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