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Limited service keeps growing

See the top fast-casual and quick-service chains in the Top 500.
Photograph courtesy of Cava

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More than 80% of the $239.3 billion limited-service segment in 2018 came from quick-service sales, which continue to show relatively consistent growth. And the fast-growing fast-casual segment is starting to mature, says Kevin Schimpf of Technomic: “We will continue to see strong growth of fast casual for the next five years ... but we will see that unit growth continues to slow.”

Limited-service sales growth by segment

  • 3.9% — Top 500 LSR sales growth
  • 8% — Fast-casual sales growth
  • 3.1% — Quick-service sales growth



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

MOD Pizza

Sales: $397.7M
Sales Growth: 44.8%
Unit Growth: 33.8%

Shake Shack

Sales: $459.3M
Sales Growth: 28%
Unit Growth: 36%

Raising Cane’s Chicken Fingers

Sales: $1,183.5M
Sales Growth: 22.5%
Unit Growth: 13.6%

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

CoreLife Eatery

Sales: $52.6M
Sales Growth: 133.8%
Unit Growth: 88.5%


Sales: $85.3M*
Sales Growth: 67.9%
Unit Growth: 56.5%

Halal Guys

Sales: $58.6M*
Sales Growth: 63.7%
Unit Growth: 27.8%

Largest Quick-Service Chains

RankChain NameMenu Type2018 U.S. Sales ($000,000)2018 U.S. Units
2StarbucksCoffee Cafe19,660*14,606
4Taco BellMexican10,360.86,588
6Burger KingBurger9,9397,330
7Wendy's Burger9.4055,810
8Dunkin'Coffee Cafe8,786.89,419
10Pizza HutPizza5,526.67,482
11Sonic Drive-InBurger4,447.13,606
14Little CaesarsPizza3,8204,350
15Dairy QueenFrozen Desserts3,654.64,406
16Jack in the BoxBurger3,466.12,237
17Popeyes Louisiana KitchenChicken3,2212,347
18Papa John'sPizza2,712.43,199
20Hardee's Burger2,120*1,875

Largest Fast-Casual Chains

RankChain NameMenu Type2018 U.S. Sales ($000,000)2018 U.S. Units
1Panera BreadBakery Cafe$5,760*2,074
2Chipotle Mexican GrillMexican4,8052,452
3Panda ExpressAsian/Noodle3,523.72,105
4Jimmy John's Gourmet SandwichesSandwich2,168*2,840*
6Five Guys Burger and FriesBurger1,615.81,358
8Raising Cane's Chicken FingersChicken1,183.5400
9Jersey Mike's SubsSandwich1,148.51,494
10 Qdoba Mexican EatsMexican835743
11Firehouse SubsSandwich794.41,133
12Moe's Southwest GrillMexican739.1*727
13Jason's DeliSandwich721.6281
14McAlister's DeliSandwich704.5*430
15Boston MarketChicken557.8454
16Noodles & Co.Asian/Noodle525.7459
17Einstein Bros. BagelsBakery Cafe516*690
18Freddy's Frozen Custard & SteakburgersBurger474.7328
19 Shake ShackBurger459.3136
20The Habit Burger GrillBurger436.6247

Source: Technomic Top 500 Chain Restaurant Report; *estimate

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