Special Report | August 2016

The QSR 50

An inside look at the top 50 brands in quick service and fast casual.
image used with permission.

Fast casual has stormed the QSR 50 in the last few years, with Panera Bread entering the top 10 and Chipotle close at its heels. That trend continued in 2015; Panera and Chipotle each padded their sales, with the latter leap-frogging both Sonic and KFC in the rankings. (Of course, Chipotle’s food-safety woes struck at the end of 2015, a sales hit that will likely be reflected in next year’s QSR 50). Elsewhere in fast casual, a pair of sandwich chains—Jersey Mike’s and Firehouse Subs—continued their incredible momentum up the list, while Wingstop similarly managed to jump multiple spots in the rankings.

Meanwhile, legacy quick-service chains were a mixed bag in 2015. McDonald’s finally found its footing after years of disappointing sales returns, and Taco Bell managed to jump Wendy’s and solidify a spot in the QSR 50’s top five. But KFC ceded more ground in the chicken wars, slipping to spot No. 14 overall—only six spots and just over $1 billion in sales ahead of Popeyes, which enjoyed a major boost in 2015.

Click column headers to sort
Ranksort descendingCompany2015 U.S. Systemwide Sales (millions)2015 U.S. Average Sales per Unit (thousands)Number of Franchised Units in 2015Number of Company Units in 2015Total Units in 2015Total Change in Units from 2014
4Burger King*$9,530.0$1,337.47,074527,126-16
5Taco Bell$8,820.2$1,460.05,2278946,121170
7Dunkin' Donuts*$7,620.0$903.88,392398,431349
9Pizza Hut$5,703.8$725.07,3115117,822-109
10Panera Bread$4,900.0$2,500.01,0719011,97292
11Domino's Pizza$4,800.0$900.04,8163845,200133
15Carl's Jr./Hardee's$3,661.3$1,248.72,6732852,95845
17Dairy Queen*$3,532.0$783.04,50924,511-1
18Little Caesars*1$3,453.2$815.03,6266114,237212
19Jack in the Box$3,395.5$1,510.01,8364132,249-1
20Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen$3,100.0$1,458.52,469702,539160
21Papa John's$2,882.9$892.82,6817073,38848
22Panda Express$2,550.1$1,487.0851,7051,79061
23Jimmy John's Sandwiches$1,978.6$877.12,354512,405296
26Five Guys$1,319.5$1,123.08134021,21552
29Steak n Shake$1,032.4$1,866.914441756116
30Papa Murphy's$880.4$623.51,3691271,49635
31Church's Chicken$838.0$729.08812501,131-37
34Qdoba Mexican Eats$753.7$1,169.033932266123
35El Pollo Loco$753.4$1,798.024718643318
36Krispy Kreme*$708.1$1,835.618111629719
37Del Taco$700.2$1,376.6247297544-3
38Tim Hortons*2$695.7$1,143.088138840
39White Castle$691.3$1,408.7039039010
40Jersey Mike's Subs*$675.0$645.31,006401,046189
41Firehouse Subs$648.5$726.09133294595
42Jason's Deli$643.6$2,664.01061542607
43Moe's Southwest Grill$638.1$1,163.0633563857
44Boston Market$617.9$1,364.054534582
45In-N-Out Burger*1$613.2$1,959.2031331312
47McAlister's Deli$547.7$1,634.53184336124
48Captain D's$531.7$1,024.0238272510-1
49Auntie Anne's*$529.2$500.11,238141,25259
50Jamba Juice*$524.5$641.27487081812

* Includes figures estimated by QSR
1 Numbers are projected by QSR based on past performance
2 Includes 2014 unit counts


Great information. Thanks for compiling.

Great list, but why does QSR list Chick-fil-A as having franchised units? QSR has to know that Chick-fil-A's business model only slightly resemble's franchising and that all of their restaurants are actually corporate owned with an operator running the restaurant.

Please send me the news ladders and bac issues imediately

How do you come up with Dairy Queens average unit volume. The math doesn't work.
System wide sales divided by system units does not even come close to their average sales per unit.

Is "U.S. AVERAGE SALES PER UNIT (THOUSANDS)sort descending" a monthly average?

#48 should be in the 10's or something higher whats wrong with you people?

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