By Nicolas Vega
Thanks to sales growth in 2019 of 13 percent to $11.3 billion, the chicken slinger leapfrogged over Taco Bell and Burger King to second place behind McDonald’s, according to Restaurant Business Magazine’s annual list of top 500 restaurants.
The Atlanta-based chain’s dominance is even more impressive considering it has only 2,470 locations in the United States. McDonald’s, by comparison, raked in $40.4 billion in gross sales with its 13,846 American locations.
Taco Bell, meanwhile, brought in $11.29 billion with 6,766 restaurants while Burger King’s 7,346 locations raked in $10.2 billion.
Last year, Chick-fil-A was 7th on the list, behind Burger King and Taco Bell, as well as Wendy’s and Subway.
“They have the highest quick service restaurant sales in the industry,” John Gordon of Pacific Management Consulting Group told The Post. “It’s higher than Shake Shack. It’s higher than many steakhouses with bars.”
As the coronavirus has hammered the fast food industry, Chick-fil-A is poised to weather the storm better than most because it has yet to build a sizable footprint in urban areas known for their high rents, Gordon added.
That, combined with fast food consumers’ growing appetites for chicken, suggests Chick-Fil-A’s reign might last for some time.
“They are growing when the other brands are not; they have much more development potential,” he said. “I don’t see any of the other peers leapfrogging back.”