43rd Annual Ranking of the Top 400 Restaurant Chains Published by Restaurants & Institutions

R&I Magazine’s Annual List, Which Represents $277.2 Billion in Sales and 269,000 Locations, Has No Surprise at the Top: McDonald’s Still No. 1, Exactly Where It Has Stood since 1973

OAK BROOK, Ill.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–The 43rd annual ranking of the Top 400 Chains by food-and-beverage sales volume was released today by Restaurants & Institutionswww.rimag.com). With data on the global sales and unit counts for the largest U.S.-based chains, the list serves to illustrate the industry’s size and to chart year-over-year growth. Also contained within the report are menu-segment breakdowns that indicate areas with the greatest vibrancy and business potential. magazine (

“The chain-restaurant business is intensely competitive and every competition needs a score card. R&I’s Top 400 ranking serves as such a benchmarking tool, but it also is an indicator of the types of menus and service styles that connect with consumers and capture their food-away-from-home dollars. That trend information is immensely valuable to the total foodservice industry,” says Scott Hume, R&I’s Executive Editor.

  • With no arch rivals anywhere near its size, McDonald’s tops the list at No. 1, with global sales of more than $56.78 billion for 2006, up 7.3% from the year previous. Its unit count also grew 2.9% to 31,667, indicating that Big Macs, Egg McMuffins and Chicken McNuggets still hold strong appeal; more than 47 million people around the world eat at McDonald’s each day.
  • McDonald’s is four times larger than its closest competitor, KFC, with sales of $14.2 billion. The Billionaires Club—those chains with systemwide sales (company-owned and franchised stores) of $1 billion or more—has 40 members this year.
  • Coming in at the No. 400 spot with sales of $42 million is Hot Dog on a Stick. In between are brands familiar to nearly all consumers, including Burger King (No. 3), Starbucks (No. 4), and Red Lobster (No. 20). There also are numerous less known up-and-comers such as Bar Louie, Famous Famiglia and Bear Rock Cafe.
  • Represented by such chains as Sonic, White Castle, In-and-Out Burger and Cheeburger Cheeburger, the hamburger segment dominates; its $93 billion accounts for nearly 34% of total Top 400 sales. Casual dining comes in a distant second, with brands such as T.G.I. Friday’s, California Pizza Kitchen, Claim Jumper and Houston’s contributing to total segment sales of $26.6 billion.

The Top 400 ranking, which R&I first compiled in 1965, provides a comparative measurement of U.S.-based restaurant brands’ global power and influence.

About Restaurants & Institutions

Restaurants & Institutions (www.rimag.com), named the 2005 Magazine of the Year by the American Society of Business Publication Editors, is one of the nation’s most respected and widely read foodservice magazines. It is a publication of Reed Business Information (www.reedbusiness.com), a leading provider of critical information and marketing solutions to business professionals, and a part of Reed Elsevier plc group, a world-leading publisher and information provider.

Archives, Pizza News