Skip navigation
2014 Top 100: Five facts about restaurant chain sales growth

2014 Top 100: Five facts about restaurant chain sales growth

This is part of Nation’s Restaurant News’ annual Top 100 report, a proprietary census ranking the foodservice industry’s largest restaurant chains and companies by sales and unit data, among other metrics.

Average growth in domestic systemwide sales among Top 100 chains slowed to 4.3 percent in the Latest Year from 6.8 percent in the Preceding Year. But a number of chains outpaced that average, including 17 that posted double-digit sales increases. Among that group were former Second 100 overachievers Jersey Mike’s Subs, with 21.2-percent sales growth; Yard House, with 20.1-percent growth; and Noodles & Company, with 15.1-percent growth. IHOP saw the biggest jump in the rankings, with a 33-place climb to No. 45. Seven other chains rose 20 spots or more: Domino’s Pizza, Checkers, Boston Market, Dunkin’ Donuts, Auntie Anne’s, Einstein Bros. Bagels and Krispy Kreme Doughnuts.

Below are five more facts of note about the latest results for the Top 100 Growth in U.S. Systemwide Sales:

Chipotle1. Chipotle Mexican Grill returned as a top-five growth chain in the Latest Year after falling out of the group in the Preceding Year, which ended an eight-year string of consecutive top-five finishes dating back to its Top 100 debut in 2005. The LSR/Mexican brand’s average annual sales growth during its time in the Top 100 was 25.8 percent, and it took the No. 1 rank for sales growth four times in that period.


2. Auntie Anne’s was one of 20 Top 100 chains that grew sales faster in the Latest Year than in the Preceding Year, helping it move up the ranks 20 places. The chain’s 9-percent sales increase in the Latest Year was largely driven by its 8.2-percent increase in net units.


3. Jamba Juice’s rate of sales growth was more than halved in the Latest Year, driven  in part by declining same-store sales. The chain reported systemwide same-store sales declined 0.1 percent for fiscal 2013, following annual growth of 5.1 percent and 3.7 in the previous two years, respectively. 


red lobster

4. Red Lobster in its Latest Year saw unit-level performance problems drag down estimated U.S. sales by a greater degree than it did in the Preceding Year. Still, the chain’s new parent company Golden Gate Capital, which in May agreed to acquire the struggling casual-dining chain from Darden Restaurants Inc. for $2.1 billion, has said it sees “significant opportunities for future growth” for the brand.


Ruby Tuesday

5. Ruby Tuesday had greater erosion in estimated Latest-Year systemwide sales compared with the Preceding Year, even amid changes to its menu, promotions and advertising to reassert itself as an “affordable value” — a reversal of an earlier initiative to position itself as a more upscale casual-dining brand. The chain’s sales were undermined by an estimated mid-single-digit decrease in same-store sales on top of a near 5-percent reduction in U.S. units.


View the full, sortable results for Growth in U.S. Systemwide Sales >> 

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.