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