Americans are spending more money on dining out than ever before.
The restaurant industry is exploding as a result, with tons of fast-growing newcomers popping up all over the US.
Restaurant Business magazine is out with a list of chains that are poised to dominate the industry.
The list of “emerging stars” was created by data firm Technomic. It includes the fastest-growing restaurant chains that generate between $US25 million and $US50 million in sales annually and had store growth of at least 10% last year.
10. Bagger Dave’s Burger Tavern
Based in Southfield, Michigian, Bagger Dave’s is a fast-casual burger chain with two dozen restaurants. Customers can order craft beer flights and customise their burgers with a pencil and piece of paper that list tons of toppings, including black-bean chilli. Sales totaled $US27 million last year, which was an increase of 44% over the previous year, according to Technomic.
9. Paul Martin’s American Grill
Paul Martin’s was launched by P.F. Chang’s co-founder Paul Martin Fleming. Based in Newport Beach, California, it has just eight locations with 2014 sales of $US34.5 million, according to Technomic. The menu includes items like cedar plank salmon, chicken tortilla soup, braised short ribs, and a large wine collection.
8. Nando’s Peri-Peri
Nando’s is known for its spicy, flame-grilled chicken. The chain is wildly popular in the UK and began opening restaurants in the US in 2008. The company’s 20 US units generated $US32.6 million in sales last year, according to Technomic.
7. Rock & Brews
“This rock-and-roll theme casual-dining chain goes out of its way to convey a family-friendly (and dog friendly) concert environment,” according to Restaurant Business magazine.
The El Segundo, California chain is three years old and has $US32.1 million in annual sales with seven locations in five states and Mexico. The menu includes items like a green chile cheese burger and southwest salmon sandwich.
Houston-based Salata calls itself the “next-generation salad bar.” It has 41 locations and generated $US33.3 million in sales last year, representing growth of 90% over the previous year, according to Technomic.
5. Mod Pizza
Mod Pizza was founded in 2008 by the owners of Seattle Coffee Company, according to Restaurant Business. Founded in 2008, the chain offers customised pizzas in less than three minutes. It has 31 restaurants and $US27 million in annual sales.
4. Nékter Juice Bar
This chain of 46 stores makes cold-pressed juices and smoothies, acai bowls, and salads. It had sales of nearly $US27 million last year, according to Technomic, and it was founded by husband-and-wife team Steve and Alexis Schulze.
3. Smallcakes: A Cupcakery
Smallcakes has 88 stores in 19 states, primarily in the Southeast. The chain sells fresh-baked cupcakes and other sweet treats, including ice cream. It generated nearly $US39 million in sales last year, according to Technomic.
2. Blaze Pizza
Blaze Pizza cooks customisable pies out of made-from-scratch dough. It has 50 restaurants with sales of $US33 million last year, according to Technomic.Celebrities like LeBron James and Maria Shriver have invested in the brand, which is based in Southern California.
1. Pieology Pizzeria
Like Blaze Pizza, Pieology offers customisable pies with toppings like pineapple, pepperoni, and cilantro. The chain’s sales grew a whopping 230% in 2014 to $US4.6 million, according to Technomic.
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