In the limited-service restaurant industry, success is rarely a given. New competitors gobble up market share one year and then fade into oblivion the next. To make it as one of the most successful companies in this industry, restaurants must run the gauntlet of challenges necessary to scaling a concept, from establishing a loyal customer base to forming committed stakeholder relationships, and from building an efficient supply chain to www.golden-goalz.com potential threats to the business. So what are the 50 most successful limited-service companies, and what are their secrets to success?
UberEATS is offering delivery from thousands of stores. Howard Schultz era, as the company founder handed the CEO keys over to president and COO Kevin Johnson this year. Subway’s days of opening 1,000 locations a year appear to be over. In 2016, the company reported closing 359 locations as it struggled through its first year without founder Fred Deluca, who died of leukemia in 2015. Deluca’s sister, Suzanne Greco, took the reins as CEO and seems to be preparing the company for a new season of growth. New Wendy’s CEO Todd Penegor inherited a company firing on all cylinders. Burgers may have helped the king take his throne, but recent menu innovations have strayed into other territories.
Meanwhile, its parent company, Restaurant Brands International, made a splash earlier this year when it acquired Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen. Snapchat account and chatbot ordering platforms engage with Gen Z and millennials where they spend most of their time. More of America is running on Dunkin’ as the company continues to expand its reach deeper into the country’s heartland. While seasonal food and beverage LTOs draw customers new and old, it’s the brand’s convenience factor that really seems to keep Dunkin’ aloft. Some 60 percent of the company’s traditional locations have drive thru, and sales are 23 percent higher at those stores.
This unprecedented number speaks to the brand’s incredible fan affinity, which continues to spread as Chick-fil-A opens in more markets. Surely the top-shelf customer service plays a role, as do new menu items like Frosted Strawberry Lemonade, the Superfood Side, and the Smokehouse BBQ Bacon Sandwich. 1 pizza brand, might be sweating just a bit. Domino’s is quickly closing the gap between the two, and growth has stalled at Pizza Hut, which saw same-store sales drop 7 percent in this year’s first quarter. 130 million plan to fix the brand, an investment that will go toward improving equipment and operations, as well as enhancing the brand’s digital strategy, which includes voice activation ordering and a new online pizza tracker. Simply put, Domino’s is crushing it.
A full seven years after the brand’s highly publicized do-over, the company cruises into the top 10 rankings, just on the heels of Pizza Hut as the country’s largest pizza chain. Domino’s same-store sales increased a whopping 10 percent in 2017’s first quarter. The most successful fast-casual chain has enhanced its ordering platforms, with the Panera 2. 0 kiosk system significantly cutting down on wait times and a delivery program adding a new touchpoint for busier-than-ever customers. Same-store sales have been a bumpy ride for Sonic of late—down 7. 4 percent in 2017’s Q2—but the company isn’t slowing down expansion plans.
Sonic this year announced major franchising deals that will expand its presence in markets like Washington, D. The last few years weren’t looking so great for KFC. But with the recent Colonel Sanders marketing campaign, new store prototype, and fresh menu innovations under its wing, the chicken chain might finally have turned things around. Is Chipotle finally out of the weeds after 2015’s food-safety nightmare? While its first full year after E. 18 percent in the first quarter of this year.
The CKE brands made plenty of headlines because of former CEO Andy Puzder’s failed bid to become President Trump’s secretary of labor. But even more significant is what came after Puzder’s departure: The twin burger brands launched a new ad campaign veering away from scantily clad women and instead focusing on the tagline “Pioneers of the Great American Burger. While Dairy Queen is responsible for a massive share of the dessert dollars spent in the quick-service industry, the company sees the most potential in its food business. 26 straight quarters of same-store sales growth at press time.
Its creative marketing message and in-store investments have helped, but so have menu innovations like the Venison Sandwich, the Smokehouse Pork Belly Sandwich, and the Greek Gyro. The company claims the new offering has “the most pepperoni and cheese of any large round standard menu 1-topping pepperoni pizza sold by the other three major national pizza chains, at the very best price. Egg Chicken Sandwich, the Brunch Burger, and the Southwest Scrambler Plate. Meanwhile, rumors abound that the company could soon spin off sister brand Qdoba.
Popeyes has been on a tear ever since it rebranded in 2008, with much of the thanks owed to CEO Cheryl Bachelder and her vision for the company. Popeyes was acquired by Burger King and Tim Hortons parent company Restaurant Brands International earlier this year. Its new Pan Pizza and digital platform enhancements have similarly helped Papa John’s boost its credibility in the pizza game. As the lone Asian concept on the QSR 50—one that is light-years ahead of its next closest competitor in the space—Panda Express surprisingly had never featured General Tso’s chicken on its menu before. That changed when the brand rolled it out as an LTO last year. Whataburger’s loyal fans across the South and Plains states have a new way to interact with the brand.