Special Report | August 2011 | By Sam Oches

The 2011 QSR 50

Page 7
The QSR 50 highlights the top fast food companies in the nation.
image used with permission.

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



I pains me that we celebrate the "success" of restaurants that sell food that makes the world so unhealthy. I can't wait for the day that fast food outlets start going out of business to be replaced by quick serve restaurants that serve only healthy and nutritious food.

It pains you to see a industry succeed. That is so ridiculous in these times.It's just like the early '90s and Outback Steakhouse was going crazy selling those horrible Steaks and Bloomin Onions and other non PC foods. No one was forcing people to buy their product. People buy what they want and the ones that are trying to force stuff that they don't like on them will get some PC sales for a period of time but will end up a vague memory just like De'Lites. The fact that most of you don't remember them proves my point.Let people do what they want. They will anyway, this is the USA.

In this wonderful United StatesIn 1958 approximately one meal in five were eaten in Restaurants. Through the years restaurants of all kinds have exploded in numbers. Today six and a half of ten meals are eaten in Restaurants. In 1958 life expectance was about sixty five years. Today life expectance is over 78 years. Has medicine inproved so much that it has kept us alive in spit of your claim of unhealthy food or have Restaurants offered healthier nutritious foods with unlimited choices and high sanitary standards that has contributed to the increase of life expectance in the US?As for obesity Americans have more spendable income today then ever before and food prices in Restaurants are very low. Im sorry if you are unable to do the math, blame your teacher.Remember Freedom of choice is my mine, don't tell me how to live my life.

Your comment reminds me of the back drop of a movie I once saw - Demolition Man. If you recall the reason the bad guy was let out of prison was because people wanted freedom of choice and the establishment was willing to do anything to stop them in the name of "protecting them from themselves". The only restaurant that was left was Taco Bell and the was by name only, for they did not sell anything that resemble a taco. I say no thanks to that life style. If I were you I would watch that movie again and truly ask myself if I would really want to live in a world like that or would I rather have the freedom to make the right choices for myself and my family.

Just because you were once obese or have food issues doesn't mean I did or I do. I am perfectly healthy, run 4 times a week and enjoy a burger now and then.

Take pride Healthy Guy, but don't waste your time trying to educate people who are unwilling or unable to face the facts. Let them eat cake, and let them get diabetes, heart disease, and the rest. Why should you care?!?

And oh yeah, let's not forget the slave wages. But Americans are descendants of slave masters so that won't concern the average American either. Go al-Qaeda!

hi,Im looking for a nice and famouse restaurant and coffeeshop brand for my restaurant in Iran , could you please give me your suggestion ?thanks

Hi Leyla,I prefer Chipotle, they use natural meats and sometimes organic beans and rice. If Mexican food is unpopular in Iran, Panera Bread is also on the healthier side, serving sandwiches, soups and salads. Good luck!-Morgan

Noon Biar, Kabab Berbar, sounds nice for your restaurant, if you also open a Noon bakery right beside your restataurant. That way you hit two birds with one stone!

Dear all famous fast food companies,We are supplying paper bags for food industry with best quality, services, price for customers,Our factory in Viet nam and we have experts from oversea supervising process and quality that why we believe that we can provide you is best.Contact me via : hoaiductmd@gmail.com,Nguyen Hoai Duc

I am looking for a VP of R & D for an International QSR company. Give me a ring if you know anyone. 615-499-5463.


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