Every year, Nation’s Restaurant News and Datassential partner to present The Top 500, the definitive sales ranking of restaurants in America.
At the end of 2022, the Top 500 restaurants accounted for a total of 230,851 units — a 1.1% increase over 228,407 the previous year. 259 of the restaurant chains experienced unit growth from 2021 to 2022, while 42 stayed flat and the remaining 199 saw their footprints shrink.
While smaller chains experienced unit growth as high as 172.7%, there was very little movement among the very largest restaurants. The 10 largest restaurant chains in the U.S. by unit count are the same 10 as they were a year ago, with just Domino’s and Pizza Hut swapping spots as the former grew and the latter shrank, though both by less than 1%.
All 10 chains on this list are in the quick-service segment. Six of them added new units in 2022 and four of them shrunk, though all by less than 3%. Of course, the largest chains by units are also up there when ranked by sales — all of these chains are in the Top 20.
At the heels of No. 10 sit several chains ready to jump in and join the top group. Will 2023 be their year? Stay tuned. But in the meantime, click through this gallery to see the 10 biggest restaurant chains by unit count in the U.S.
- Restaurants ranked No. 50 – No. 1
- See the largest restaurant chains in America ranked by sales, units and more
- 12 things to be learned from the 2023 Top 500 report
- How these 9 restaurant chains thrived in 2022