This is part of the Nation’s Restaurant News annual Second 100 report, a proprietary ranking of restaurant brands Nos. 101-200 by U.S. systemwide sales and other data. This report is a companion to the Top 100 report.
The fastest-growing Second 100 chains in terms of systemwide sales spanned a variety of segments, from Family Dining and Casual Dining to Beverage-Snack, but LSR/Burger brands stood out, taking three of the top 10 spots.
The three burger concepts — Shake Shack, Freddy’s Frozen Custard & Steakburgers and The Habit Burger Grill — were repeat players among the Second 100’s top 10 growth chains from the Preceding Year, suggesting that the American consumer’s appetite for fast-casual burgers remains strong.
The renewed popularity of healthful beverages propelled two drinks brands — Smoothie King and Tropical Smoothie Cafe — into top spots, both with sales growth exceeding 20 percent in the Latest Year.
All 10 growth chains expanded unit counts. Total growth in U.S. units ranged from 61 percent for fast-casual Blaze Fast-Fire’d Pizza, which added 64 restaurants in the Latest Year, to 12.7 percent for Smoothie King with its 84 new units.
Unlike the larger, more mature brands in the Top 100, the Second 100 growth chains’ smaller size, $2.6 billion in aggregate sales, provides them with ample room for growth compared to the Top 100 growth chains’ $39.6 billion in sales.