McDonald’s Led in U.S. Sales Last Year

And Los Angeles-based chain Mochinut was the fastest growing in both unit and sales.

June 26, 2023

According to Datassential’s Top 500 Restaurant report, McDonald’s is the No. 1 restaurant in the United States in terms of sales at $48.67 billion; Starbucks came in second, and Chick-fil-A, Taco Bell and Wendy's rounded out the top five. However, Subway is the largest restaurant chain by units at 20,576.

The fastest growing restaurant chain in 2022 was Mochinut, a Los Angeles-based chain that sells mochi donuts, bubble tea and Korean hot dogs. It was the fastest growing in both unit and sales growth. Mochinut catapulted over 2021’s fastest-growing chain, fellow dessert retailer Crumbl. The second fastest-growing chain in terms of both units and sales growth was Salad and Go, a tech-forward fast-food salad chain with locations concentrated in the Southwest.

When it comes to the labor crisis, Datassential writes that there are few times the current labor environment will improve anytime soon, so restaurant operators “need to be strategic about enhancing their compensation structures and workplace culture. We’ve started to see new efforts by industry leaders in 2022, but there’s always room for more and better.”

In 2022, limited-service (LSR) chains leaned into their off-premise strategies and experimented with digital-only concepts that feature no inside dining room or, sometimes, ordering counter. Last year, Panera Bread opened its first digital-only restaurant in Chicago called “Panera To Go,” offering Panera’s Rapid Pick-Up and delivery orders only. Sweetgreen opened its first advanced order vehicle pickup window called “sweetlane,” which allows customers to pick up online orders through a drive-up window.

Datassential compiles the report in partnership with Nation’s Restaurant News. Here are the top 500 restaurants.