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Datassential 500

Top Restaurant Chains

The annual Datassential 500 report ranks the largest restaurant chains in the United States.

Datassential 500: Top Restaurant Chains Across the U.S.

In the Datassential 500, we proudly present a ranking of the largest restaurant chains in the United States by unit count and sales, the fastest-growing chains, and provide an in-depth look at leaders across 16 different segments – from limited service chicken operators to full service steak and seafood chains.

The Datassential 500 offers a clear picture of industry performance overall, as well as trends by segment that can arm food and beverage companies with what they need to get ahead of the competition. From comprehensive data on sales across the landscape to key consumer perception metrics, think of the report as a one-stop shop for competitive intel.

A closer look at the nation’s top restaurant chains

The Datassential 500 goes beyond a ranking of the nation’s biggest chains by offering a look at chains by region and segment for a granular look at how chains are performing across the country. The report also offers the latest data on key consumer perceptions across a number of metrics, from quality and service to overall experience and net promoter score (NPS), offering a holistic look at true performance from every angle. 

Why rank restaurant chains by units versus sales?

We believe ranking chains by units provides the most accurate representation of growth and chain potential. What’s more, in our Operators database, we track chain size fluctuations by unit throughout the year and our internal experts can leverage that data to understand what is next for the biggest chains.

Datassential 500 (previously known as Firefly 500) report methodology

Each year, restaurant chains are invited to share unit and sales performance figures. We then supplement those figures with data from our Sales Intelligence, Launches & Ratings, and Brand Performance solutions. 

Publicly available brand data from securities filings, investor research, and franchise disclosures also inform Datassential estimates. Where specific chain information was not available, estimates were made based on growth rates seen in the industry overall and among similar chains. 

Top restaurant chains across 16 segments

We identify leaders based on location count and highlight the biggest names within these 16 categories.

LSR

Bakery-Café

LSR

Burger

LSR

Chicken

LSR

Coffee

LSR

Desserts-Snacks

LSR

Mexican

LSR

Pizza

LSR

Salad-Healthful

LSR

Sandwich

LSR

Other

FSR

American
Bakery-Café

FSR

Midscale

fsr

Italian-Pizza

FSR

Seafood-Steak

FSR

Sports Bar

FSR

Regional-Ethnic

Don’t miss out our Datassential 500 webinar

Join us Thursday, June 13th at 12 pm CT for a sneak peek of our highly-anticipated report, which takes a comprehensive look at the restaurant landscape and performance of the largest 500 chains. Explore key industry news, learn about segment leaders, top growing chains, and more.

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This episode is part of our Simply Smarter series on the second Thursday of every month. If you already registered for the series, you do not need to register again.