‘Leading restaurant franchises expand by 2% in 2023’

The top restaurant chains in the United States saw sales growth in 2023 despite minimal unit expansion, according to a report from Datassential. The nation’s largest food and beverage chains experienced a 7.5% increase in sales to reach 7.13 billion, with price hikes playing a role in the growth. Total units only increased by 2.1% to 238,152.

Subway, Starbucks, and McDonald’s led the pack in terms of total units, with Subway boasting over 20,000 locations. McDonald’s took the top spot in systemwide sales at .9 billion, followed by Starbucks and Chick-fil-A. Domino’s Pizza surpassed Burger King in unit count, while Chipotle exceeded Subway in sales.

The report highlighted Arkansas-based 7 Brew as the fastest-growing chain in the U.S., with a 373.7% increase in units in 2023 compared to the previous year. Other smaller chains like The Peach Cobbler Factory and Hangry Joe’s Hot Chicken also experienced significant growth.

In terms of segment growth, salad/healthy chains led with a 17% increase in units, followed by chicken restaurants at 12%. Dessert/snack chains and coffee chains also saw notable growth. Consumer surveys conducted by Datassential ranked Texas Roadhouse, Chick-fil-A, and Longhorn Steakhouse as the top chains for food quality. Chick-fil-A was also recognized for its outstanding customer service, closely followed by Texas Roadhouse and Longhorn Steakhouse.

Overall, the report provides insight into the performance and trends within the largest restaurant chains in the U.S.

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