Have you ever wondered which restaurant chain is reigning supreme in the USA? From those delicious burgers to giant coffees, which is the biggest restaurant chain that is attracting US citizens? Who is stacking up the most number of pancakes? Who’s slicing those innumerable pizzas? Which restaurant’s iconic logo sparks feelings of hunger for millions nationwide? Well, you’re about to find out! Get ready to take an eye-opening look at America’s most prominent spots for bites. We’re not just talking about fast food — we’re looking at all the places America loves to eat, from the speediest burgers to the coziest sit-down meals. We’ll crunch the numbers, dissect strategies, and unravel the secrets behind their success.

Determining the “largest” restaurant chain in the USA can depend on how you define “largest.” Here are some contenders based on different criteria:

Based on the Number of Locations

We have ranked America’s top restaurant chains, sheeerly based on the number of locations nationwide.

Dunkin’ Donuts:

Dunkin’ Donuts has over 28,000 locations across the USA. The brand’s widespread presence comprises numerous franchises nationwide, indicating a successful strategy in positioning its stores in high-traffic, high-visibility settings. Today, Dunkin’ continues cementing its place in American culture, assisted by key historical developments. For instance, its acquisition of the Mister Donut chain in 1990 led to accelerated growth in North America.


With over 21,700 locations in the US alone, Subway reigns supreme in terms of customization and convenience. It makes up 58.1% of its branches; the United States houses more than half of Subway’s global footprint.


Coffee giant Starbucks has over 16,000 US locations catering to caffeine cravings nationwide. California stands out with the highest number of Starbucks locations, boasting about 3,100 stores, which makes up roughly 19% of all Starbucks locations in the USA.


The iconic burger chain boasts over 14,000 US locations, making it a close second. McDonald’s impressive network ensures that many Americans are never too far from a Big Mac or a pack of McNuggets. The widespread influence of this brand highlights its significance in American dining culture and throughout the fast-food industry.

Taco Bell:

Taco Bell has over 7,800 stores in the USA. Taco Bell has become one of the leading fast-food chains in the country. They experienced significant growth during the 1980s and have continued to innovate their menu options to appeal to a broad audience. For example, in recent history, Taco Bell has seen great success with the launch of products like Nacho Fries.

Pizza Hut:

Pizza Hut is a well-known pizza chain with over 6,800 locations spread out all over the country. The state with the most Pizza Huts is Texas, which has around 922 of them. This means about 14% of Pizza Hut restaurants are in Texas. Because there are so many locations, no matter where you are in the USA, you’re close to a Pizza Hut that can serve their famous pizzas.

Based on Sales & Revenue

Let’s take a look at the top restaurant chains in the USA, sorted by their impressive sales and annual revenue.

  • McDonald’s: The iconic burger giant likely maintains its reign with estimated sales surpassing $42 billion. Global reach and brand recognition fuel their success.
  • Starbucks: Coffee giant Starbucks brews its way to second place with sales exceeding $33 billion. Premium prices and loyal customers keep them caffeinated and content.
  • Chick-fil-A: Quality ingredients and dedicated customers propel Chick-fil-A to nearing $30 billion in sales despite fewer locations. Closed Sundays, a unique strategy, adds to their mystique.
  • Taco Bell: Taco Bell sizzles with around $14 billion in sales, offering affordable Mexican-inspired bites with late-night appeal.
  • Dunkin’ Brands: Combining Dunkin’ Donuts and Baskin-Robbins, they reach a projected $13.5 billion. Diverse offerings, from coffee and doughnuts to ice cream, cater to various cravings.

Other Mentions: Chipotle Mexican Grill and Papa John’s International will likely remain strong contenders, exceeding $9 billion and $7 billion in sales, respectively.

Based on Brand Value

Here’s a list of top restaurants chains in USA that are not just well-known for their food but also for their strong brand presence.

  • McDonald’s: McDonald’s, with a brand value exceeding $130 billion, is a leading global fast-food chain known for its iconic branding and innovative approach.
  • Starbucks: Coffee giant Starbucks has a brand value of around $70 billion, attributed to its loyal customers, wide range of offerings, and premium pricing.
  • Domino’s Pizza: This delivery company’s value could reach $10 billion in 2024, thanks to its strong focus on technology, online ordering convenience, and global presence.
  • Chick-fil-A: Chick-fil-A’s brand value of around $8 billion is propelled by their loyal customers, focus on quality ingredients, and ethical practices despite having fewer locations.
  • Taco Bell: The value of the popular Mexican-inspired chain’s brand may exceed $7 billion by 2024. The brand’s image is driven by its affordability, late-night availability, and innovative menu options.

Some Notable Restaurant Chain Mentions

Unlike others that are flying across the globe, there are few note worthy restaurant chains in USA known for their brand values and revenue in hometown. Here’s a list of restaurants that deserve a shout-out for their domestic success.

  • Wendy’s: The “never frozen” burger chain holds its own with over 6,000 US locations. Their loyal customer base and distinct square-shaped burgers contribute to their sales exceeding $5.2 billion.
  • Papa John’s International: This delivery-focused pizza chain has a strong international presence and might surpass $7 billion in sales in 2024.
  • Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen: Known for its spicy fried chicken and Southern-inspired menu, Popeyes has seen a surge in popularity in recent years.
  • Panera Bread: With over 2,000 locations offering bakery items, soups, salads, and sandwiches, Panera caters to a health-conscious audience.
  • Shake Shack: While still a smaller chain, Shake Shack’s premium burgers and trendy atmosphere have garnered significant attention and sales growth. This emerging chain’s unique concept and loyal following might push its brand value towards $2 billion in 2024.

What Makes These Chains Large?


Their significant growth is not merely coincidental but a result of common factors contributing to their expansion. These factors may include:

Ubiquitous presence: The key feature of many businesses with thousands of locations nationwide. This ensures that customers can easily access their products or services from anywhere.

Consistent branding: It helps businesses create recognizable logos, menus, and experiences, building trust and familiarity with customers.

Value Proposition: Their value proposition is tailored to meet the specific needs of customers, whether it’s affordability, convenience, or quality.

Innovation and adaptation: Innovation and adaptation are critical factors in the food industry. By adapting their offerings, restaurants can meet the needs of their customers and stay competitive in the market.


From McDonald’s famous golden arches to the relaxing and soothing spots at Starbucks, these chains offer more than just food; they create special moments that become part of our everyday lives. They’re leaders in setting trends and appealing to our tastes by always trying innovative things and returning from any challenge. As we explore the menus of America’s biggest restaurant chains, it’s easy to see how these brands have found the secret to success. Whether we need a coffee to kick off our day or a late-night taco to satisfy our hunger, these food industry giants always come through for us, winning over our hearts and filling our tummies with tasty delights. The world of food is rich and varied, and these top chains make it even more impressive. LocationCloud is a leading enterprise of data & insights that offers comprehensive datasets that help businesses identify perfect spots for restaurants, retail stores and others.