2020 was a year like no other and played a massive role in the Technomic Top 500 Chain Restaurant Report. Bigger chains thrived while smaller concepts struggled. Anything that served chicken or pizza did well, while fine dining and urban concepts struggled. Take a deep dive with RB into the Top 500 and its performance last year.

Big chains stood out

Inside the trends

2020 U.S. system sales growth, 10 largest sandwich chains

“ It was a tactical move on my part because I saw so many franchise chains that have trouble pulling owners along. I don’t by having us pay for it. We did the entire system in a year and a half. You see royalties rise. Everyone is extremely happy and all-in. We’ll get a payback, the accounting people say, in five, five and a half years. But I see it in three and a half.”

Peter Cancro, Jersey Mike’s CEO, on the company’s decision to spend $175 million to upgrade all of its franchisees’ restaurants

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Winners and losers

“If you look at the top 500 limited service chains, they were only down 1% last year. A lot of consumers didn’t walk away from foodservice. They just went to different venues. We didn’t get growth. But it was a lot better than expected.”

—Joe Pawlak, Technomic

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Menu Segments