by David Klemt

Check Out the Top 10 Restaurant Chains by Sales in 2023

by David Klemt

Pop art image of a giant money bag wrapped in golden chains looming over a city skyline

Well, I asked for an image of a giant money bag wrapped in golden chains, looming over a city skyline. Nailed it, AI.

Technomic data reveal the top-performing restaurant chains in the United States of America by sales volume in 2023, and number one won’t be a surprise.

For a bit of context and history, Technomic has been ranking the top chain restaurants in the US since 1978. And, according to reporting, the same chain has held the number-one spot every year.

Feel free to take a moment and make your guess as to which chain continues to lead all others each year.

Alright, if you guessed McDonald’s, congratulations.

Not only is McDonald’s the largest chain in the US by sales, the company outperformed the rest of the list by a significant margin. In 2023, McDonald’s generated more than $53 billion in sales via more than 13,450 units.

That’s nearly $20 billion more in sales than the chain that clinches the number-two spot. Going deeper, that’s more than double the sales of the number-three restaurant chain. In fact, McDonald’s generated just a $100 million dollars less than the sales of the second- and third-biggest chains combined.

Coming in at number two is Starbucks, achieving sales of $31.6 billion in the US from 16,466 units. Number three is Chik-fil-A, seeing $21.6 billion in sales through 2,964 stores.

The Top 10 Chain Restaurants in the US

Below, the full list of the ten top-performing restaurant chains in the US.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, quick- and limited-service restaurants account for the entirety of the top-ten list.

Notably, each of the ten chains saw sales growth last year, though that growth fluctuates from chain to chain. Some, like Chipotle, increased sales by more than 15 percent. For others, like Subway, growth was just over two percent.

Further, just two of the top-ten chains shuttered locations in 2023. Last year, Burger King reduced its US footprint by almost four percent. Likewise, Subway shrunk by two percent.

Judging by the sales numbers, closing stores last year may have proven to be a smart business decision for Burger King and Subway.

  1. Domino’s: $9 billion (up 3.1 percent)
  2. Chipotle: $9.9 billion (up 15.3 percent)
  3. Subway: $10 billion (up 2.1 percent)
  4. Burger King: $11 billion (up 6.6 percent)
  5. Dunkin’: $11.9 billion (up 5.7 percent)
  6. Wendy’s: $12.3 billion (up 5.1 percent)
  7. Taco Bell: $15 billion (up 8.2 percent)
  8. Chik-fil-A: $21.6 billion (up 14.7 percent)
  9. Starbucks: $31.6 billion (up 12.5 percent)
  10. McDonald’s: $53.1 billion (up nine percent)

Ending on one more interesting revelation, one chain moved up the list. Bear in mind, this is no small feat.

Domino’s, once number nine on the list, was passed by Chipotle in sales last year. We’ll see if anything changes when Technomic reveals next year’s rankings.

Image: Shutterstock. Disclaimer: This image was generated by an Artificial Intelligence (AI) system.

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