The 10 Fastest-Growing Restaurants In America

chick fil a sandwich

Photo: By derekthomasla on Flickr

We’ve already shown you the fastest-growing retailers in the U.S. Kantar Research has also released the 10 fastest-growing restaurants. The consulting group does an annual list based on earnings, locations and more. 

Chick Fil-A’s recent controversies haven’t deterred the chicken sandwich joint from making the top 10. Five Guys Burgers and Fries also distinguishes itself. 

We have the top 10 restaurants, ranked by sales growth from 2010 to 2011. 

10. Chick Fil-A, 13.1 per cent sales growth

Chick Fil-A's earnings of $492 million on revenue $1.12 billion are 'virtually unheard of' in the restaurant industry, Bloomberg News reported. The fast food joint has been expanding from its roots in the south, reaching the Midwest and the East Coast.

9. Wingstop Restaurants, 16.4 per cent sales growth

Customers are lining up to experience the 1940's nostalgia and chicken wings at Wingstop. Roark Capital Group acquired the chain in 2010 and has since fuelled a successful expansion and menu. Former NFL sta Troy Aikman, the chain's spokesman, also adds allure.

8. Noodles & Company, 17 per cent sales growth

Noodles & Company offers any kind of the carb, from pad thai to pasta. Last year, the brand's 'adult mac and cheese' brought the masses to the chain, CEO Kevin Ruddy said in an interview with Restaurant News. They also added gourmet ingredients like truffle oil to the menu.

7. Panda Restaurant Group, 17.1 per cent sales growth

The restaurant group most commonly known as Panda Express serves up gooey, greasy Chinese food in mall food courts. They had 1,350 restaurants last year and will expand to 2,300 by 2015, fastcasual.com reported.

6. Buffalo Wild Wings, 19.1 per cent sales growth

Buffalo Wild Wings is known for wings, beer and sports. The chain is rapidly expanding into college towns and is also looking at acquisition targets, Seeking Alpha reported.

5. Cheddar's Casual Cafe, 20.5 per cent sales growth

Cheddar's focuses on serving higher-quality, classic American food at a reasonable price. They make their food from scratch in the kitchen and serve nothing prepackaged. Starting in Texas, Cheddar's now has locations in areas ranging from Indiana to North Carolina.

4. BJ's Restaurants, 20.8 per cent sales growth

BJ's reported a healthy, 10 per cent increase in second-quarter profit last week. They're also expanding into television advertising for the first time, CEO Jerry Deitchle said. BJ's features everything from grilled steak to gourmet salad and microbrews.

3. Chipotle Mexican Grill, 23.5 per cent sales growth

Revenues at Chipotle, which features 'sustainably sourced burritos,' have tripled since 2006. Today there are 1,200 restaurants in the U.S. and Canada with plans to open 165 more this year.

2. Jimmy John's, 28.3 per cent sales growth

Jimmy John's sells sandwiches on fresh bread. While the restaurant was founded in Illinois, today nearly all U.S. states have a franchise. The brand is expanding particularly rapidly in the South.

1. Five Guys Burgers and Fries, 48 per cent sales growth

Five Guys, which advertises a 'better burger' at fast-food lightning speed, is leading the charge of burger chains taking over American casual dining. Last year, Five Guys saw a sharp per cent increase in sales, at $950 million.

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