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Meet the Top 500 restaurant chains in America

NRN and Datassential present the definitive guide to restaurant chain performance

A changing market calls for a change in how we measure it.

For decades, Nation’s Restaurant News has tracked the performance of the largest 200 restaurant chains to give industry professionals the benchmarking tools needed to compete.

This year, NRN is proud to team up with Datassential and its Firefly data platform to bring you an expanded look at the restaurant landscape that tracks the performance of the largest 500 chains.    

The move allows you to see the industry through a wider lens that includes not only major national brands, but also emerging and regional players.

Success in the restaurant industry has always been a moving target. Newcomers can chart meteoric rises; legends can stumble. But the last year reiterated just how quickly those shifts can happen.

That’s why the newly expanded Top 500 report is such a powerful tool. The data, which tracks the sales and unit results for 2020, presents the best opportunity so far to bring the true impact of the pandemic into focus.

In this report you’ll find complete sales and unit data on Top 500 chains, plus expert analysis on what those results teach us about the future of the industry. Be sure to return throughout the coming months, as we’ll continue to explore the many stories of Top 500 brands in special reports, podcasts and video series.

Click here to learn more about the methodology behind the report.

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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

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