Biggest quick service restaurant brands build unit counts and system wide sales.
In the $225 billion limited-service restaurant industry, these 50 brands reign supreme.

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Operators squeeze their brands into nontraditional real estate.

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Frozen-yogurt brands diversify to combat market saturation.
Franchising
Emerging Concepts
Ohio-based fast casual uses the Chipotle service model to make Italian street food for the masses.
Quick service restaurants like Arbys launch charity events to raise money and awareness.
Charitable Giving
When Arby’s Hungry for Happiness mobile tour pulls into town, people notice. It’s hard to miss the fire-engine red semi truck and trailer emblazoned with a beaming young girl enchanted by a bite of giant watermelon. But the rolling outfit, on the streets in partnership with Share Our Strength’s No...
Quick service restaurant franchisees prepare FDDs with unit economics in mind.
Outside Insights
For years, the two most important words in franchising—for both franchisors and franchisees—have been unit economics. The success or failure of a franchise concept can pivot off of how well unit economics are tracked, managed, and improved. Yet many franchisors and franchisees alike pay inadequate...
Del Taco franchisees grow brand with help from lessons learned in C suite.
Franchising
Paul Hitzelberger hasn’t exactly had a normal retirement. After serving as chief marketing officer for Del Taco from 1986 to 2001 and being part owner for all but three years of that time, he chose to take over some of the company’s worst-performing franchise locations, all located in Utah, and...
Quick service companies expand to North Dakota to capitalize on growth.
Industry News
Economic booms are nothing new to regional American economies. From the Gold Rush in California to the post–Industrial Age coal fields of Pennsylvania and West Virginia, history shows that workers and businesses have long rushed to parts of the country where valuable resources were discovered. Now...
Quick service beverage providers shake up tea product with new twists.
Marc Halperin: Resident F&B Expert
It’s summer. It’s hot. And chances are good that if you’re nestled comfortably in a backyard hammock—or perched on a porch swing, sprawled out on the beach, casting a line at the ol’ fishing hole, or engaged in any number of other stereotypical warm-weather activities straight out of a Norman...
Premium chicken restaurant chain PDQ leverages high quality product and experience.
Emerging Concepts
The letters in the name PDQ have two different meanings. First and foremost, they stand for “people dedicated to quality,” says PDQ principal Nick Reader. They also stand for “pretty darn quick,” as the concept is a fast casual that focuses on speedy delivery. “Our people are what we pride...
Quick service restaurant menu boards reflect demand for visual information.
Menu Innovations
Change is afoot at the drive-thru window. While the principles of the drive thru have remained the same for decades, new technology and tighter operations are ensuring that menuboards and broader menu strategies will evolve as brands attempt to maximize the outdoor lane. One important drive-thru...
Fast food restaurant owners adapt business by asking right questions.
Denise Lee Yohn: QSR’s Marketing Guru
This month I’m answering three questions that were submitted through our online question form. While the questions cover a range of issues in the industry, the common theme is to ensure you’re asking the right question in the first place. I have recently opened my quick serve, and for the first two...
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Quick service restaurant franchisees prepare FDDs with unit economics in mind.
Prospering Over the Long Term
For years, the two most important words in franchising—for both franchisors and franchisees—have been unit economics. The success or failure of a franchise concept can pivot off of how well unit economics are tracked, managed, and improved. Yet many franchisors and franchisees alike pay inadequate...
Fast food kitchens must protect restaurants against food borne illness.
How to Improve Your Food Safety
Stories surrounding food-borne illness outbreaks in national quick-service restaurant chains have become very common, with many national brands having suffered at least one major food-borne illness outbreak. Whether the cause of the outbreak is due to contaminated food or unclean surfaces, food...
Very Cool
For many Americans, there’s nothing like drinking a tall, cold glass of iced tea on a hot summer’s day. Whether plain, sweetened, infused with fruit flavors, or part of a specialty beverage, iced tea is increasingly popular nationwide. Limited-service restaurants have seen solid growth with iced...
Getting a Head Start
This year has been projected as a growth year for the restaurant industry, creating opportunities for entrepreneurs who dream of opening their own restaurant. Forty-seven percent of Americans’ food dollars are spent dining away from home, and restaurant sales are expected to hit a record high this...
Biggest quick service restaurant brands build unit counts and system wide sales.
The QSR 50
Read the Profiles Browse the Big Chart See The Contenders Segments Burger Sandwich Snack Mexican Pizza/Pasta Chicken Asian Seafood 1. McDonald’s There’s an age-old saying woven into kids’ vernacular, a commandment of sorts underlying playground activities the world over: “First is the...
Biggest quick service restaurant brands build unit counts and system wide sales.
The QSR 50
Read the Profiles Browse the Big Chart See The Contenders Segments Burger Sandwich Snack Mexican Pizza/Pasta Chicken Asian Seafood 1. McDonald’s There’s an age-old saying woven into kids’ vernacular, a commandment of sorts underlying playground activities the world over: “First is the...
Quick service restaurants like Arbys launch charity events to raise money and awareness.
Fighting Hunger, One State at a Time
When Arby’s Hungry for Happiness mobile tour pulls into town, people notice. It’s hard to miss the fire-engine red semi truck and trailer emblazoned with a beaming young girl enchanted by a bite of giant watermelon. But the rolling outfit, on the streets in partnership with Share Our Strength’s No...