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Sales of leading quick service restaurant chains in the U.S. in 2019

McDonald’s generated more money in systemwide sales than any other quick service restaurant (QSR) chain in the United States in 2019. The burger chain earned 40.41 billion U.S. dollars in sales revenue, which was around 19 billion U.S. dollars more than the next ranked chain.

Where do chains rank in other restaurant performance metrics?

In the United States, consumer spending in the QSR industry decreased by around seven percent year-on-year to 279 billion U.S. dollars in 2019. McDonald’s was the leading chain in regard to sales, but Subway led the way by the number of units, with around 9,000 more stores than the next ranked company. However, in terms of sales per unit, both McDonald’s and Subway failed to make the top three in 2018 – Chick-fil-A, known for its high customer service standards, came out on top.

McDonald’s: serving America since the 1940s

In 1940, the very first McDonald’s restaurant was opened by brothers Richard and Maurice McDonald in California. The store focused on barbeque food, but the brothers soon noticed that hamburgers were the best-selling product on the menu. The company has grown to become one of America’s greatest success stories, operating around 13,900 restaurants in its domestic market and dominating the quick service burger restaurant industry by sales.

Leading quick service restaurant (QSR) chains in the United States in 2019, by systemwide sales

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Release date

April 2020


United States

Survey time period


Supplementary notes

*Technomic Estimate.
Figures have been rounded.

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