This year’s class of America’s up-and-coming chains faces an uncertain future. But as the coronavirus hit, these small and innovative concepts were characteristically quick to adapt, repacking menu items into meal kits, creating pop-up drive-thrus and more. Here’s a look at how they got here, and where they plan to go next.

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Trends from the Future 50What’s Driving Growth

Behind the Numbers

“You almost have to treat each new location as if it was your first, in terms of local community outreach, training, team investment and product quality focus. ”Leo Kremer, Dos Toros Taqueria (No. 29)

Behind the Brands

Future 50: The Ranking

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How the research works

The Future 50 is a measure of the fastest-growing restaurant concepts with annual sales between $20 million and $50 million. Data is compiled by Technomic. Rankings are based on percent change in systemwide sales from 2018 to 2019; chains must have also opened new units in 2019 to qualify. Unit counts are as of Dec. 31, 2019. When data was not provided, Technomic estimated sales based on public information, comparable concepts, market and other factors. Visit Technomic Ignite Company Data for more information.

“We believe that the restaurant is a community endeavor and not just a machine that makes food. ”Edmondo Sarti, Super Duper Burgers (No. 48)