Skip navigation

2021 Top 500 countdown: The 50 biggest restaurants in America

Every year, Nation’s Restaurant News ranks the largest restaurant chains by domestic systemwide sales, giving a detailed look at the biggest players in the industry. This year, we partnered with Datassential and its Firefly data platform to provide information for 500 chains — more than ever before.

2020, of course, was a year unlike any other. For the full Top 500, systemwide sales fell 4.3%, from $319 billion in 2019 to $305.1 billion in 2020. In general, bigger chains dominated throughout the year.

There was a shuffle at the top of the rankings this year, as well. Wendy’s jumped from No. 7 to No. 5, jumping past quick-service competitors Subway and Burger King. Otherwise, the very top rankings held steady.

In this gallery, get sales and growth data for the 50 largest chains in the United States in 2020 ranked by domestic systemwide sales.

Read more:

Top 500 landing page banner.png

The Top 500 report is presented by Nation’s Restaurant News and Datassential, using insights from Datassential’s proprietary Firefly platform. Datassential’s Firefly is the ultimate strategic tool — No. 1 operator database, lead generator, customer marketing and intelligence platform, all-in-one. Learn more about getting complete access at

Update July 20, 2021: The Top 500 report has been updated to reflect newly available information, including revised figures for some restaurant chains.

Hide comments


  • Allowed HTML tags: <em> <strong> <blockquote> <br> <p>

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.