Franchise Marketing: The Top 500 Fast Food Restaurants

2010 was a good year for fast food restaurants. The top 500 restaurants in this category surpassed 2009’s $230 Billion landmark by 1.8%, achieving $234 Billion in sales.

  • Starbucks , Dunkin’ Donuts and Pizza Hut posted an estimated 2010 sales growth of 8.7, 6.1 and 7.8 percent, respectively.
  • McDonald’s , the largest U.S. restaurant chain, grew 4.4 percent with sales of $32.4 billion.
  • Subway continues as the nation’s second-largest restaurant chain, followed by Starbucks, Miami-based Burger King and Wendy’s.

All in all, the ten fastest-growing restaurants saw an 18% increase over 2009, with sales over $200 million. Predominantly franchises, these fast food restaurants are quickly attaining an untouchable distance in the race for profits.

In the press release, Technomic president Ron Paul states, “The industry has a lot of ground to recover and still faces many challenges, but our latest findings on 2010 chain performance are certainly encouraging.”

The released information does not specify any specific strategy responsible for this growth, but it isn’t hard to jump to certain conclusions. McDonald’s, long held as the best-case ideal of franchise growth, has had a steady and consistent marketing strategy for decades. The fact that their sales have only seen a 4.4% increase is not so much a sign of faltering growth as much as it is a sign that there isn’t much more room in which to grow. When one business is making almost 14% of their 500 competitors’ total income, they must be doing something correctly.


Founded in 1989, WebbMason is one of the fastest-growing print and brand management service companies in the United States, helping marketing departments and their internal and external partners save money and streamline processes through a winning combination of industry expertise, exceptional print supply chain partners and technological innovation. Headquartered in Hunt Valley, Maryland, WebbMason has 20 sales offices throughout the United States.


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