Second 100: Top 5 fastest-growing chains

This story is part of NRN’s Top 200 special report [3], a proprietary census ranking the foodservice industry’s largest restaurant chains and companies by sales and unit data, among other metrics. The full report is available only to Nation’s Restaurant News magazine subscribers, and is part of the July 23 issue. Subscribe here. [4]

Second 100 report: Growth chains

The Second 100 universe is often thought of as a look at the future of foodservice. Emerging brands like Yard House, Raising Cane’s, The Melting Pot and Potbelly Sandwich dominate the datasets.

Here, we present the top five fastest-growing restaurants chains from the Second 100 universe, based on year-over-year change in U.S. systemwide sales in fiscal 2011, or the year ended closest to December 2011. These chains are the cream of the current emerging brand crop, with expansion based on rapid growth, increased average unit volumes, and sales driven by clear brand differentiation that consumers are looking for today.

These top five growth chains include two entries from one of today’s top growth segment, the polished or premium casual-dining sector. No surprise that a sandwich chain and two regional specialty brands also made the list.

Get to know these five chains’ sales growth, market share, U.S. unit growth and more. All data is based on the Second 100 universe.


No. 5 growth chain: The Capital Grille [5]

5. The Capital Grille, Orlando, Fla.
    Casual dining

System sales: $313 million
Sales growth: 14.44%
U.S. units: 46
Unit growth: 4.55%
ESPU: $7.04 million
Share of segment sales: 3.71%

RELATED: Capital Grille parent tackles supply chain overhaul [6]

No. 4 growth chain: Dickey's Barbecue Pit [7]

4. Dickey's Barbecue Pit, Dallas
    Quick service/barbecue

System sales: $165 million
Sales growth: 14.74%
U.S. units: 235
Unit growth: 65.49%
ESPU: $875,300
Share of segment sales: 19.13%

RELATED: Dickey's president talks new catering hotline [8]

No. 3 growth chain: Jersey Mike's Subs [9]
Previous: The Capital Grille [5]

3. Jersey Mike's Subs, Manasquan, N.J.

System sales: $255 million
Sales growth: 16.65%
U.S. units: 507
Unit growth: 12.17%
ESPU: $531,800
Share of segment sales: 5.11%

RELATED: Five questions with Jersey Mike's [10]

No. 2 growth chain: Raising Cane's Chicken Fingers [11]
Previous: Dickey's Barbecue Pit [7]

2. Raising Cane's Chicken Fingers, Baton Rouge, La.
    Quick service/chicken

Systemwide sales: $210 million
Sales growth: 20.27%
U.S. units: 119
Unit growth: 23.96%
ESPU: $1.95 million
Share of segment sales: 26.40%

RELATED: Raising Cane's participates in Dine Out For No Kid Hungry [12]

No. 1 growth chain: Yard House [13]
Previous: Jersey Mike's Subs [9]

1. Yard House, Irvine, Calif.
   Casual dining

Systemwide sales: $262.4 million
Sales growth: 23.25%
U.S. units: 35
Unit growth: 20.69%
ESPU: $8.2 million
Share of segment sales: 3.07%

• Darden to buy Yard House for $585M [14]
• Darden to benefit from Yard House deal, analysts say [15]

Previous: Raising Cane's Chicken Fingers [11]