As consumer food trends continue to shift toward more conscious food choices and convenience at a budget friendly price, it’s no surprise the fast casual space continues to capture market share.
This is ever more apparent by the number of fast casual and quick service chains that top Nation’s Restaurant News recent list of the fastest growing restaurant chains in the U.S.
Here we look at the top five chains on the NRN list and what’s feeding their success.
Chick-Fil-A has done well to adapt to changing tastes while sticking to the brand consumers know and love. This is seen through the launch of more menu items to appeal to health-conscious consumers and a new mobile ordering app to meet demand for added convenience. Additionally, their exceptional customer service sets them apart from competitors. The company cites their continuous investment in employee training and focus on career advancement as keys to their franchise success.
4. Raising Cane’s Chicken Fingers
Raising Cane’s holds its spot on the list of fastest-growing restaurant chains for the second year in a row. It has seen a 19 percent increase in store count in the past year as well as 21.1 percent sales growth, now operating more than 250 locations nationwide. Cane’s has no plans to slow down as they work toward opening a mix of company-owned and franchise locations, with a goal of reaching 600 stores system wide in the next five years. Their simple menu allows them to focus on quality, delivering a consistent experience to customers across all locations.
Chicken is on trend with consumers as Wingstop rounds out the chicken favorites on this list. This Buxton client boasts 13 consecutive years of same-store sales growth thanks to their focus on simplicity. This echoes true both in their menu, dominating as the largest chain focused on take out wings, and in their real estate model. By design, their restaurants are small and simple, keeping costs down and helping them expand quickly.
2. Marco’s Pizza
Don’t be fooled by all the chicken on this list, pizza is still tops among diners. Marco’s Pizza is the fastest-growing pizza chain in the U.S. with a sales increase of 23.7 percent in 2016. The 100-percent franchised restaurant operates more than 700 locations in 35 states, the Bahamas, India and Puerto Rico and has goals to open its 1,000th location before the end of 2017. Their recipe for success comes in quality and a focus on culture. The company takes pride in how it helps franchisees grow their business.
1. Jersey Mike’s Subs
Jersey Mike’s tops the list of the fastest-growing restaurant chains for the third year in a row with 28.6 percent sales growth this year. Some say the franchise has been so successful because of the authentic New Jersey sub shop experience. They have an active network of more than 400 franchisees helping to expand their footprint to more than 1,000 locations and plans for 2,000 by 2019.
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