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10 growing restaurant chains to watch

Meet the Next Generation rising stars on deck to join the Top 200 ranking

As Nation’s Restaurant News prepares its annual ranking of Top 200 restaurant chains, we also identify a cadre of Next Generation concepts, including growing brands that may potentially qualify among the largest soon.

Deviating from the past, this year we are excluding previously spotlighted brands to make room for more “new faces.”

To compile this roster, we not only looked at growing Top 200 database candidates whose sales fell below the qualifying threshold, but also tapped into Datassential’s Firefly 500+ chain report to find four methodology-compatible brands for which we have not recently collected data or modeled results. The estimated sales per unit, or ESPU, metrics shown for all brands were calculated by NRN.

The dramatic impact of COVID-19 will ultimately determine if the 2020 Next Generation’s top performers will fulfill their potential in the year underway. This data, however, gives a picture of how these chains to watch were performing as they entered the uncharted waters of pandemic and the hoped-for recovery.

Contact Alan Liddle at [email protected]

Follow him on Twitter: @AJ_NRN

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