statistics about americas biggest fast food chains

Last Updated On June 12, 2019 / Written By Grace Njaramba

Statistics About America’s Biggest Fast-Food Chains

While there are certainly a lot of very popular fast food chains in America, which one is the biggest? Well, the answer may surprise you. Read on to find out the statistics and rankings of the top 20 fast food chains in the U.S.!

The 20 Biggest Fast-Food Chains in America

the 20 biggest fast food chains in america 1090

The fast food industry in America is worth around $198.9 billion, and this figure is expected to go over $223 billion by the year 2020. If you are wondering how many fast food chains there are in the United States, there's around 50,000 scattered across the nation. As the volume of U.S. fast food chains does not allow for quick discussion, here are some crucial details about the top 20 as of 2018.

1. Subway
Average sales per unit in thousands - $416.86
U.S. systemwide sales in millions - $10,800.00
Company stores - 0
Franchised stores - 25,908
Unit count - 25,908

2. McDonald's
Average sales per unit in thousands - $2,670.32
U.S. systemwide sales in millions - $37,480.67
Company stores - 842
Franchised stores - 13,194
Unit count - 14,036

3. Starbucks
Average sales per unit in thousands - $945.27
U.S. systemwide sales in millions - $13,167.61
Company stores - 8,222
Franchised stores - 5,708
Unit count - 13,930

4. Dunkin' Donuts
Average sales per unit in thousands - $733.13
U.S. systemwide sales in millions - $9,192.00
Company stores - 0
Franchised stores - 12,538
Unit count - 12,538

5. Pizza Hut
Average sales per unit in thousands - $900.00
U.S. systemwide sales in millions - $5,510.84
Company stores - 96
Franchised stores - 7,426
Unit count - 7,522

6. Burger King
Average sales per unit in thousands - $1,387.81
U.S. systemwide sales in millions - $10,028.32
Company stores - 50
Franchised stores - 7,196
Unit count - 7,266

7. Taco Bell
Average sales per unit in thousands - $1,500.00
U.S. systemwide sales in millions - $9,790.15
Company stores - 647
Franchised stores - 5,799
Unit count - 6,446

8. Wendy's
Average sales per unit in thousands - $1,610.00
U.S. systemwide sales in millions - $9,288.09
Company stores - 337
Franchised stores - 5,432
Unit count - 5,769

9. Domino's
Average sales per unit in thousands - $1,000.00
U.S. systemwide sales in millions - $5,900.00
Company stores - 392
Franchised stores - 5,195
Unit count - 5,587

10. Dairy Queen
Average sales per unit in thousands - $1,269.75
U.S. systemwide sales in millions - $3,640.00
Company stores - 2
Franchised stores - 4,453
Unit count - 4,455

11. Little Caesars
Average sales per unit in thousands - $815.00
U.S. systemwide sales in millions - $3,530.58
Company stores - 535
Franchised stores - 3,797
Unit count - 4,332

12. KFC
Average sales per unit in thousands - $1,200.00
U.S. systemwide sales in millions - $4,417.05
Company stores - 54
Franchised stores - 4,055
Unit count - 4,109

13. Sonic Drive-In
Average sales per unit in thousands - $1,250.00
U.S. systemwide sales in millions - $4,408.16
Company stores - 228
Franchised stores - 3,365
Unit count - 3,593

14. Arby's
Average sales per unit in thousands - $1,130.00
U.S. systemwide sales in millions - $3,634.00
Company stores - 1,075
Franchised stores - 2,340
Unit count - 3,415

15. Papa John's
Average sales per unit in thousands - $968.45
U.S. systemwide sales in millions - $3,209.30
Company stores - 708
Franchised stores - 2,606
Unit count - 3,314

16. Jimmy John's
Average sales per unit in thousands - $796.97
U.S. systemwide sales in millions - $2,139.62
Company stores - 55
Franchised stores - 2,700
Unit count - 2,755

17. Baskin-Robbins
Average sales per unit in thousands - $360.72
U.S. systemwide sales in millions - $606.00
Company stores - 0
Franchised stores - 2,560
Unit count - 2,560

18. Chipotle
Average sales per unit in thousands - $1,940.00
U.S. systemwide sales in millions - $4,476.41
Company stores - 2,371
Franchised stores - 0
Unit count - 2,371

19. Jack in the Box
Average sales per unit in thousands - $1,543.00
U.S. systemwide sales in millions - $3,469.17
Company stores - 276
Franchised stores - 1,975
Unit count - 2,251

20. Popeyes
Average sales per unit in thousands - $1,440.19
U.S. systemwide sales in millions - $3,213.06
Company stores - 53
Franchised stores - 2,178
Unit count - 2,231

Just like that, the list of the top 20 biggest fast food chains in America is complete. You may be thinking, “Hey! My favorite fast food chain isn’t listed.” or “Wow! Some popular chains didn’t make the cut; how come?” especially since chains like Chick-fil-A, Panera, and Panda Express missed the cut.

As was previously said, location is a crucial component of successful restaurant management, and location, as well as the number of locations, could have affected these statistics (in addition to a variety of other variables).

This list of the top 20 fast food chains in the U.S. serves to provide insight into the industry. For more information and insider insight on how to best run your food service business, feel free to check out the “Effective and Efficient Workforce Management Solutions for Restaurants” and “What Is the Estimated Cost of Buying Restaurant Kitchen Equipment?” articles, which are also on the Hubworks Blog!



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