Special Report | August 2011 | By Sam Oches

The 2011 QSR 50

Page 9
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

41/Boston Market

Many things changed at Boston Market in 2010, not the least of which was its CEO. Even by the time George Michel replaced industry veteran Lane Cardwell as Boston Market’s head honcho in October, many upgrades and changes were shifting operations across the system’s roughly 500 units.

Aside from adding a new lunch menu, Boston Market also upgraded disposable plates and cutlery to real plates and stainless ware, added carving stations, and hired extra staff to improve hospitality.

42/Jason’s Deli

2010 was business as usual for Jason’s Deli, which, for this Beaumont, Texas–based fast casual, is good news. Store count and systemwide sales were both up, as was its AUV—a number that puts it at third-best in the QSR 50, behind Chick-fil-A and McDonald’s. The company also maintained its status as a popular destination for health-conscious diners and landed at the top spot on Parents magazine’s list of best family restaurants.


Once a major player in the quick-serve pizza category, Sbarro now looks like a shadow of its former self. The losses in 2010 and throughout the recession—a period that hit malls, one of Sbarro’s favorite locations, particularly hard—paved the way to the chain’s filing of Chapter 11 bankruptcy in early 2011. But 2010 wasn’t a complete waste for Sbarro. The company announced two major international franchise deals, one for 1,250 stores in Japan and another for 1,000 stores in Brazil.


A new store prototype helped give Qdoba a little more Mexican authenticity in 2010, but its Craft 2 menu was what really spurred innovation last year. Director of strategic product development Ted Stoner says the new menu, which lets customers pair smaller portions of two menu items together, has given customers the green light to try new things—which, he says, gives him the green light to test outside-the-box new menu items, like the new Mini Street Tacos that debuted in March.

45/In-N-Out Burger

The iconic California-based burger chain made a splash late in 2010 when it announced that it would enter the Dallas market—the first time in its 63-year history that the company would move that far eastward.

The company swears that the Dallas expansion—complete with a major distribution center, just the second for In-N-Out—does not signal any kind of all-out East Coast takeover strategy. Nor, they say, is it a response to the West Coast growth of rival Five Guys. Of course, when the doors opened to the first Dallas unit in early 2011 to five-hour lines, execs at the family owned company probably thought twice about its slow-and-steady growth.

Next: QSR 50 Profiles 46 - 50



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!

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.


Add new comment