Top-Paid CEOs of Publicly Traded Quick-Service Restaurants

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Chipotle
Chipotle burrito.

Some of the wealthiest restaurant CEOs head fast-food and fast-casual chains on the stock market. 

To check out how each brand compares, QSR examined the 65 highest-grossing quick-service brands in America in terms of U.S. systemwide sales, and selected the highest-paid CEOs of publicly traded concepts within that group. 

CHECK OUT: Highest-Paid CEOs of Publicly Traded Full-Service Restaurants

Information was collected from recent SEC filings, and displays 2020 figures. 

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Chipotle

1.Brian Niccol, Chipotle 

Base salary: $1,242,307

Stock awards: $29,222,813

Option awards: $4,000,219

Non-equity incentive plan compensation: $3,150,000

All other compensation: $3,150,000

All other compensation: $420,529

Total: $38,035,868

More: Chipotle CEO: Opportunity Ahead 'Remains Significant'

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Restaurant Brands International
Exterior of a Burger King restaurant.

2. José Cil, RBI (Burger King, Popeyes, Tim Hortons)

Base salary: $553,370

Stock awards: $17,716,706

Non-equity incentive plan compensation: $1,687,200

All other compensation: $97,140

Total: $20,054,416

More: Can Burger King Spark a Comeback?

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Starbucks
Starbucks Pistachio Latte.

3. Kevin Johnson, Starbucks

Base salary: $1,540,379

Stock awards: $11,166,708

Non-equity incentive plan compensation: $1,860,000

All other compensation: $98,488

Total: $14,665,575

More: How COVID-19 Made Starbucks a Stronger Restaurant Chain

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KFC

4. David Gibbs, YUM! Brands (Pizza Hut, Taco Bell, KFC, Habit Burger)

Base salary: $303,077

Bonus: $1,404,000

Stock awards: $4,646,430

Option/SAR awards: $3,500,016

Change in pension value and nonqualified deferred compensation earnings: $4,517,703

All other compensation: $260,225

Total: $14,631,451

More: Taco Bell Unveils its Most Innovative Restaurant Ever

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Adobe Stock
McDonald's exterior.

5. Christopher Kempczinski, McDonald’s

Base salary: $963,506

Stock awards: $4,750,129

Option awards: 4,750,011

All other compensation: $383,386

Total: $10,847,032

More: McDonald's Finds Advantage in Fast-Food Labor Battle

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Wendy's
Wendy's store exterior seen at dusk.

6. Todd Penegor, Wendy’s

Base salary: $1,046,164

Stock awards: $2,299,978

Option awards: $2,299,997

Non-equity incentive plan compensation: $1,496,250

All other compensation: $71,385

Total: $7,213,774

More: Wendy's is Seeing Ghosts and Plenty of Growth Potential

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Papa John's
Papa John's Shaq-a-Roni Pizza.

7. Robert Lynch, Papa John’s

Base salary: $900,000

Stock awards: $3,400,100

Non-equity incentive plan compensation: $1,980,000

All other compensation: $98,093

Total: $6,378,193

More: Why COVID Will Catapult Papa John’s Across the Globe

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Domino's Cheeseburger and Chicken Taco pizzas.
Domino's

8. Ritch Allison, Domino’s

Base salary: $929,423

Stock awards: $1,057,918

Option awards: $1,343,406

Non-equity incentive compensation plan: $2,736,910

All other compensation: $227,573

Total: $6,295,230

More: Domino's Balances Menu Pricing and Value Amid Labor Shortage

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Wingstop
Wingstop exterior of restaurant at night.

9. Charlie Morrison, Wingstop

Base salary: $800,000

Bonus: $1,000,000

Stock /Unit awards: $1,666,688

Option awards: $745,768

Non-equity incentive plan compensation: $1,000,000

All other compensation: $798,006

Total: $6,010,462

More: Wingstop Softens Inflation with Soaring Sales

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Jack in the Box
Jack in the Box exterior.

10. Lenny Comma, Jack in the Box (former CEO)

Base salary: $766,827

Bonus: $200,000

Stock awards: $2,759,273

Option awards: 1,120,785

Non-equity incentive plan compensation: $1,070,008

Change in pension value and nonqualified deferred compensation earnings: $82,722

All other compensation: $56,086

Total: $5,855,701

More: Jack in the Box Begins the Journey to 6,000 Locations

Note: Lenny Comma left the brand in 2020 and was replaced by current CEO Darin Harris.

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Shake Shack
Shake Shack items

11. Randy Garutti, Shake Shack

Base salary: $611,552

Bonus: $30,000

Stock awards: $1,500,013

Non-equity incentive plan compensation: $94,538

All other compensation: $494,684

Total: $2,730,786

More: Shake Shack to Invest More than $10 Million in Restaurant Workers

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Del Taco
Del Taco food

12. John Cappasola, Del Taco

Base salary: $561,053

Stock awards: $1,452,785

Option awards: $10,432

Non-equity incentive plan compensation: $409,555

All other compensation: $24,431

Total: $2,458,256

More: Del Taco Hatches Plan to Combat Labor Shortage

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Noodles & Company
Noodles & Company Cauliflower Gnocchi.

13. Dave Boennighausen, Noodles & Company

Base salary: $565,385

Stock awards: $1,200,000

Non-equity incentive plan compensation: $240,000

All other compensation: $5,080

Total: $2,020,465

More: Noodles & Company Looks to Keep Momentum Rolling

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El Pollo Loco
El Pollo Loco's L.A. Mex Design

14. Bernard Acoca, El Pollo Loco

Base salary: $650,000

Stock awards: $1,000,040

Non-equity incentive plan compensation: $325,989

All other compensation: $35,237

Total: $2,011,266

More: El Pollo Loco Keeps the COVID Comeback Going

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Pexels
Exterior of Steak 'n Shake restaurant at night.

15. Sardar Biglari, Biglari Holdings (Steak ‘n Shake)

Base salary: $900,000

Total: $900,000

More: The Steak ‘n Shake of Old is Gone

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Papa Murphy's
Papa Murphy's redesigned interior

16. Eric Lefebvre, MTY Food Group (Papa Murphy’s)

Base salary: $519,000

All other compensation: $11,381

Total compensation: $530,381

More: Papa Murphy's Reaches for Spotlight with New Brand Evolution