Emerging Brands

Newcomers to the Top 500

These chains made their debut on the Top 500 ranking.
Photograph courtesy of Mendocino Farms

These seven chains appeared on the Top 500 ranking for the first time this year. Many of them share a focus on health and high-quality menu items, whether it's a sandwich or a cup of coffee.


Rank: 405

2019 sales: $66.2M*

Units: 32

The burger chain founded by the Wahlberg brothers is growing via multiple channels. Besides adding stand-alone units, it partnered with the Hy-Vee supermarket chain to eventually open 26 units in seven states and is also expanding its retail beef line.

Punch Bowl Social

Rank: 433

2019 sales: $61.1M*

Units: 18

Urban Plates

Rank: 441

2019 sales: $60M

Units: 19

The health-forward fast casual sets itself apart with elevated menu items made from scratch using locally sourced ingredients. 

Philz Coffee

Rank: 459

2019 sales: $57.2M*

Units: 56

Philz forgoes the traditional cafe menu of espressos, lattes and mochas to focus on creating the perfect cup of coffee for each customer. Coffee is brewed one cup at a time, allowing the guest to personalize it to their taste. 

Blue Bottle Coffee

Rank: 473

2019 sales: $54.7M*

Units: 71

Like Philz, Blue Bottle brews its coffee one cup at a time. Stores have an upscale feel and no Wi-Fi, along with a pared-down menu that puts the focus squarely on the quality of its coffee. 

Mendocino Farms (pictured)

Rank: 482

2019 sales: $54M*

Units: 32

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.

Flower Child

Rank: 498

2019 sales: $50.7M*

Units: 25

Source: Technomic Top 500 Chain Restaurant Report; *Technomic estimate

Learn more about Technomic’s Top 500.

See the Top 250 chains.


Members help make our journalism possible. Become a Restaurant Business member today and unlock exclusive benefits, including unlimited access to all of our content. Sign up here.


Exclusive Content


Why MOD Pizza is not out of the woods yet

The Bottom Line: The fast-casual pizza chain was sold last week to Elite Restaurant Group. But few who’ve seen the finances believe the company can avoid closing large numbers of stores.


Restaurants have a hot opportunity to improve their reputation as employers

Reality Check: New mandates for protecting workers from dangerous on-the-job heat are about to be dropped on restaurants and other employers. The industry could greatly help its labor plight by acting first.


Some McDonald's customers are doubling up on the discounts

The Bottom Line: In some markets, customers can get the fast-food chain's $5 value meal for $4. The situation illustrates a key rule in the restaurant business: Customers are savvy and will find loopholes.


More from our partners