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  • The 32 Biggest Fast-Food Chains in America

    Fast Food August 5, 2019 By QSR Staff
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    Subway

    Stack them up

    From systemwide sales to average-unit volumes, the restaurant industry will always have its steadfast metrics. But few are more closely watched than unit count. Simply, which brands are growing? And which are retracting?

    Each year, the QSR 50 takes the pulse of the quick-service landscape by diving into these figures, and more. The result is a telling peek inside one of the country’s most dynamic industries, often referred to as the heartbeat of the American consumer.

    While it’s pulled back significantly in the last couple of years, sandwich giant Subway remains far and away the largest restaurant chain. It’s 24,798 domestic locations are 9,973 ahead of Starbucks—the second-biggest U.S. brand.

    CHECK OUT LAST YEAR'S RESULTS

    Here’s a breakdown of where the largest restaurants in the nation rank, if they’re expanding, shrinking, and which chains have sales to back it up.

    Note: The unit count are by U.S. restaurants as of 2018 year end.

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    Subway

    1. Subway

    Unit count: 24,798

    Franchised stores: 24,798

    Company stores: 0

    Total change in units from 2017: –1,110

    U.S. systemwide sales (millions): $10,410.34

    Average sales per unit (thousands): $420.00

    Read more in the QSR 50 here.

    A collection of Starbucks' famed red cups. The brand is one of the most admired companies in the world, according to Fortune.
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    Starbucks

    2. Starbucks

    Unit count: 14,825

    Franchised stores: 6,332

    Company stores: 8,493

    Total change in units from 2017: 895

    U.S. systemwide sales (millions): $19,700.00

    Average sales per unit (thousands): $1,349.32

    Read more in the QSR 50 here.

    McDonald's is Las Vegas.
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    McDonald's

    3. McDonald’s

    Unit count: 13,914

    Franchised stores: 13,229

    Company stores: 685

    Total change in units from 2017: -122

    U.S. systemwide sales (millions): $38,524.05

    Average sales per unit (thousands): $2,768.73

    Read more in the QSR 50 here.

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    Dunkin’ Donuts

    4. Dunkin’

    Unit count: 9,419

    Franchised stores: 9,419

    Company stores: 0

    Total change in units from 2017: 278

    U.S. systemwide sales (millions): $8,787.00

    Average sales per unit (thousands): $933.00

    Read more in the QSR 50 here.

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    Pizza Hut

    5. Pizza Hut

    Unit count: 7,456

    Franchised stores: 7,432

    Company stores: 24

    Total change in units from 2017: -41

    U.S. systemwide sales (millions): $5,500.00

    Average sales per unit (thousands): $878.00

    Read more in the QSR 50 here.

    7 of 33
    flickr: Mike Mozart

    6. Burger King

    Unit count: 7,327

    Franchised stores: 7,278

    Company stores: 49

    Total change in units from 2017: 101

    U.S. systemwide sales (millions): $9,950.00

    Average sales per unit (thousands): $1,357.00

    Read more in the QSR 50 here.

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    Wendy's

    7. Wendy’s

    Unit count: 6,711

    Franchised stores: 5,825

    Company stores: 353

    Total change in units from 2017: 77

    U.S. systemwide sales (millions): $9,993.70

    Average sales per unit (thousands): $1,636.40

    Read more in the QSR 50 here.

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    Taco Bell

    8. Taco Bell

    Unit count: 6,588

    Franchised stores: 6,126

    Company stores: 462

    Total change in units from 2017: 142

    U.S. systemwide sales (millions): $10,300.00

    Average sales per unit (thousands): $1,600.00

    Read more in the QSR 50 here.

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    Domino's

    9. Domino’s

    Unit count: 5,876

    Franchised stores: 5,486

    Company stores: 390

    Total change in units from 2017: 258

    U.S. systemwide sales (millions): $6,600.00

    Average sales per unit (thousands): $1,123.00

    Read more in the QSR 50 here.

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    Dairy Queen

    10. Dairy Queen

    Unit count: 4,406

    Franchised stores: 4,404

    Company stores: 2

    Total change in units from 2017: -49

    U.S. systemwide sales (millions): $3,650.00

    Average sales per unit (thousands): $1,204.58

    Read more in the QSR 50 here.

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    Little Caesars

    11. Little Caesars

    Unit count: 4,262

    Franchised stores: 3,700

    Company stores: 562

    Total change in units from 2017: -74

    U.S. systemwide sales (millions): $3,800.00

    Average sales per unit (thousands): $874.00

    Read more in the QSR 50 here.

    KFC restaurant from the front.
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    KFC

    12. KFC

    Unit count: 4,074

    Franchised stores: 4,019

    Company stores: 55

    Total change in units from 2017: -35

    U.S. systemwide sales (millions): $4,400.00

    Average sales per unit (thousands): $1,210.00

    Read more in the QSR 50 here.

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    Sonic Drive-In

    13. Sonic Drive-In

    Unit count: 3,606

    Franchised stores: 3,427

    Company stores: 179

    Total change in units from 2017: 13

    U.S. systemwide sales (millions): $4,447.10

    Average sales per unit (thousands): $1,250.00

    Read more in the QSR 50 here.

    Papa John's restaurant with a delivery driver out front.
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    flickr: Elvert Barnes

    14. Papa John’s

    Unit count: 3,337

    Franchised stores: 2,691

    Company stores: 646

    Total change in units from 2017: 23

    U.S. systemwide sales (millions): $2,720.00

    Average sales per unit (thousands): $815.00

    Read more in the QSR 50 here.

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    Arby's

    15. Arby’s

    Unit count: 3,329

    Franchised stores: 2,197

    Company stores: 1,132

    Total change in units from 2017: 46

    U.S. systemwide sales (millions): $3,886.90

    Average sales per unit (thousands): $1,177.00

    Read more in the QSR 50 here.

    Jimmy John's Grain Wheat Sub.
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    Jimmy John's

    16. Jimmy John’s

    Unit count: 2,803

    Franchised stores: 2,748

    Company stores: 55

    Total change in units from 2017: 48

    U.S. systemwide sales (millions): $2,200.00

    Average sales per unit (thousands): $772.00

    Read more in the QSR 50 here.

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    Baskin-Robbins

    17. Baskin-Robbins

    Unit count: 2,550

    Franchised stores: 2,550

    Company stores: 0

    Total change in units from 2017: -10

    U.S. systemwide sales (millions): $612.00

    Average sales per unit (thousands): $240.00

    Read more in the QSR 50 here.

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    John Johnston/Chipotle

    18. Chipotle

    Unit count: 2,491

    Franchised stores: 0

    Company stores: 2,491

    Total change in units from 2017: 83

    U.S. systemwide sales (millions): $4,800.00

    Average sales per unit (thousands): $2,000.00

    Read more in the QSR 50 here.

    Customer gets a bag of food at Chick-fil-A in the drive thru.
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    Chick-fil-A

    19. Chick-fil-A

    Unit count: 2,400

    Franchised stores: 2,400

    Company stores: 0

    Total change in units from 2017: 175

    U.S. systemwide sales (millions): $10,000.00

    Average sales per unit (thousands): $4,166.67

    Read more in the QSR 50 here.

    Popeyes restaurant with drive thru.
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    Michael Rivera via Wikimedia Commons

    20. Popeyes

    Unit count: 2,368

    Franchised stores: 2,327

    Company stores: 41

    Total change in units from 2017: 148

    U.S. systemwide sales (millions): $3,325.00

    Average sales per unit (thousands): $1,415.00

    Read more in the QSR 50 here.

    Jack in the Box restaurant storefront.
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    flickr: Thomas Hawk

    21. Jack in the Box

    Unit count: 2,237

    Franchised stores: 2,100

    Company stores: 137

    Total change in units from 2017: -14

    U.S. systemwide sales (millions): $3,466.13

    Average sales per unit (thousands): $1,553.00

    Read more in the QSR 50 here.

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    Panda Express

    22. Panda Express

    Unit count: 2,104

    Franchised stores: 125

    Company stores: 1,979

    Total change in units from 2017: 93

    U.S. systemwide sales (millions): $3,400.00

    Average sales per unit (thousands): $1,616.00

    Read more in the QSR 50 here.

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    Panera Bread

    23. Panera Bread

    Unit count: 2,093

    Franchised stores: 1,131

    Company stores: 963

    Total change in units from 2017: 50

    U.S. systemwide sales (millions): $5,734.63

    Average sales per unit (thousands): $2,739.91

    Read more in the QSR 50 here.

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    Hardee's

    24. Hardee’s

    Unit count: 1,864

    Franchised stores: 1,745

    Company stores: 119

    Total change in units from 2017: 16

    U.S. systemwide sales (millions): $2,120.00

    Average sales per unit (thousands): $1,131.00

    Read more in the QSR 50 here.

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    Jersey Mike's

    25. Jersey Mike’s

    Unit count: 1,494

    Franchised stores: 1,412

    Company stores: 82

    Total change in units from 2017: 151

    U.S. systemwide sales (millions): $1,148.49

    Average sales per unit (thousands): $769.00

    Read more in the QSR 50 here.

    Papa Murphy's restaurant storefront.
    27 of 33
    Corey Coyle/Wikimedia Commons

    26. Papa Murphy’s

    Unit count: 1,437

    Franchised stores: 1,331

    Company stores: 106

    Total change in units from 2017: -86

    U.S. systemwide sales (millions): $795.58

    Average sales per unit (thousands): $568.00

    Read more in the QSR 50 here.

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    flickr: Mike Mozart

    27. Five Guy’s

    Unit count: 1,358

    Franchised stores: 866

    Company stores: 492

    Total change in units from 2017: 37

    U.S. systemwide sales (millions): $1,615.84

    Average sales per unit (thousands): $1,274.80

    Read more in the QSR 50 here.

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    Auntie Anne's

    28. Auntie Anne’s

    Unit count: 1,295

    Franchised stores: 1,282

    Company stores: 13

    Total change in units from 2017: -16

    U.S. systemwide sales (millions): $558.24

    Average sales per unit (thousands): $538.18

    Read more in the QSR 50 here.

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    Wingstop

    29. Wingstop

    Unit count: 1,252

    Franchised stores: 1,095

    Company stores: 29

    Total change in units from 2017: 225

    U.S. systemwide sales (millions): $1,261.03

    Average sales per unit (thousands): $1,139.00

    Read more in the QSR 50 here.

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    Carl's Jr.

    30. Carl’s Jr.

    Unit count: 1,156

    Franchised stores: 1,106

    Company stores: 50

    Total change in units from 2017: -7

    U.S. systemwide sales (millions): $1,261.03

    Average sales per unit (thousands): $1,425.00

    Read more in the QSR 50 here.

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    Firehouse Subs

    31. Firehouse Subs

    Unit count: 1,115

    Franchised stores: 1,078

    Company stores: 37

    Total change in units from 2017: 40

    U.S. systemwide sales (millions): $810.95

    Average sales per unit (thousands): $711.66

    Read more in the QSR 50 here.

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    Church's Chicken

    32. Church’s Chicken

    Unit count: 1,086

    Franchised stores: 811

    Company stores: 165

    Total change in units from 2017: -46

    U.S. systemwide sales (millions): $750.00

    Average sales per unit (thousands): $714.00

    Read more in the QSR 50 here.