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Datassential’s Mark Brandau shares takeaways from the Top 500

Get new insights from this year’s top restaurant chains report from NRN and Datassential

In an Instagram live on Tuesday, Nation’s Restaurant News editor-in-chief Sam Oches was joined by group manager Mark Brandau from Datassential to discuss the recently released Top 500 report. Here, get more insights on the Top 500 restaurant chains in America and be sure to check out all of our in-depth coverage at

Here are some key takeaways:

  • There were individual chain winners, but there were also overall segments that won in limited service, such as chicken, Mexican and pizza;
  • The top chains stayed on top and the “big got bigger;”
  • Emerging brands saw a growth moment in 2020, with chains like Bonchon and BB.Q seeing double-digit sales and unit growth;
  • It’s still too early to see the full impact ghost kitchens have had on financials for the Top 500 chains;
  • The breakfast/lunch midscale players saw unit growth even during the pandemic; and
  • New players like Crumbl Cookies and Walk-On’s Bistreaux have made big splashes

Watch the full live here.



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