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Full service still struggles

See the top full-service chains in the Top 500.
Photograph courtesy of 110 Grill

Top 500

Sales performance among full-service brands improved, with a 1.1% growth rate compared to 0.4% in 2017. A big reason for that, says Schimpf, is that so many chains had bad years prior to 2018. “Some chains look stronger because they were able to right the ship,” he says. Chains such as Applebee’s and Olive Garden made internal adjustments in an effort to course correct, which is paying off thus far.

Full-service sales growth by segment

  • 1.4% — Top 500 FSR sales growth
  • 1.1% — Casual-dining sales growth
  • 3.1% —Fine-dining sales growth
  • 2.2% — Family-dining sales growth



Fastest-growing full-service chains, >$200M

First Watch

Sales: $413M
Sales Growth: 31.9% 
Unit Growth: 21.4%

Cooper’s Hawk Winery & Restaurants

Sales: $282.3M
Sales Growth: 16.7%
Unit Growth: 16.7%

Saltgrass Steak House

Sales: $349.5M*
Sales Growth: 16.5%
Unit Growth: 15.9%

Fastest-growing full-service chains, <$200M

110 Grill

Sales: $49M
Sales Growth: 77.3%
Unit Growth: 50%

Metro Diner

Sales: $125.5M
Sales Growth: 71.2% 
Unit Growth: 48.9%

Walk-On’s Bistreaux & Bar

Sales: $102.8M
Sales Growth: 56.6%
Unit Growth: 50%

Largest casual-dining chains

RankChain NameMenu Type2018 U.S. Sales ($000,000)2018 U.S. Units
1Applebee's Varied Menu$4,211.21,693
Olive GardenItalian/Pizza4,082.5855
3Buffalo Wild WingsSports Bar3,7951,208
4Chili's Grill & BarVaried Menu3,500.3*1,251
5Texas RoadhouseSteak2,720*533
6Outback SteakhouseSteak2,611.7733
7Red LobsterSeafood2,405*678
8The Cheesecake FactoryVaried Menu2,127.3201
9LongHorn SteakhouseSteak1,754.7520
10Red Robin Gourmet Burgers and BrewsVaried Menu1,506.2555
11TGI FridaysVaried Menu1,183.*424
12BJ's Restaurant & BrewhouseVaried Menu1,116.9202
13P.F. Chang'sAsian877.9216
14HootersSports Bar798*338
15Cheddar's Scratch KitchenVaried Menu728170
16Ruby TuesdayVaried Menu721*491
17Carrabba's Italian GrillItalian/Pizza659.5227
18California Pizza KitchenItalian/Pizza639.5*205
19Bonefish GrillSeafood592.1197
20 Yard HouseVaried Menu571.872

Largest fine-dining chains

RankChain NameMenu Type2018 U.S. Sales ($000,000)2018 U.S. Units
1Ruth's Chris Steak HouseSteak$748.4134
2The Capital GrilleSteak440.758
3Fleming's Prime Steakhouse & Wine BarSteak304.170
4Morton's The SteakhouseSteak246*65
5Mastro's RestaurantsSteak230*17

Largest family-dining chains

RankChain NameMenu Type2018 U.S. Sales ($000,000)2018 U.S. Units
1IHOPFamily Style$3,233.71,705
2Denny'sFamily Style2,661.91,578
3Cracker BarrelFamily Style2,439.4655
4Waffle HouseFamily Style1,300*1,936
5Bob EvansFamily Style838*481

Source: Technomic Top 500 Chain Restaurant Report; *estimate

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