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The 10 Fastest-Growing Restaurant Chains In The Nation

    The 10 Fastest-Growing Restaurant Chains In The Nation

    Who doesn’t love Wingstop’s lemon pepper chicken or a well-prepped sandwich from Firehouse Subs? The 10 fastest-growing restaurant chains in the nation include it all—pizzerias, sandwich shops and even convenience stores. Bisnow has already brought you the 10 fast-casual restaurants shaking up the industry, now let’s take a look at the fastest-growing restaurant chains in 2016, from Nation’s Restaurant News’ Top 100 list. 

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    No. 10: Zaxby’s


    Total Sales: $1.5B

    Growth: 15.8%

    Units: 726

    Known for its chicken tenders and an assortment of traditional and boneless wings, the chain was founded by childhood friends Zach McLeroy and Tony Townley in the 1990s. Based in Athens, GA, the chain hit 700 units in 16 states last August and has continued to expand rapidly. 

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    No. 9: Wawa

    Total Sales: $1.6B

    Growth: 16.2%

    Units: 721

    The first Wawa Food Market opened in 1964 as a dairy products outlet. Decades later, the chain is the ninth-largest in the country, with more than 700 convenience stores and 460 gas stations throughout the country. In April, the chain rolled out WiFi to all its East Coast locations, hoping to expand the in-store experience for customers.  

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    No. 8: Dave & Buster’s

    Total Sales: $856.4M

    Growth: 16.3%

    Units: 80

    Let’s eat, drink and be merry! Founded in 1970 as a place of fun and games for adults, the casual dining restaurant has 80 locations across the country, each ranging from 25k to 40k SF. Visitors can grab a meal, catch a game and get a specially made cocktail all at the same establishment—not to mention the 200-plus arcade games available. 

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    No. 7: Domino’s

    Total Sales: $4.8B

    Growth: 16.9%

    Units: 5,200

    One of the nation’s favorite pizza chains, Domino’s is one of only two pizza establishments to make the cut. The chain has a whopping 5,200 locations nationwide with $4.8B in sales last year. Founded in the 1960s, the chain has staked its reputation on fast and fresh pizzas ready for delivery. 

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    No. 6: Firehouse Subs

    Total Sales: $639.8M

    Growth: 17.58%

    Units: 944

    Known for its premium hot specialty subs, the chain tested the rollout of six Cold Deli Heroes subs this year. Founded in 1994, the 900-plus unit fast-food chain brought in nearly $640M last year.

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    No. 5: Chick-fil-A

    Total Sales: $6.7B

    Growth: 18.1%

    Units: 1,967

    The casual-dining chicken chain, which has experienced controversy in its 70 years, is still going strong, coming in fifth on our list of top 10 restaurants in the country. The brand named a new COO in May and plans to debut a new mobile app allowing patrons to order and pay ahead this year. 

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    No. 4: Raising Cane’s Chicken Fingers

    Total Sales: $508.6M

    Growth: 21.4%

    Units: 251

    Raising Cane’s makes the third chicken restaurant on our list of Top 10. The Baton Rouge-based chain has more than 250 locations, and is known for its chicken fingers and crinkle-cut fries—similar to Chick-fil-A. The chain is 20 years old and continues to expand using the franchise model.

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    No. 3: Wingstop

    Total Sales: $807M

    Growth: 21.5%

    Units: 786

    With more than 780 locations nationwide, Wingstop is a top chicken franchise. The Nasdaq-traded public company met Wall Street profit expectations for 2015 with a 7.9% increase in same-store sales and a 14% boost in corporate revenue.

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    No. 2: Marco’s Pizza

    Total Sales: $417.6M

    Growth: 23.7%

    Units: 667

    Marco’s came in second with a 23.7% boost in sales to $417.6M. The 100% franchised chain was founded in 1978 in Toledo and has since expanded to 35 states and three countries. Just last year the chain added 113 new stores to its roster, and plans to bring its unit count to 1,000 by 2017

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    No. 1: Jersey Mike’s Subs

    Total Sales: $675M

    Growth: 28.6%

    Units: 1,046

    Jersey Mike’s grew by 28.6% in 2015, breaking the 1,000-unit threshold in October 2015. Open since 1956, the franchise projects reaching 2,000 locations by 2019.