The Current State of the Top 10 Largest Fast Food Chains in the World?
As younger generations continue to drive the industry forward due to high demand, the global fast food industry continues to flourish. The global fast food industry generates over USD 570 billion annually and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 5.1% by 2027. This immense growth is led by the top 10 largest fast food chains in the world consistently increasing revenues and market performance with stellar sales of their products. At the forefront of the evolving fast food industry are some of the top fast food chains in the world recognized for their branding and popular menu products known all over the world. Starbucks leads the way as the largest fast food chain in the world by revenue McDonald’s and Subway are number 2 and 3 ranked fast food restaurants in terms of revenue. This article will breakdown the top 10 fast food chains in the world by both revenue and market cap. Here are some key takeaways that will be discussed in the post:
- What is the largest fast food chain in the world by revenue?
- What are the top fast food chains by market capitalization?
- Fast food industry stats and trends you should know in 2020.
Fast Food Industry Analysis 2020
- Globally, fast food generates revenue of over USD 570 billion – that is bigger than the economic value of most countries.
- There are over 200,000 fast food restaurants in the United States and it is estimated that 50 million Americans eat at one of them every single day.
- Fast food restaurants, along with fast-casual restaurants account for 50% of sales in the entire restaurant sector.
- Hamburger fast food restaurants account for 30% of industry sales.
- Pizza parlors account for 15% of market share.
- Health focus: Major chains are promising to source fresher ingredients with fewer additives.
- The global fast food industry is expected to grow at a CAGR of 5.1% by 2027.
Top 10 Largest Fast Food Chains in the World by Revenue
What is the largest fast food chain in the world? The following is a list of top 10 fast food chains in the world ranked by their annual revenues.
Fast Food Chain
Revenue (USD billions)
Number of Stores
|6||Chipotle Mexican Grill||5.58||2,622||USA|
|7||Restaurant Brands International||5.35||25,744||Canada|
What is the largest fast food chain in the world? Starbucks is the largest fast food chain in the world in 2020 — generating USD 26.5 billion in revenues last year. Starbucks Corporation is an American multinational chain of coffeehouses and roastery reserves headquartered in Seattle, Washington. Starbucks is the world’s largest coffeehouse chain and targets quality-minded coffee drinkers with hand-made coffee based on lighter roasts. Starbucks serves hot and cold drinks, whole-bean coffee, micro-ground instant coffee known as VIA, espresso, caffe latte, full- and loose-leaf teas including Teavana tea products, Evolution Fresh juices, Frappuccino beverages, La Boulange pastries, and snacks including items such as chips and crackers. Starbucks also has some offerings that are seasonal or specific to the locality of the store — such as the ever-famous Pumpkin Spice Latte. Starbucks locations are company-owned as it does not follow a franchise model.
- Founded: 1971
- Starbucks Headquarters: Seattle, Washington, USA.
- Starbucks Revenue: USD 26.5 billion
- Starbucks Market Cap: USD 88.09 billion
- Starbucks Number of Locations: 28,218
Starbucks Top Menu Products
- Tea: Teavana, Tazo
- Coffee: iced coffee, nitro cold brew, dark roasts, light roasts
- Coffee makers: Starbucks Verismo
- Pre-packaged foods
Ranking 2nd on BizVibe’s list of the top 10 fast food chains in the world ranked by revenue is McDonald’s. McDonald’s is the 2nd largest fast food chain in the world by revenue in 2020 with last year’s revenue reaching USD 21.07 billion in 2019. McDonald’s Corporation is an American fast-food company, founded in 1940 in San Bernardino, California, United States. McDonald’s serves over 69 million customers daily in over 100 countries across 37,855 outlets. McDonald’s fast food items are mainly hamburgers, chicken products, breakfast items, soft drinks, milkshakes, wraps, and desserts. Some of the most notable items include the Big Mac, Chicken McNuggets, and the McChicken.
McDonald’s revenues come from the rent, royalties, and fees paid by the franchisees, as well as sales in company-operated restaurants. McDonald’s is the world’s second-largest private employer with 1.7 million employees (behind Walmart with 2.3 million employees). McDonald’s type of restaurants include McDrive, McCafé, “Create Your Taste” restaurants, Special diet restaurants, Playgrounds, and McDonald’s Next. As of 2020, McDonald’s has a market capitalization of USD 122.9 billion — ranking it as the largest fast food chain by market cap.
- Founded: 1940
- McDonald’s Headquarters: Chicago, Illinois, USA
- McDonald’s Revenue: USD 21.07 billion
- McDonald’s Market Cap: USD 122.9 billion
- McDonald’s Number of Locations: 37,855 restaurants
McDonald’s Top Products
- Hamburgers: Big Mac, Quarter Pounders
- Chicken: Chicken McNuggets, McChicken,
- French fries
- Soft drinks
- Breakfast wraps
Ranking 3rd on BizVibe’s list of the top 10 largest fast food chains in the world is Subway, an American privately held restaurant franchise that primarily sells submarine sandwiches (subs) and salads. Subway is owned and operated by Doctor’s Associates. The company doesn’t own a single location but collects 8% of revenue from each franchise. There are more Subway restaurants (43,600 stores) than any other restaurant in the world ion 2020.
Subway’s international headquarters are in Milford, Connecticut, with five regional centers supporting the company’s international operations. Starbucks is the largest single-brand restaurant chain, and the largest restaurant operator, in the world.
- Founded: 1965
- Subway Headquarters: Bridgeport, Connecticut, USA
- Subway Revenue: USD 10.2 billion
- Subway Number of Locations: 43,600 restaurants
Subway Top Menu Products
- Submarine sandwiches
- Pizzas (some locations)
4. Yum China
Ranking 4th on BizVibe’s list of the top fast food chains in the world is Yum China, an American Fortune 500 fast-food restaurant company incorporated in the United States and is headquartered in Shanghai, China. Last year Yum China generated USD 8.41 billion in revenue, ranking 4th among the top 10 fast food chains in revenue. Yum China operates KFC, Pizza Hut, East Dawning, Little Sheep, Taco Bell, COFFii & JOY, and Huang Ji Huang.
- Founded: 2016
- Yum China Headquarters: Shanghai, China
- Yum China Revenue: USD 8.41 billion
- Yum China Market Cap: USD 19.31 billion
- Yum China Number of Locations: 8,484 restaurants
Yum China Top Brands
- Pizza Hut
- East Dawning
- Little Sheep
- Taco Bell
- COFFii & JOY
- Huang Ji Huang
5. Yum! Brands
Ranking 5th on this list of the top 10 largest fast food chains in the world is Yum! Brands, an American fast food corporation listed on the Fortune 1000. Yum! operates the brands KFC, Pizza Hut, Taco Bell, The Habit Burger Grill, and WingStreet worldwide, except in China, where the divisions are operated by Yum China. Last year Yum! Brands generated USD 5.59 billion making it the 5th biggest fast food chain in the world by revenue.
- Founded: 2016
- Yum! Brands Headquarters: Louisville, Kentucky, USA
- Yum! Brands Revenue: USD 5.59 billion
- Yum! Brands Market Cap: USD 20.6 billion
- Yum! Brands Number of Locations: 43,617 restaurants
Yum! Brands Top Brands
- KFC (including XL variant)
- Pizza Hut
- Taco Bell
- Banh Shop (minority investor)
- The Habit
Ranking 6th on this list top 10 largest fast food chains in the world is Chipotle Mexican Grill with revenues generated of USD 5.58 billion last year. Chipotle, is an American chain of fast-casual restaurants in the United States, UK, Canada, Germany, and France, specializing in tacos and Mission-style burritos. Chipotle is one of the first chains of fast-casual dining establishments, and its main competitors include Qdoba Mexican Grill, Moe’s Southwest Grill, Rubio’s Coastal Grill, and Baja Fresh.
- Founded: 1993
- Chipotle Headquarters: Newport Beach, California, USA
- Chipotle Revenue: USD 5.58 billion
- Chipotle Market Cap: USD 20.6 billion
- Chipotle Number of Locations: 2,622 restaurants
Chipotle Top Menu Products
- Burrito bowls
Ranking 7th on this list top 10 largest fast food chains in the world is Restaurant Brands International, a Canadian-US multinational fast food holding company that was formed in 2014 by the USD 12.5 billion mergers between US fast food restaurants chain Burger King and Canadian coffee shop and restaurant chain Tim Hortons. The company is majority-owned by the Brazilian investment company 3G Capital—previously, the majority owner of Burger King, with a 51% stake. The company is publicly traded on the New York and Toronto Stock Exchanges. In 2017, the company expanded and acquired Popeyes as well. Restaurant Brands International generated USD 5.35 billion last year, making it the 7th largest fast food chain in the world by revenue in 2020.
- Founded: 2014
- Restaurant Brands International Headquarters: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
- Restaurant Brands International Revenue: USD 5.35 billion
- Restaurant Brands International Market Cap: USD 12 billion
- Restaurant Brands International Number of Locations: 25,744 restaurants
Restaurant Brands International Top Brands
- Burger King
- Tim Hortons
Domino’s Pizza ranks 8th on this list of the top fast food chains in the world ranked by revenue in 2020. Domino’s Pizza generated revenues of USD 3.61 billion last year — making it the 8th largest fast food chain in the world. Domino’s is an American multinational pizza restaurant chain founded in 1960. Domino’s menu varies by region and the current Domino’s menu in the United States features a variety of Italian-American main and side dishes. Popular products include pizzas with a variety of crust styles, pasta, bread bowls, and oven-baked sandwiches.
- Founded: 1960
- Domino’s Headquarters: Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA
- Domino’s Revenue: USD 3.61 billion
- Domino’s Market Cap: USD 15.03 billion
- Domino’s Number of Locations: 17,000 restaurants
Domino’s Top Menu Products
- Bread bowls
- Oven-baked sandwiches
Wendy’s ranks 9th on this list of the top 10 largest fast food chains in the world with an annual revenue of USD 1.59 billion. Wendy’s is an American international fast food restaurant chain founded by Dave Thomas on November 15, 1969, in Columbus, Ohio. The chain is known for its square hamburgers, sea salt fries, and Frosty, a form of soft-serve ice cream mixed with starches. Wendy’s menu consists primarily of hamburgers, chicken sandwiches, French fries, and beverages such as the Frosty.
- Founded: 1969
- Wendy’s Headquarters: Dublin, Ohio, USA
- Wendy’s Revenue: USD 1.59 billion
- Wendy’s Market Cap: USD 4.88 billion
- Wendy’s Number of Locations: 6,711 restaurants
Wendy’s Top Menu Products
- Chicken sandwiches
- French fries
10. Dunkin’ Donuts
Rounding out BizVibe’s list of the top 10 largest fast food chains is Dunkin’ Donuts, an American multinational coffee, and doughnut company. Dunkin’ Donuts was founded by William Rosenberg in Quincy, Massachusetts in 1950 and currently operates 12,900 locations in 42 countries. Last year the company generated USD 1.37 billion, making it the 10 biggest fast food chain in the world in terms of annual revenues.
- Founded: 1950
- Dunkin’ Donuts Headquarters: Canton, Massachusetts, USA
- Dunkin’ Donuts Revenue: USD 1.37 billion
- Dunkin’ Donuts Market Cap: USD 5.27 billion
- Dunkin’ Donuts Number of Locations: 12,871 restaurants
Dunkin’ Donuts Top Menu Products
- Baked goods
- Hot beverages
- Iced beverages
- Frozen beverages
- Soft drinks
This is BizVibe’s list of the top 10 largest fast food chains in the world in 2020 ranked by revenue. These top fast food chains are performing exceptionally in the market and innovating the way restaurants deliver fast results. Reach out to these companies on BizVibe to get a better understanding of their business offerings.
Top Fast Food Chains in the World by Market Cap 2020
Revenue is one way to look at things when assessing who the largest fast food chains in the world are, but another figure that’s also valuable at a B2B level is a company’s market cap. Market capitalization refers to the total dollar market value of a company’s outstanding shares of stock. Here are the top 10 fast food chains in the world ranked by market cap in 2020.
Fast Food Chain
Market Cap (USD billions)
Number of Stores
|3||Chipotle Mexican Grill||29.83||USA||2,622|
|7||Restaurant Brands International||12||Canada||25,744|
|8||Darden Restaurants, Inc||9.26||USA||1,500|
- With a market cap of USD 122.9 billion, McDonald’s is the largest and most valued fast food chain in the world.
- Starbucks and Chipotle round out the top 3 in terms of the market capitalization of fast food companies.
The Future of the Fast Food Industry
Based on the way it’s playing out, the future of the fast food industry seems to be in technology. 3rd party delivery companies such as Uber Eats and SkiptheDishes is taking over the delivery market and disrupting the fast food and quick-service restaurant market. Consumers crave flexibility, customization, and personalization and the top 10 largest fast food chains in the world are at the forefront of meeting modern customer demands. The most important factors for customers today are good service, proximity, quick delivery, and increased delivery options and the top fast food chains such as McDonald’s and Starbucks are offering all these options — leading the way for all other chains.