The 32 Biggest Fast-Food Chains in America

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Subway

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

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.

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

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.

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McDonald's
McDonald's is Las Vegas.

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

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

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.

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flickr: Mike Mozart

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

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

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

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

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

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.

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KFC
KFC restaurant from the front.

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

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.

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

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

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.

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

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

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

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.

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

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.

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Michael Rivera via Wikimedia Commons
Popeyes restaurant with drive thru.

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.

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flickr: Thomas Hawk
Jack in the Box restaurant storefront.

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

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

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

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

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.

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

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

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

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

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.

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

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

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.