Technomic reports how historically high inflation impacted Top 500 chain restaurant performance in 2022

New report uncovers how the top restaurant chains fared amid unprecedented levels of foodservice inflation

CHICAGO, April 20, 2023 —Technomic released one of its most highly anticipated reports, the 2023 Top 500 Chain Restaurant Report, which includes expert findings and insights into the sales performance of U.S. chain restaurants in 2022. The report—built using decades of historical data—provides a detailed analysis of the foodservice industry and overarching trends, annual sales and unit counts by chain and segment, and Top 500 sales forecasts for 2023.

“Unprecedented levels of foodservice inflation had a major effect on the industry’s largest chain restaurants in 2022,” said Kevin Schimpf, director, industry research and insights. “Soaring menu prices proved to be the biggest factor behind the 8% sales growth posted by Top 500 chain restaurants in 2022. Location development also boosted chain performance, as the Top 500’s overall footprint expanded beyond its pre-pandemic total.”

Key findings include:

  •     Top 500 chain sales climbed to $393 billion in 2022, expanding by 8.2% compared to the prior year
  •     Sizeable menu price increases across most Top 500 chains were the primary driver of sales growth in 2022, as consumer traffic remained flat relative to 2021
  •     The combined Top 500 footprint includes roughly 230,000 locations, exceeding its comparable 2019 benchmark
  •     The pace of chain merger and acquisition deals saw a noticeable deceleration in 2022 after a high volume of activity in 2021
  •     Three more chains crossed the billion-dollar sales threshold in 2022, expanding the list of billion-dollar chains within the Top 500 to 53 companies

Technomic has been producing a ranking of top U.S. chain restaurants since 1978. The latest ranking is available for purchase now:

Contact Technomic for press inquiries and purchase details.

About Technomic  
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 and 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. Visit Technomic at  

About Winsight  
Winsight LLC is a business-to-business information company serving the restaurant and noncommercial foodservice, convenience and petroleum retailing and grocery industries. Winsight provides research and analytics, branding solutions, face-to-face opportunities, lead generation initiatives, and content marketing services through products including subscription data products, reports, research tools, research programs, fully custom studies, conferences, custom marketing services, meetings, print and digital trade media. To learn more, visit  

Never Miss an Update

Subscribe to Our Emails

Unique content, conversation and thought leadership from Technomic is just a click away.