Top 200

2020 NRN Top 200 Report PDF


For nearly five decades, Nation’s Restaurant News has tracked the performance of the industry’s largest chains through its annual Top 200 research. And in most of those years, the data, which reflects the chains’ most recently completed fiscal year, revealed trends that would offer insight into the next year and beyond.

The 2020 report is a little bit different. Coronavirus has rewritten all the rules, and we are only at the beginning stages of understanding its far-reaching impact on the country’s social and economic health. The features in this year’s report focus largely on what the country’s largest restaurant chains are doing right now and what they plan for the future. But it’s also important to know how they were doing as they entered this crisis. We draw on the momentum from the past to find answers to today’s biggest questions: What kind of business is going to fare best in a world upended by coronavirus? What will be the largest obstacles to recovery? Are the prevailing trends of the last few years still playing out — or are social distancing, economic unrest and cautious consumers sending them to the graveyard of trends past.

But one thing remains the same: The industry-leading Top 200 data is as comprehensive and indispensable as ever. Although the world has been turned upside down since the close of those fiscal years, there are essential lessons and benchmarking tools to be found in the data.


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