America’s 10 Largest Restaurant Chains

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The Restaurant News analysis of the 100 largest chains in the U.S. shows just how much of the industry is controlled by a few companies, one of which owns several brands. 24/7 Wall St. took at look at some of the trends and patterns among the top 10

The top 10 have $114.7 billion of revenue among them in 2015:

Big Mac McDonalds
Source: Thinkstock
Domino’s annual 2015 sales of $4.8 billion, Pizza Hut  $5.8 billion, Chick-fil-A $6.7 billion, Dunkin’ Donuts (NASDAQ: DNKN),   $7.6 billion, Taco Bell $8.8 billion, Wendy’s (NASDAQ: WEN) $9 billion, Burger King  $9.1 billion, Subway  $11.5 billion, Starbucks (NASDAQ: SBUX)  $15.6 billion, and McDonald’s (NYSE: MCD)  $35.8 billion

Yum! Brands (NYSE: YUM) owns KFC, Taco Bell, and Pizza Hut. Two are on the top 10, and KFC is close.

The list shows the importance of breakfast in the industry. In the early part of their histories, Starbucks and Dunkin’ Donuts were primarily coffee shops. They now have nearly full menus and cater to customers all day. McDonald’s has moved in the direction of breakfast all day as one of the most important means of improving its performance

Pizza is obviously an American meal staple.

The stock market performance of the public companies on the list has varied widely. Yum! Brand’s shares are up 24% this year, due primarily to strong performance of its large China business. Dunkin’ Donuts is up 17%. McDonald’s and Wendy’s are close to flat. A revenue turnaround which helped McDonald’s share performance a year ago has floundered. Starbucks is down 9%. Its last quarterly report was disappointing.

In terms of how full year 2016 numbers will look, probably not very good

According to The Wall Street Journal:

Restaurant visit growth has completely stalled in the last three months, signaling that consumers, jittery over economic uncertainties, are retrenching.

Visits to fast-food restaurants had been growing at a quarterly clip of 2% since September 2015, but haven’t grown at all in March, April or May, according to as-yet-unpublished data from market research firm NPD Group Inc.

When fast-food growth comes to a halt, “that’s a red flag because it’s been an area of growth and it’s 80% of the industry,” NPD restaurant analyst Bonnie Riggs said.

Size matters, but can’t usually trump the trend