Top 500

A Restaurant Business and Technomic Special Report

Top 500

While 2016 was a rough year for chain restaurants, more than half of the industry’s $521.9 billion still comes from the Top 500 chains—and nearly 94% of those dollars and 93% of those units are represented in the Top 250. Here, we rank those concepts by U.S. systemwide sales and dive into Technomic’s Top 500 Chain Restaurant Report with insights from the wins and losses of these giants.

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Top 250: The Ranking

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RankChain2017 U.S. Sales ($000,000)YOY Sales Change2017 U.S. UnitsYOY Unit ChangeSegmentMenu Category
1McDonald's $37,63914,036Quick ServiceBurger
2Starbucks$17,650*13,930Quick ServiceCoffee Cafe
3Subway$10,80025,908Quick ServiceSandwich
4Taco Bell$9,7906,446Quick ServiceMexican
5Burger King$9,645*7,226Quick ServiceBurger
6Wendy's$9,3105,769Quick ServiceBurger
7Chick-fil-A$9,0202,261Quick ServiceChicken
8Dunkin’ Donuts$8,4589,141Quick ServiceCoffee Cafe
9Domino’s$5,9255,587Quick ServicePizza
10Pizza Hut$5,5107,522Quick ServicePizza
11Panera Bread$5,465*2,050Fast CasualBakery Cafe
12KFC$4,4174,109Quick ServiceChicken
13Chipotle Mexican Grill$4,4152,364Fast CasualMexican
14Sonic Drive-In$4,4083,593Quick ServiceBurger
15Applebee’s$4,1171,782Casual DiningVaried Menu
16Olive Garden$3,938845Casual DiningItalian/Pizza
17Buffalo Wild Wings$3,8331,206Casual DiningSports Bar
18Little Caesars$3,722*4,332Quick ServicePizza
19Dairy Queen$3,6434,455Quick ServiceFrozen Desserts
20Arby’s$3,6343,283Quick ServiceSandwich
21Chili’s Grill & Bar$3,527*1,252Casual DiningVaried Menu
22Jack in the Box$3,4692,251Quick ServiceBurger
23IHOP$3,2551,671Family DiningFamily Style
24Panda Express$3,1142,011Fast CasualAsian
25Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen$2,015*2,212Quick ServiceChicken
26Papa John’s$2,0093,314Quick ServicePizza
27Denny’s$2,693*1,607Family DiningFamily Style
28Outback Steakhouse$2,595740Casual DiningSteak
29Texas Roadhouse$2,476*510Casual DiningSteak
30Jimmy John’s Gourmet Sandwiches$2,358*2,819Fast CasualSandwich
31Cracker Barrel Old Country Store$2,351645Family DiningFamily Style
32Hardee’s$2,290*1,874Quick ServiceBurger
33Red Lobster$2,290*677Casual DiningSeafood
34Whataburger$2,278821Quick ServiceBurger
35The Cheesecake Factory$2,057198Casual DiningVaried Menu
36Zaxby’s$1,933*899Fast CasualChicken
37Golden Corral$1,758489Quick ServiceFamily Casual
38LongHorn Steakhouse$1,675505Casual DiningSteak
39Red Robin Gourmet Burgers and Brews$1,561548Casual DiningVaried Menu
40Carl’s Jr.$1,527*1,157Quick ServiceBurger
41Five Guys Burgers and Fries$1,4361,321Fast CasualBurger
42Culver’s$1,426641Quick ServiceBurger
43TGI Fridays$1,400*458Casual DiningVaried Menu
44Waffle House$1,334*1,910Family DiningFamily Style
45Bojangles’ Famous Chicken ‘N Biscuits$1,276761Quick ServiceChicken
46Steak ‘n Shake$1,087*1,027Quick ServiceBurger
47Wingstop$1,0471,027Fast CasualChicken
48BJ’s Restaurant & Brewhouse$1,031197Casual DiningVaried Menu
49Jersey Mike’s Subs$9741,343Fast CasualSandwich
50Raising Cane’s Chicken Fingers$966352Fast CasualChicken
Source: Technomic's Top 500 Chain Restaurant Report; *Technomic estimate
What’s driving growthThree Tactics
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Insights from the top 500

Menu Segments

“Large chains will struggle for years. Today you have to be more differentiated. Standing still is no longer an option.”Darren Tristano,
Chief Insights Officer,

More from the top-grossing chains