America's Top Restaurant Chains: By the Numbers | Food Newsfeed
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America's Top Restaurant Chains: By the Numbers

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By Danny Klein March 07, 2018 Chain Restaurants
How some of the biggest restaurant chains in the country are performing.
A Changing Restaurant World

It wasn’t a mirage. This past earnings season was one of the more positive for publicly traded restaurant companies in recent quarters, perhaps even years. Many of the largest brands in America saw positive traffic and comparable same-store sales compared to the previous period. While 2017 was challenging pretty much across the board, it also signaled the beginning of what’s turning out to be one of the most transformational times in casual-dining history. Off-premise and technology are filling some of those gaps restaurants couldn’t bridge in past years. Declining traffic, increased competition from all sectors—fast casual, quick service, fine dining, eatertainment, and so on, as well a changing generation of customers, has vastly altered the landscape. Think back a couple of years: Did we think Red Robin would build a delivery-only concept? Would chains like Outback divert significant resources to off-premise? Casual dining chains have long rested on their standing in American dining culture. But in an industry where brands must sell their stories as much as their products now, it’s becoming increasingly crucial to find that message and figure out how best to distribute it—and to whom. Think Chili’s and Applebee’s, which are starting to revert back to core guests after straying into the something-for-everybody model. However you look at it, restaurants can’t afford to rest on their laurels and brand images anymore. It’s why the dynamic is shifting so drastically, and why the future is about as intriguing and exciting for these brands as ever.

Here’s a look at how some of the larger publicly traded companies are doing, numbers wise. Buffalo Wild Wings and Ruby Tuesday, which both recently went private in private-equity funded deals, were left out due to this change.

  •  Applebee's Quesadilla Burger is part burger, part quesadilla. This original burger creation comes piled high with Jack cheese, signature Mexi-ranch sauce, crispy bacon, fresh pico and shredded lettuce in a crisp, warm Cheddar quesadilla.
  • A Texas Roadhouse shines brightly at night. The famous steakhouse is always popular with loyal customers.
  • Hurricane Grill & Wings