
Gus’s World Famous Fried Chicken
California Fish Grill
Luna Grill
Snooze, an A.M. Eatery
Hopdoddy Burger Bar
Keke’s Breakfast Cafe



With many of the chains on this year’s list expected to break into the Top 500 in 2020, like in years past, which brands will replace them on the Future 50? Based on sales and growth trajectory from Technomic data, these are emerging chains to watch out for.

Dos Toros Taqueria
The Little Beet
Hawkers Asian Street Fare
Little Big Burger
Oath Craft Pizza
Melt Shop
Super Duper Burgers
District Taco

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