CHAPEL HILL, N.C., July 29, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- McDonald's once again claimed the No. 1 spot on QSR magazine's QSR 50 report, which ranks the top 50 quick-service and fast-casual restaurant brands by domestic sales.
The Golden Arches took top honors in the 15th annual report by bringing in more than $35 billion in U.S. sales in 2012, nearly triple the amount earned by runner-up Subway.
"McDonald's has been experiencing some setbacks this year with disappointing growth results, but it's still the No. 1 fast-food brand by a big margin and has been each year we've conducted the QSR 50," says Sam Oches, editor of QSR. "Even though trendy products like the Angus burger and salads fell flat, customers still love McDonald's traditional burgers and fries."
Starbucks, Wendy's, and Burger King round out the QSR 50's top five, followed by Taco Bell, Dunkin' Donuts, Pizza Hut, Chick-fil-A, and KFC.
This is the first year Chick-fil-A has surpassed KFC as the best-performing chicken brand. "Chick-fil-A continues to thrive on deep customer loyalty, shown in the fact that it had better system-wide sales than KFC at about a third of that brand's restaurants," Oches says. "Its $3 million-plus average unit volume last year was a remarkable feat for a quick-service restaurant."
This year's QSR 50 included other noteworthy moves. Jimmy John's and Five Guys joined the billion-dollar-brands club, a list that now includes 26 companies. Moe's Southwest Grill and Wingstop, two concepts with sales momentum and national growth plans, each debuted on the list, at Nos. 48 and 49, respectively.
Fast-casual brands, meanwhile, continued to make gains on the QSR 50, with leader Panera Bread sitting just one spot outside the top 10, having earned $3.9 billion in sales in 2012. Chipotle climbed one spot to No. 16 with $2.7 billion in sales.
"Fast casuals continue to be the hottest category in the quick-serve industry, offering premium foods that are increasingly desired by consumers, especially Millennials," Oches says. "We expect more fast casuals to climb up the QSR 50 in the next few years."
About QSR magazine
QSR magazine is a thought leader for the quick-service and fast-casual restaurant industries. Now in its 16th year of publication, QSR takes seriously its role in promoting industry values through its award-winning editorial content. In 2013, the magazine is spotlighting the many contributions women make to the foodservice industry.
CONTACT: Sam Oches Sam@qsrmagazine.com