More than 170 restaurant brands brought in $200 million — or more — in U.S. sales during 2017. Yet Mark Kalinowski of Kalinowski Equity Research said that some brands are growing particularly fast, CNBC reported.
To find the fastest-growing restaurants, Kalinowski examined sales growth of each restaurant to find out the percentage change between 2016 and 2017. He looked at system-wide sales in particular, which include sales from both franchised and company-owned locations but exclude franchise fees or royalties.
Cooper’s Hawk Winery and Restaurant, for example, saw its sales increase by more than 30 percent last year — just short of $242 million. Similarly, First Watch had its sales jump by 32 percent to $313 million.
And Shake Shack saw its sales increase by 33.6 percent to $358.8 million, while Blaze Pizza saw its sales jump a whopping 48.9 percent to $274.4 million. But MOD Pizza experienced the largest growth, with sales increasing by more than 80 percent, landing at $270 million.
Fast-casual dining restaurants offer somewhat healthy options, are inexpensive and take up minimal amounts of time from people’s busy schedules. Between 1999 and 2014, the fast-casual dining space grew by 550 percent and is projected to reach a revenue of $66.9 billion by 2020.
With millennials carrying much more student debt than prior generations, this could be a contributing factor in how much money and time they’re willing to spend on food.
But according to the latest EquiTrend Report from Harris Poll, which ranks brands, millennials are not only determining the top brands — they’re also hooked on chain restaurants, including Moe’s Southwest Grill and Chick-fil-A. Within the study, it was found that millennials are ranking chain restaurants with higher placement than prior generations. What’s helping this generation rely on chain restaurants, according to some, are mobile devices and social media apps like Snapchat and Instagram.
Northeastern University Associate Professor of Marketing at the D’Amore-McKim School of Business, Bruce Clark, commented on this trend: “Last year, Starbucks reported a full quarter of in-store sales were being paid for through the app. Food makes for wonderful digital imagery.”