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Top Restaurant Franchises by Subcategory A-L

 

Sales Growth - Bagel Franchises

Rank Company $ Millions Sales Growth %
433 Big Apple Bagels 35 -1.1%
142 Einstein Bros. Bagels 508* -1.4%

*Franchise Times Estimate

Both popular bagel brands didn’t have a great year, with negative sales for both Big Apple Bagels and Einstein Bros. The negative growth for Einstein Bros. comes after its acquisition by Panera Bread in early 2017, which is in turn owned by JAB Holding Company.

 

Sales Growth - Bakery/Cafe/Deli Franchises

Rank Company $ Millions Sales Growth %
126 McAlister's Deli 657 11.1%
233 Newk's Eatery 229 8.9%
25 Panera Bread 5,455 5.4%
191 Schlotzsky's Bakery Cafe 342 3.1%
453 Nature's Table 29 0.0%
476 Breadsmith 23 0.0%
180 Corner Bakery Cafe 375 -0.2%
128 Jason's Deli 638 -1.1%
259 La Madeleine 169 -2.7%

All top bakery, casual cafe and deli concepts in the franchising world had a good year, with Atlanta-based McAlister’s Deli in the lead at 11.1 percent sales growth. Panera Bread, which is the biggest in the category in terms of sales, saw a 5.4 percent increase.

 

Sales Growth - BBQ Franchises

Rank Company $ Millions Sales Growth %
303 L&L Hawaiian Barbecue Pit 120  -0.6%
150 Dickey's Barbecue Pit 490* -4.9%
164 Famous Dave's  398* -6.0%

Only two barbeque brands made the listings this year, and neither did too hot. L&L Hawaiian Barbeque, serving up traditional Hawaiian plates, saw a negative .6 dip in sales and Famous Dave’s, which has recently been trying out virtual kitchen concepts, saw -6 percent.

 

 

Sales Growth - Better Burgers Franchises

Rank Company $ Millions Sales Growth %
276 BurgerFI 147  37.4%
381 Wayback Burgers 55  9.1%
70 Five Guys 1,732 8.6%
311 Fatburger 112 2.0%
345 Hwy 55 Burgers, Shakes & Fries 72 0.9%
189 Smashburger 345* -4.2%
214 Fuddruckers 270* -5.6%
367 MOOYAH Burgers, Fries & Shakes 60  -10.1%

A popular category in the country of hot dogs, pizza and burgers, many unique burger concepts did well this year. BurgerFI blew everyone else out of the water with its signature stamped buns at 37.4 percent, while other positive players such as Five Guys and Wayback saw 8.6 percent and 9.1 percent respectively.

 

Newer brands Mooyah and Smashburger struggled this year with negative sales over 4 percent each.

 

 

Sales Growth - Casual - Breakfast Franchises

Rank Company $ Millions Sales Growth %
455 Famous Toastery 29 91.1%
221 Black Bear Diner 252 22.6%
331 Another Broken Egg Cafe 85  17.2%
415 Broken Yolk Cafe 41 8.6%
478 The Flying Biscuit Cafe 22 7.4%
48 Denny's 2,900  3.6%
44 IHOP 3,255 0.5%
224 Huddle House 246 -0.1%
183 Village Inn 353* -1.8%

 *Franchise Times Estimate

Broken eggs in the title equal positive sales in the breakfast category—both Another Broken Egg Cafe and Broken Yolk Cafe saw positive sales this past year with 17.2 and 8.6 percent respectively. Family dining concept Black Bear Diner also had a great year with 22.6 percent sales growth, and top-50 player Denny’s saw just over 3 percent. Struggling brands this year included Atlanta-based Huddle House and Village Inn.

 

Sales Growth - Casual - Traditional Franchises

Rank Company $ Millions Sales Growth %
74 Red Robin 1,646* 5.4%
183 Johnny Rockets 362 2.7%
94 Steak 'n Shake 1,060* 1.0%
213 Sizzler 273* -0.7%
328 Roy Rogers 89 -2.4%
33 Chili's 3,985 -2.9%
52 T.G.I. Fridays 2,575* -3.7%
247 The Melting Pot 191 -4.2%
27 Applebee's 4,410* -6.8%

*Franchise Times Estimate

Casual diners are seemingly losing popularity, as only Johnny Rockets, Red Robin and Steak ‘n Shake had positive sales growth this past year. Top 200 veterans like Applebee’s and T.G.I. Fridays both dipped in sales over 3 percent.

 

Sales Growth - Chicken Franchises

Rank Company $ Millions Sales Growth %
16 Chick-fil-A 8,600* 9.6%
271 Golden Chick 155 9.5%
155 Pollo Campero 468 9.1%
73 Zaxby's 1,675* 7.4%
40 Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen 3,512 6.9%
205 Chester's  294 6.0%
3 KFC 24,515 5.5%
86 Bojangles' Famous Chicken 'n Biscuits 1,278  3.8%
88 Church's Chicken 1,193  2.4%

*Franchise Times Estimate 

From fried to grilled, cold to hot, sweet to savory, chicken is a staple and it shows. All chicken-focused chains performed well this year, with Pollo Campero and Chick-fil-A continuing their streaks with sales over 9 percent each. The lowest amount of growth in the poultry realm was Church’s Chicken, which still grew 2.4 percent in sales.

 

 

Sales Growth - Coffee Franchises 

Rank Company $ Millions Sales Growth %
167 Dutch Bros. Coffee 415 19.2%
354 Scooter's Coffee 67 17.9%

Step aside, Starbucks—these smaller coffee concepts are making their way to the big leagues. Both Scooter’s Coffee and Dutch Bros. Coffee boasted over 17 percent in sales growth.

 

 

Sales Growth - Hot Dog Franchises 

Rank Company $ Millions Sales Growth %
460 Dog Haus 28 37.1%
219 Wienerschnitzel 255 2.2%
438 Hot Dog on a Stick 33 -4.8%

 

 

 

Sales Growth - Japanese BBQ Franchises 

Rank Company $ Millions Sales Growth %
297 Gyu-Kaku Japanese BBQ 123 21.6%
219 HuHot Mongolian Grill 101 7.7%

 

 

 

Our list of the Top Restaurant Franchises continues on the next page.  Click Here to view subcategories M-R.

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