Special Report | August 2013 | By Sam Oches

The QSR 50

The 50 brands setting the pace in the quick-service and fast-casual restaurant industries.

In 2012, Chick-fil-A surpassed KFC to become the best-selling chicken chain, Jimmy John’s and Five Guys joined the billion-dollar-brands club, and fast-growing Wingstop and Moe’s Southwest Grill climbed into the limited-service industry’s upper echelon for the first time. McDonald’s, meanwhile, maintained its stranglehold on the No. 1 position, nearly tripling runner-up Subway’s domestic sales. Dig deep into the data driving the quick-service and fast-casual restaurant industries with this year’s QSR 50.

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RankCompany/Chain Name2012 U.S. Systemwide Sales (Millions)2012 U.S. Average Sales per Unit (thousands)Number of Franchised Units in 2012Number of Company Units in 2012sort iconTotal Units in 2012Total Change in Units from 2011
3Starbucks*1$10,600.0$1,223.04,2626,86611,128341
1McDonald's $35,600.0$2,600.012,6051,55214,15759
21Panda Express$1,797.4$1,237.0471,4861,533119
16Chipotle Mexican Grill$2,731.2$2,113.001,4101,410180
4Wendy's2$8,600.0$1,483.84,5281,2895,817-34
6Taco Bell$7,478.0$1,363.04,2181,0445,26225
15Arby's$2,992.0$993.22,3431,0113,354-83
11Panera Bread$3,861.0$2,427.28438091,652111
17Papa John's$2,402.4$829.02,4836483,131130
23Whataburger$1,476.8$1,996.011962174012
22Little Caesars*$1,684.0$465.03,1755503,725207
14Jack in the Box$3,084.9$1,379.01,7035472,25029
20Hardee's$1,900.0$1,145.01,2334701,7038
42Boston Market$559.0$1,184.00469469-12
8Pizza Hut$5,666.0$883.05,7574526,209156
24Carl's Jr.$1,400.0$1,470.06974271,1248
30Steak 'n Shake*$857.5$1,700.08741450110
12Sonic Drive-In$3,790.7$1,074.03,1474093,556-5
36White Castle$618.5$1,284.204064069
13Domino's Pizza$3,500.0$710.24,5403884,92821
35Checkers/Rally's$696.9$903.4455321776-3
38Qdoba Mexican Grill$583.2$966.031131662744
50Jamba Juice$450.0$714.747330177440
37Del Taco$607.9$1,100.025329855119
9Chick-fil-A$4,621.1$3,157.91,3912921,68377
44In-N-Out Burger*$528.0$1,935.0028028014
47Captain D's$467.1$903.0239278517-2
28Church's Chicken$869.9$706.59442581,20210
26Five Guys Burgers & Fries$1,082.7$1,049.08502551,105204
10KFC$4,459.0$957.04,3192374,556-162
29Bojangles'$864.5$1,717.532521153630
5Burger King*$8,587.0$1,195.07,0001837,183-21
41El Pollo Loco*$563.0$1,475.02321653973
39Jason's Deli$578.9$2,556.410114424510
27Zaxby's$979.3$1,765.74679856525
40Krispy Kreme*$569.4$2,428.0142972399
33Papa Murphy's$738.0$574.91,270591,32979
19Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen$2,253.0$1,242.01,634451,67969
7Dunkin' Donuts$6,264.2$857.47,278287,306291
25Jimmy John's$1,262.8$878.81,534261,560229
49Wingstop$450.9$902.05102353345
46CiCi's Pizza*$505.0$915.054010550-23
31Culver's$838.8$1,837.5463947228
45Baskin-Robbins$510.0$207.12,45672,463-30
32Quiznos*$838.0$345.02,34942,353-150
43Tim Hortons$532.2$1,095.0800480490
48Moe's Southwest Grill$452.0$1,102.5478448243
18Dairy Queen*$2,300.0$545.04,45934,462-23
2Subway*$12,100.0$481.025,549025,549956
34Long John Silver's$723.0$794.09110911-21
*Includes figures estimated by Technomic Inc. 1Franchise Unit Counts Represent data for Licensed Units 2AUV data for Company-operated units only