Foodservice Equipment Reports

Five Guys Leads Fastest Growing Chains In 2011

As we reported in the last issue of FER Fortnightly, the Top 500 Chains posted overall growth of 3.4% last year, nearly double that of 2010, according to preliminary data from Technomic Inc. That growth adds up to more than $8 billion. But while 60% of the 500 concepts reported gains in ’11, the gains of the fastest growing chains also add up to $8 billion, according to the Chicago-based research firm.

The list of fastest growing chains is quite similar to that of the past few years, with Five Guys Burgers and Fries topping the list with a 32.8% increase in sales, to $951 million. The chain increased U.S. units by nearly 25%. Others in the Top 10 fastest growing chains, in order, are Chipotle, Jimmy John’s, Yard House, Firehouse Subs, BJ’s, Buffalo Wild Wings, Raising Cane’s, Noodles & Co. and Wingstop. The first seven fastest growing concepts had sales increases exceeding 20% last year. Those growth rates are particularly impressive for Chipotle and Buffalo Wild Wings. Both chain’s annual sales now are more than $2 billion.

The Technomic Top 500 Chain Restaurant Report, which includes forecasts and data by menu and service segments as well as a host of other trend data can be purchased by visiting or calling Patrick Noone at 312/506-3852.

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