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.
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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
RankCompany2015 U.S. Systemwide Sales (millions)2015 U.S. Average Sales per Unit (thousands)sort ascendingNumber of Franchised Units in 2015Number of Company Units in 2015Total Units in 2015Total Change in Units from 2014
8Chick-fil-A$6,825.9$3,977.31,6463371,98396
42Jason's Deli$643.6$2,664.01061542607
24Whataburger$1,747.0$2,530.011967279117
10Panera Bread$4,900.0$2,500.01,0719011,97292
1McDonald's$35,800.0$2,500.012,8991,36014,259-91
12Chipotle*$4,501.2$2,424.001,9711,971216
27Culver's$1,196.0$2,183.8552755931
25Zaxby's*1$1,576.4$2,174.360212372565
45In-N-Out Burger*1$613.2$1,959.2031331312
29Steak n Shake$1,032.4$1,866.914441756116
28Bojangles'$1,153.0$1,838.737828165940
36Krispy Kreme*$708.1$1,835.618111629719
35El Pollo Loco$753.4$1,798.024718643318
47McAlister's Deli$547.7$1,634.53184336124
6Wendy's*$8,811.9$1,540.05,0906325,722-58
19Jack in the Box$3,395.5$1,510.01,8364132,249-1
22Panda Express$2,550.1$1,487.0851,7051,79061
5Taco Bell$8,820.2$1,460.05,2278946,121170
20Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen$3,100.0$1,458.52,469702,539160
39White Castle$691.3$1,408.7039039010
37Del Taco$700.2$1,376.6247297544-3
44Boston Market$617.9$1,364.054534582
4Burger King*$9,530.0$1,337.47,074527,126-16
15Carl's Jr./Hardee's$3,661.3$1,248.72,6732852,95845
13Sonic$4,390.0$1,200.03,1393873,52641
34Qdoba Mexican Eats$753.7$1,169.033932266123
43Moe's Southwest Grill$638.1$1,163.0633563857
38Tim Hortons*2$695.7$1,143.088138840
32Wingstop$821.2$1,130.082619845133
26Five Guys$1,319.5$1,123.08134021,21552
16Arby's$3,540.0$1,073.02,2101,0043,214-12
2Starbucks$13,300.0$1,062.24,9627,55912,521303
48Captain D's$531.7$1,024.0238272510-1
14KFC$4,328.3$1,000.04,0642064,270-121
33Checkers/Rally's$776.1$966.550532482925
7Dunkin' Donuts*$7,620.0$903.88,392398,431349
11Domino's Pizza$4,800.0$900.04,8163845,200133
21Papa John's$2,882.9$892.82,6817073,38848
23Jimmy John's Sandwiches$1,978.6$877.12,354512,405296
18Little Caesars*1$3,453.2$815.03,6266114,237212
17Dairy Queen*$3,532.0$783.04,50924,511-1
31Church's Chicken$838.0$729.08812501,131-37
41Firehouse Subs$648.5$726.09133294595
9Pizza Hut$5,703.8$725.07,3115117,822-109
40Jersey Mike's Subs*$675.0$645.31,006401,046189
50Jamba Juice*$524.5$641.27487081812
30Papa Murphy's$880.4$623.51,3691271,49635
49Auntie Anne's*$529.2$500.11,238141,25259
3Subway*$11,500.0$424.327,103027,103145
46Baskin-Robbins*$584.0$233.32,493102,50319

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