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.
- 2021 Top 500 countdown: The 50 biggest restaurants in America
- 2021 Top 500 countdown: Restaurants ranked No. 100 - No. 51
- 2021 Top 500 countdown: Restaurants ranked No. 150 – No. 101
- 2021 Top 500 countdown: Restaurants ranked No. 200 – No. 151
- 34 big restaurant chains that got even bigger in 2020, against all odds
- The 25 fastest-growing restaurant chains in America by domestic systemwide sales
- The 25 fastest-growing restaurant chains in America by unit count
- 10 takeaways from the Top 500 and 2020 performance
- Off-premises muscle powers the Top 500 winners
- How technology was key to restaurants’ success in 2020
- The year of chicken restaurants
- For casual-dining restaurants, pandemic accelerates innovation
- Raising Cane’s finds focus leads to sales, unit growth in 2020
- Tropical Smoothie is chasing the industry titans — and it’s quickly catching up
- Tim McEnery on the continued diversification of Cooper’s Hawk Winery & Restaurant
- How Taco Bell’s social engagement-focused technology gave them an edge during the pandemic
- Doubling down on marketing and playing to strengths helped Capriotti’s thrive in 2020
- Fatburger exhibits pandemic-era leadership as parent continues growth trajectory
- At Dutch Bros, 'the product is love' — and that helped a lot in 2020
- Eggs Up Grill grows despite pandemic opening delays
- Clean Juice aims to be a leader in the healthy foods market
- Just Salad keeps sustainability as its ‘north star’
- Hooters CEO Sal Melilli: Virtual brands have helped us thrive during the pandemic
- Bonchon taps into South Korean culture
- Bubbakoo’s Burritos co-founder Paul Altero discusses success during pandemic
- Rock n Roll Sushi CEO Chris Kramolis credits franchisees with chain’s success in 2020
- Opening its 100th store, Andy’s Frozen Custard looks to spread the joy of freshly made frozen custard
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 datassential.com/firefly