Top 10 largest food franchises in the US
Globally, the fast food industry is worth around $570mn, but who are the biggest players? We reveal which chains have the most stores in the US.
10 | Baskin-Robbins
In 2016, Baskin-Robbins brought home $47.5mn in revenues with 2,500 stores in its native US. The company used those profits to continue their international expansions and perform R&D on new flavours and innovations. For instance, the company recently unveiled its first and only ice cream vending machine in Japan. Notably, the machines are placed right in front of the toilets in an Aichi Prefecture service station. Baskin-Robbins is often branded as a dual co-op with another franchise on this list, Dunkin' Donuts. Although growth has slowed for the core products of the franchise, the company is putting a renewed vigour into the marketing for its "Bright Choices" line of ice cream, meant for those looking for a lighter treat with no trans fat.
9 | KFC
The largest chicken franchise in the United States grosses an average of $942,000 per store annually, according to reports from QSR. As of 2013, KFC reported 4,900 total stores in the United States. Its sales tend to be strongest in Texas, Florida and California. As one of the first franchise chains in the United States to move internationally, KFC continues to increase its footprint abroad. This includes recent storefront openings in relatively remote locations such as Singapore, Bangladesh, Cambodia and Myanmar. It is also the largest chain of restaurants in China.
8 | Domino's Pizza
Domino's was the first billion-dollar grossing chain on the list of top American franchisees as of 2006, a feat it has repeated numerous times up until the present. Innovations such as the Pizza Tracker, Domino's Dining Rooms, mobile and online ordering sites, and unmanned pizza delivery keep the chain going even during the years in which it was ranked last in taste for all major pizza chains. Although American cities will not be the first to experience the delivery robots Domino's has on the horizon, with the Netherlands and Germany holding that honour, rest assured they are coming soon. Domino's currently has 5,480 stores across the United States.
7 | Burger King
Revenues for the Yum Brands! premier burger chain totalled $1.15bn in 2016. Slumping sales were a problem in 2016, but 2017 is showing a rise in profitability, something that its 6,642 outlets in the United States are working towards diligently through its recent partnerships with marketing legends McGarryBowen. The chain is focusing more on the freshness and quality of its ingredients as a selling point. Notably, McGarryBowen ceased the use of "The Burger King" mascot in all Burger King advertisements. The character had been lampooned on many professional comedy shows for being scary to children. Burger King showcases its highest sales in New York, California and Florida.
6 | Dunkin' Donuts
As the largest donut and coffee producing franchiser in the United States, Dunkin' Donuts continues to innovate in its market. One of its most successful transitions into modern pastries was the removal of trans fats from their entire menu, replacing them with a mix of cottonseed, palm and soybean oil. In 2016, Dunkin' Donuts grossed $828.9mn over 7,256 locations in the United States. All of its stores are still completely owned and operated by franchisees, and its highest sales are currently in New York, New Jersey and Massachusetts.
5 | Hunt Brothers Pizza
Hunt Brothers has 7,300 locations around the United States as of the end of 2016. Unlike many of the other listings here, Hunt Brothers primarily focuses its locations on fuel stations and convenience stores instead of standalone storefronts. Franchisees tend to build in rural areas, and the company has no franchise fees. Hunt Brothers also has a considerable presence in NASCAR racing, currently partnering with JR Motorsports, Stewart-Haas Racing and Kevin Harvick Incorporated.
4 | Pizza Hut
Under the Yum Brands! umbrella along with other top US franchises Burger King and KFC, Pizza Hut continues to cultivate a space for itself in the world of pizza. 2016 saw the company net an income of $1.619bn, holding total assets of $5.478bn and a total equity of $5.656bn. Even with these stellar numbers, Pizza Hut suffers from a lack of growth since 2015 and its US outlets dropped by 41 to 7,822. However, its marketing continues to innovate, using relevant celebrities and new technologies to bring its new concoctions to the forefront. In January 2017 it announced that it would boost store numbers in the US to 11,000. The chain continues to put resources into its Natural Pizza concept and build on its proprietary mobile SMS system for placing orders conveniently online.
3 | Starbucks
Starbucks is third on the list of total stores in the United States with 10,138 locations currently. Profits stand at $19.16bn as of 2015, of which profits in the United States exceeded $5.24bn. Unlike many of the other entries on this list, Starbucks has never had a problem with changing health trends. Its marketing initiatives and practices such as bringing in beans from remote locations, bolster its marketability across the world. With 238,000 total employees, total assets of $12.45bn and total equity of $5.82bn, it does not seem that any challenger will be eclipsing Starbucks in the coffee market any time soon.
2 | McDonald's
As of 2015, profits for McDonald's stand at $25.413bn in the United States alone. The chain is the largest hamburger franchiser in the United States with 13,813 locations. Only one franchiser in total has more storefronts in the United States, but that franchise pales in comparison to McDonald's in total sales. McDonald's continues to stand at the forefront of marketing in its industry as well, with campaigns tying in the most popular movies, video games and TV shows.
1 | Subway
Subway is the largest franchiser in the United States with 26,887 locations. Its highest sales are in Florida, California and Texas. It is also currently the biggest operator of restaurants in the world. However, the Subway brand may be falling victim to overexpansion in recent years. Although $11.9bn in US revenues is nothing to sneeze at, its per-store revenue falls far behind that of McDonald's and Starbucks.