Though the restaurant industry suffered as a whole in 2020, fast-food chains had a much better year than anyone else.
According to the latest annual report from foodservice research company Technomic, the top 500 fast-food chains in the U.S. endured an 8% loss in sales last year—a much smaller percentage than their dine-in and independent counterparts. Some of the giants even saw a growth in sales, thanks to a quick transition to serving off-premise customers more efficiently via drive-thrus and digital transactions.
In fact, as independent restaurants and small chains struggled to stay in business, America’s 50 largest chains gained significant market share, according to Technomic’s senior research manager Kevin Schimpf.
For its top 500 rankings, Technomic used systemwide sales data, which means that sales at both company- and franchisee-owned locations were pooled together for a snapshot of overall brand success. While the rankings remained largely unchanged since 2019, one chain had a major breakthrough.
Without further ado, here are the fast-food chains that Americans frequented the most during the pandemic year. And for more, check out the 9 Best Limited-Time Fast Foods on Menus Right Now.