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)sort icon2012 U.S. Average Sales per Unit (thousands)Number of Franchised Units in 2012Number of Company Units in 2012Total Units in 2012Total Change in Units from 2011
1McDonald's $35,600.0$2,600.012,6051,55214,15759
2Subway*$12,100.0$481.025,549025,549956
3Starbucks*1$10,600.0$1,223.04,2626,86611,128341
4Wendy's2$8,600.0$1,483.84,5281,2895,817-34
5Burger King*$8,587.0$1,195.07,0001837,183-21
6Taco Bell$7,478.0$1,363.04,2181,0445,26225
7Dunkin' Donuts$6,264.2$857.47,278287,306291
8Pizza Hut$5,666.0$883.05,7574526,209156
9Chick-fil-A$4,621.1$3,157.91,3912921,68377
10KFC$4,459.0$957.04,3192374,556-162
11Panera Bread$3,861.0$2,427.28438091,652111
12Sonic Drive-In$3,790.7$1,074.03,1474093,556-5
13Domino's Pizza$3,500.0$710.24,5403884,92821
14Jack in the Box$3,084.9$1,379.01,7035472,25029
15Arby's$2,992.0$993.22,3431,0113,354-83
16Chipotle Mexican Grill$2,731.2$2,113.001,4101,410180
17Papa John's$2,402.4$829.02,4836483,131130
18Dairy Queen*$2,300.0$545.04,45934,462-23
19Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen$2,253.0$1,242.01,634451,67969
20Hardee's$1,900.0$1,145.01,2334701,7038
21Panda Express$1,797.4$1,237.0471,4861,533119
22Little Caesars*$1,684.0$465.03,1755503,725207
23Whataburger$1,476.8$1,996.011962174012
24Carl's Jr.$1,400.0$1,470.06974271,1248
25Jimmy John's$1,262.8$878.81,534261,560229
26Five Guys Burgers & Fries$1,082.7$1,049.08502551,105204
27Zaxby's$979.3$1,765.74679856525
28Church's Chicken$869.9$706.59442581,20210
29Bojangles'$864.5$1,717.532521153630
30Steak 'n Shake*$857.5$1,700.08741450110
31Culver's$838.8$1,837.5463947228
32Quiznos*$838.0$345.02,34942,353-150
33Papa Murphy's$738.0$574.91,270591,32979
34Long John Silver's$723.0$794.09110911-21
35Checkers/Rally's$696.9$903.4455321776-3
36White Castle$618.5$1,284.204064069
37Del Taco$607.9$1,100.025329855119
38Qdoba Mexican Grill$583.2$966.031131662744
39Jason's Deli$578.9$2,556.410114424510
40Krispy Kreme*$569.4$2,428.0142972399
41El Pollo Loco*$563.0$1,475.02321653973
42Boston Market$559.0$1,184.00469469-12
43Tim Hortons$532.2$1,095.0800480490
44In-N-Out Burger*$528.0$1,935.0028028014
45Baskin-Robbins$510.0$207.12,45672,463-30
46CiCi's Pizza*$505.0$915.054010550-23
47Captain D's$467.1$903.0239278517-2
48Moe's Southwest Grill$452.0$1,102.5478448243
49Wingstop$450.9$902.05102353345
50Jamba Juice$450.0$714.747330177440
*Includes figures estimated by Technomic Inc. 1Franchise Unit Counts Represent data for Licensed Units 2AUV data for Company-operated units only