CHICAGO, Feb. 28, 2019–Technomic finds that Chick-fil-A is now ranked No. 5 within the Top 500 restaurant chains, surpassing sales for both Wendy’s and Burger King in 2018. According to Technomic’s 2019 Top 500 Chain Restaurant Advance Report, total U.S. sales for each of the top five chains is above $10 billion, whereas last year only the top three achieved this benchmark. The limited-service chicken category continues to be a pacesetter for growth, led by strong years from not only Chick-fil-A, but also Wingstop and Raising Cane’s.
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“Propelled by the improved performance of many of the industry’s largest players, the Top 500 chains displayed resilience in 2018,” said Kevin Schimpf, industry research manager. “Despite diminishing customer foot traffic, labor challenges and volatile operating conditions, the Top 500 chains were still able to achieve stronger sales growth in 2018 than what we observed the prior year.”
Key report findings include:
• Cumulative 2018 U.S. sales for the Top 500 chains grew to $318 billion
• Fast casual remains the fastest-growing segment, increasing its sales 7.3% in 2018
• Sales growth for casual dining rebounded to 1.3% in 2018, after dipping to 0.3% in 2017
• New location growth among the Top 500 chains fell to a rate of 0.7% in 2018
The Top 500 Chain Restaurant Report is the industry’s leading chain performance tracker, providing annual sales and unit performance by chain, segment and menu category. The results reported here are preliminary and subject to revision. To learn more about this and other industry reports from Technomic, please visit Technomic.com or contact one of the individuals listed below.
Technomic, Inc., a Winsight company, was founded as a management consulting firm in 1966. Since then, Technomic’s services have grown to encompass cloud-based B2B research tools, consumer and menu trend tracking, as well as other leading strategic research and analytic capabilities, to prioritize and size business opportunities. Our clients include food manufacturers and distributors, restaurants, retailers and multiple other business verticals aligned with the food industry that are looking to make informed decisions to support their business growth.