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Sports bars are back

Discussing the Top 500 segment of sports bars


Welcome to First Bite, a Nation’s Restaurant News podcast, your daily source of news from NRN hosted by Holly Petre.

Today, we’re talking about the sports bars with the highest same-store sales.

Last year was a volatile one for the full-service sports bar segment, with chains in the Top 10 by systemwide sales seeing growth as high as 67% and declines as low as -11%.

In the annual Top 500 report, powered by Datassential, Nation’s Restaurant News breaks down the 500 biggest restaurant chains in the U.S. by systemwide sales, domestic units and average unit volumes. The full data also identifies chains by segment, so here we’ve broken out the 10 biggest full-service sports bar chains by U.S. systemwide sales, out of 21 that appear on the full list.

Of these 10 chains, seven grew sales year-over-year, many by double-digit percentages — not surprising considering the impact the pandemic had on full-service restaurants in 2020. Still, many chains continued to struggle in 2021, with some chains on this list slipping as much as 11%.

Eight of these 10 chains are the same as the year before, with Wild Wing Cafe and World of Beer slipping out of the Top 10. Within the Top 10, there was a small amount of shuffling, with Dave & Buster’s overtaking Hooters and Twin Peaks pulling ahead of Miller’s Ale House.

Learn more from managing editor Leigh Anne Zinsmeister.

Plus, catch up on all the top news of the day with our daily news recap at the beginning of each episode.

Be sure to subscribe to First Bite wherever you get your podcasts or on Spotify, or Apple Podcasts.

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