A chicken chain that breaks the fried chicken mold is taking over the US.
While these chains aren’t necessarily the biggest in the US, they’re well on their way to getting there.
Opening dozens of locations in 2016 and growing sales by millions of dollars, these are the brands to watch out for. If there isn’t one in your town yet, there probably will be soon.
Americans seem to be craving chicken more than ever. In 2016, three of five fastest-growing restaurant brands were chains selling chicken fingers, wings, or sandwiches.
Here are the five fastest-growing restaurant chains in America:
Chick-fil-A had a standout year, growing sales 16.9% and opening its 2,000th location.
One major indicator of Chick-fil-A’s success is its incredibly high estimated sales per unit, which reached $3.9 million this year. That is more than any other limited-service or chicken concept on the market, and it is roughly three times as much what a KFC location brings in on average. Analysts say exceptional customer service sets the chain apart from its competition.
Wingstop grew sales 16.9% in 2016, reaching $943.3 million. Last year marked the company’s 13th consecutive year of same-store sales growth.
CEO Charlie Morrison told Business Insider that the chain’s success is rooted in just a few straightforward ideas.
“Our brand is founded on simplicity,” Morrison said. “Wings, fries, and sides make up about 95% of what we sell.”
3. Marco’s Pizza
This 770-location chain has made NRN’s list of the top-five fastest growing brands two years in a row. The fastest-growing pizza chain in the US grew sales 17.1% in 2016, reaching $488.9 million.
The pizza industry is hot right now as new tech makes ordering and delivery easier than ever before. This Toledo, Ohio-based chain is ready to cash in on the trend.