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Black Bear Diner

Food

How leading chains stack up by menu size

The top and fastest-growing chains don’t always align with average total menu items in their sectors.

2016 Top 500 restaurant chains

More than half of the restaurant industry’s $491 billion in sales come from the Top 500 chains. And these giants grew at a modestly stronger rate, both in terms of sales and store counts, than the industry overall. Restaurant Business focused on the leading 250 performers to identify trends for our first-ever special report delivering lessons from Technomic’s annual Top 500 Chain Restaurant Report. This special package includes lessons for all operators from the largest chains by segment, menu category and more.

Apples and cream partner up in a homespun dessert for a diner concept.

Back in 1995, near the ski slopes of Mount Shasta, Bruce Dean and Bob Manley scraped up $30,000 to open a restaurant. Adding in some credit from landlord and vendors, they remodeled a defunct eatery into the Black Bear Diner, a family restaurant with an outdoorsy atmosphere. Recalls Dean, “It was the only thing we could afford.”

Here’s what operators are buying and cooking up for their breakfast customers.