As Nation’s Restaurant News highlights its 2017 class of Breakout Brands we also checked in to see how past classes have been performing. The brands were selected at the time because they held huge potential to grow — and nearly all of them did expand.
Together, the classes of 2016 and 2015 had an average unit growth rate of 66.1 percent in the first year after they were recognized as Breakout Brands. The average two-year rate of unit growth for class of 2015 was 78 percent. Only three of the 20 Breakout Brand chains in these two classes had negative unit growth since they were selected.
Four brands from the class of 2016 more than tripled their unit counts in their first year after being named a Breakout Brand, with vegan concept By CHLOE and automat Eatsa adding three and six units, respectively, a 300 percent year-over-year growth rate in both cases. Meanwhile, ice cream sandwich concept Cream led the class of 2015. The brand slowed its expansion in 2016, but still added 17 units since early 2015, for a two-year growth rate of 213 percent.
Take a look at how all the brands have fared since they were named Breakout Brands.
Note: Starting units counts for the class of 2015 are from February 2015, and 2016 and 2017 counts are as of Jan. 31 of those years. For the class of 2016, unit growth was measured between Jan. 31, 2016 and Jan. 31, 2017. Unit counts marked with an asterisk are NRN estimates based on company information and outside reports, if applicable.