Standout restaurants in the Top 100 are spread across multiple segments, but chicken ruled the roost among the 10 fastest-growing chains, in terms of U.S. systemwide sales.
Four Chicken chains — Raising Cane’s Chicken Fingers, Wingstop, Chick-fil-A and Zaxby’s — flexed the most segment muscle among the Top 10 gainers.
Those four Chicken chains eclipsed brands in the Top 10 from other segments, including two pizza players — Marco’s Pizza and Domino’s — as well as one each in Casual Dining (Dave & Buster’s), Limited Service/Sandwich (Jersey Mike’s Subs), Beverage-Snack (Starbucks Coffee) and Limited Service/Specialty (Panda Express).
While the Top 10 traditionally features chains that booked a larger percentage of growth on a smaller base, the 2017 class included several big players, like Starbucks, with 13,172 U.S. locations, and Domino’s, with 5,371 domestic units.
Starbucks grew to $17.9 billion in U.S. systemwide sales in the Latest Year, from $16 billion the Preceding Year. Domino’s rose to $5.3 billion in the Latest Year, from $4.8 billion the Preceding Year.
Newcomers to the Top 10 included No. 7 Panda Express, which was No. 14 in the Preceding Year, and No. 9 Starbucks, up from No. 13. They replaced Firehouse Subs and Wawa.
Take a closer look at the 10 fastest-growing restaurant chains.
Data Table: U.S. Sales Growth Rates >>
Data Table: U.S. Unit Growth Rates >>