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CHAPEL HILL, N.C. – McDonald's once again took the No. 1 spot in QSR Magazine's annual "QSR 50" report, which ranks the top 50 quick-service and fast-casual restaurants by domestic sales. The fast-food giant topped the 15th annual list by bringing in $35 billion in the United States in 2012, nearly triple the revenue earned by No. 2 Subway, according to the announcement.
"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," said QSR Magazine Editor Sam Oches. "Even though trendy products like the Angus burger and salads fell flat, customers still love McDonald's traditional burgers and fries."
This year marks the first time that Chick-fil-A outranked 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 systemwide sales than KFC at about a third of that brand's restaurants," Oches said. "Its $3 million-plus average unit volume last year was a remarkable feat for a quick-service restaurant."
Other notable aspects of this year's QSR 50 report include Jimmy John's Gourmet Sandwiches and Five Guys Burgers and Fries joining the now 16-company, billion-dollar brands list; and Moe's Southwest Grill and Wingstop making their QSR 50 debuts at No. 48 and No. 49, respectively.
Fast-casual brands made some gains on this year's list, with Panera Bread attaining the highest ranking at No. 11 with $3.9 billion in sales last year, and Chipotle climbing 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 said. "We expect more fast casuals to climb up the QSR 50 in the next few years."
The full QSR 50 list is available at www.QSRmagazine.com/QSR50.