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Seasons 52

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.

Consumer Trends

Top chains by menu segment for 2017

Chains ranking highest in their competitive set deliver more than just good food. They’re winning in all aspects of the dining experience, from service to convenience.

A look at the casual-dining chains satisfying consumers with their dine-in services, but not doing quite as well with takeout.

In order to lose weight, Americans need to eat less. Thing is, a whole lot of us will devour whatever’s put in front of us, long after we’ve ceased to be hungry. In one study, participants who were given smaller portions of food reported as much satiety as those provided larger portions.

Overall, the varied menu category is flat, up .3% in sales to $23.9 billion and .5% in units to 7,792.

ORLANDO (September 19, 2011)—Darden Restaurants, the world’s largest full-service restaurant company, has committed to boosting the nutrition of both its...

When it comes to restaurant brands, the sales leaders are not always consumers’ favorites for a variety of reasons. Chains best at parlaying customer satisfaction into sales are hard to beat.

Fall means pumpkin season, and this gourd is limitless in its culinary applications. From sweet to savory, pumpkin adds a seasonal touch to menus across the country.

Fresh, local ingredients prepared with an eye toward health and presentation set this full-service concept apart.

The company issued a very public thanks to Olive Garden fans who have spoken out in defense of the chain and its parent in the struggle with Starboard over matters like salted pasta water and breadstick portion sizes. Some of those allies, Darden says, have tagged themselves on Twitter as #TeamBreadsticks.

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