Special Report | August 2015

The QSR 50 Chicken Segment

The top chicken brands in quick service.
image used with permission.
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The evolution of the limited-service restaurant industry continued in 2014, as traditional powerhouses faltered while fast casuals and other rising concepts asserted themselves as forces to be reckoned with. For the first time in the history of the QSR 50, a fast casual entered the top 10, as Panera Bread leapfrogged KFC to land a spot in the industry elite. Meanwhile, Subway ceded the No. 2 spot to Starbucks after an $800 million sales tumble, Chick-fil-A grew by $700 million to become larger than every pizza brand in the country, and Wingstop claimed the biggest jump of the year, with an 11-spot leap.

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Ranksort descendingQSR 50 RankCompany/Chain Name2014 U.S. Systemwide Sales (millions)2014 U.S. Average Sales per Unit (thousands)Number of Franchised Units in 2014Number of Company Units in 2014Total Units in 2014Total Change in Units from 2013
321Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen*$2,433.6$1,340.02,314652,379154
630Church's Chicken$861.3$737.59072611,168-36
732El Pollo Loco$723.0$1,700.024317241514
941Boston Market$602.0$1,314.03453456-4

*Includes figures estimated by Technomic Inc. 2Average unit volume excludes licensed units