How the Top 500 restaurant chains fared during a tough 2020

This week’s episode of the RB podcast “A Deeper Dive” features Technomic’s Joe Pawlak, talking about this year’s ranking of the 500 largest restaurant chains in the U.S.

This edition of A Deeper Dive is brought to you by Lamb Weston.

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The Technomic Top 500 Chain Restaurant Report, released earlier this month, has provided a clear picture of just how much the pandemic has influenced the restaurant industry.

Joe Pawlak, managing principal with Restaurant Business sister company Technomic, joins this week’s episode of the podcast “A Deeper Dive” to talk about the ranking, including what chains won and what chains lost.

Sales among the Top 500 chains declined 8.2% last year, a surprisingly low number. Pawlak discusses why that number was so low—which was due largely to strong performance by the largest chains on the ranking. He talks about weak performance among full-service chains in particular, as well as other sectors such as buffets.

Pawlak also talks about why the sector didn’t lose as many restaurants in the past year as many expected at the start of the pandemic.

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