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    The 2011 QSR 50

  • The top quick-serve and fast-casual brands in the nation.

    Download Last Year’s QSR 50 in PDF Format


    The chicken-and-biscuit specialist celebrated its 30th year much as it’s celebrated many other years: by opening new stores, expanding into new markets, and encouraging franchisees and other employees through incentives and contests. Rumors abound, however, that the Charlotte, North Carolina–based brand may soon have a “for sale” sign.

    32/Long John Silver’s

    The leading seafood quick serve puttered along in 2010, doing exactly the same in sales as it did in 2009. But an uninspired year might have been the straw that broke the camel’s back for Yum! Brands—Long John Silver’s and A&W Restaurants were put up for sale early in 2011.


    The Wisconsin-based burger concept doesn’t skimp on its menu innovation and continued to find new twists on the company’s iconic ButterBurger in 2010. New dishes included the BBQ Cheddar ButterBurger and the 3-Pepper Chipotle ButterBurger, both of which were offered as LTOs. Culver’s even invited customers to create their own ButterBurger through the Ultimate ButterBurger Build-Off Contest.

    34/Checkers, Rally’s

    The tried-and-true double-drive-thru sister brands may have had a set-back in 2010 in terms of sales and store counts, but expansion into new markets and a strengthened executive team are giving the company reason to believe in the near future.

    In June 2010, a new director of real estate, director of franchising and new business development, and senior manager of franchise administration joined the team to assist the company’s franchise efforts.

    35/Papa Murphy’s

    Papa Murphy’s rode into 2010 on a high and rode out of it on one, too. The company is once again celebrating the highest sales and store count in its history, despite April’s sale to Lee Equity Partners.

    All of this came before Papa Murphy’s launched its “Join the Take ‘N’ Bake Revolution” marketing campaign in early 2011, which will pump as much as $35 million into its efforts to attract new customers.

    Next: QSR 50 Profiles 36 - 40