Restaurant sales

Technomic reports that sales of the 500 largest restaurant chains have recovered to pre-pandemic levels in 2021

CHICAGO, April 8, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — Technomic has released one of its most anticipated reports, the 2022 Top 500 Restaurant Chains Report, which includes expert findings and insights into the sales performance of US restaurant chains in 2021. The report draws on decades of historical data, providing detailed analysis of the restaurant industry and trends global; annual sales and number of units by channel and segment; and pandemic-related recovery measures.

“2021 has been a year like no other for the Top 500 restaurant chains,” said Kevin Schimpf, Director, Research and Industry Insights. “Drastic changes in market conditions have led to unprecedented volatility in the results of the biggest chains in the sector. While overall Top 500 sales exceeded pre-pandemic benchmarks, more than half of all ranked channels did not return to 2019 performance levels.”

Key findings include:

  • The sales of the top 500 channels reached a total of $361 billion in 2021, an increase of 18% on an annual basis
  • Widespread dismantling of dining restrictions and historically high levels of inflation were key factors in the expansion of Top 500 sales
  • After declining the previous year, the footprint of Top 500 locations increased slightly in 2021 to a total of over 226,000 restaurants
  • The chicken menu category posted double-digit sales growth for the third consecutive year, boosted by strong results from chains such as Raising Cane’s, Slim Chickens and Jollibee

Technomic has been producing a ranking of America’s Top Restaurant Chains since 1978. The latest ranking is available for purchase now:


Press and program inquiries: Kevin Schimpf, [email protected]

Purchase details: Patrick Noun, [email protected]

About Technomic
Technomic Inc., a Winsight company, was founded as a management consulting firm in 1966. Since then, Technomic’s services have grown to encompass cloud-based B2B research tools, consumer trend tracking and menus and other cutting-edge strategic research and analysis capabilities, to prioritize and carve out business opportunities. Our customers include food manufacturers and distributors, restaurants, retailers, and many other food industry-aligned businesses looking to make informed decisions to support their business growth. Visit Technomic on

SOURCE Technomic