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Largest Fast-Food Chains in the World

A fast-food restaurant is a type of restaurant distinguished by its lack of table service and quick-to-serve cuisine. Quick-service restaurants are another name for fast food establishments.

The fast-food industry is rapidly expanding and gaining appeal from the general public. Today’s restaurants differ from the standard menu to broaden their product offerings by focusing on their target clientele. Self-ordering, developed delivery, online charges, and enhanced vegan options are all relatively recent features in the fast-food industry. 

Digital sales climbed by 23% in 2020 as a result of these altering tendencies. The major fast-food corporations are essentially global chain operations that collectively make up a billion-dollar industry.

Fast-food options are particularly appealing to today’s audience because they are economical, quick, easy to obtain, and delicious. Only in the United States, 50 million people eat fast food every day.

A restaurant chain, such as McDonald’s in the United States, is a collection of linked restaurants located in various places run either through franchise agreements or under shared corporate ownership. Fast food restaurants are ordinary and can be found near retail malls, tourist attractions, and motorways.

The following are the top 10 largest fast-food chains:

1. Subway


Location Worldwide: 42,998

Subway is a fast-food restaurant brand in the United States specializing in submarine sandwiches, also known as subs and salads. With 42,998 locations in 112 countries and territories, Subway is the world’s largest and fastest-growing restaurant business.

Subway is also the world’s largest operator, with international headquarters in Milford, Connecticut.

There are around 25,549 Subway fast-food restaurants in the United States alone. Most of these locations are in North America, with 21,796 in the US, 2881 in Canada, and 758 in Mexico. Outside of North America, Australia, Brazil, and the United Kingdom have the most locations. In 2021, Subway re-entered the Indonesian market.

In 1965, it opened its first branch in the United States. Subway’s menu differs by country, most notably in nations where religious restrictions on the meats offered apply. Salads and submarine sandwiches are the main items on the menu. Other dishes are wraps, salad, paninis, and baked goods.

Subway keeps up with today’s health-conscious customers. Due to its diet-focused cuisine, it has become a client favorite all around the world.

2. McDonald’s 


Location: 37,900

McDonald’s is a hamburger and fast-food restaurant chain based in the United States. Richard and Maurice McDonald started it as a barbeque restaurant in 1940. It is one of the oldest fast-food chains in the world.

Chicken goods, milkshakes, hamburgers, breakfast items, desserts, and soft drinks are the most popular items sold at McDonald’s. Fruits, fish, smoothies, salads, and wraps have all recently been added to the company’s menu. McDonald’s is one of the country’s most well-known employers.

McDonald’s has approximately 37,900 locations globally. Ninety-three percent of them are under franchise. McDonald’s is the world’s second-largest restaurant chain, with locations in 119 different countries.

McDonald’s popularity may be reflected in the fact that it serves around 68 million people daily and sells approximately 4,500 hamburgers every minute worldwide. McDonald’s popularity stems from its stability, inventiveness, and the abilities it creates in its staff.

With a net value of $170 billion, McDonald’s is the most profitable fast-food restaurant globally. In 2020, it was expected to generate roughly $19.2 billion, down from $21.8 billion in 2019.

3. Starbucks


Location: 29,900

Starbucks is a coffee shop chain based in the United States. Jerry Baldwin, Gordon Bowker, and Zev Siegl launched it in Seattle’s Pike Place Market in 1971. Starbucks’ first business concept included selling high-quality coffee beans.

Starbucks now sells both hot and cold drinks. Espresso, whole-bean coffee, fresh juices, cafe latte, Frappuccinos, La Boulange pastries, and full-loose-leaf teas are the mainstays at Starbucks.

Starbucks has 29,900 stores on six continents and in 79 countries. In some regions, Starbucks has automated systems. There are 280 different drink combinations available on these machines. In addition, customers can play games on touchscreens while waiting for their orders.

Starbucks’ innovative marketing technique of personalized name coffee mugs has aided in the company’s widespread appeal. Starbucks utilizes over 2.3 billion paper cups per year, demonstrating its admiration.

Revenues will drop to $23.5 billion in 2020, down from $26.5 billion in 2019. The pandemic took a toll on Starbucks, which saw a drop in revenue.

4. KFC


Location: 22,600

KFC (Kentucky Fried Chicken) is a fast-food restaurant chain in the United States. Colonel Sanders and Pete Harmen launched KFC in Salt Lake City, Utah, in 1952.

KFC has around 6,600 locations in China because it offers a unique menu not available at any other KFC location in the world. KFC has over 22,600 locations across the globe. In 2020, it generated $27.9 billion, up from $26.2 billion in 2019.

It focuses primarily on fried chicken. Colonel’s Classic, Chicken Littles, and Family Meals are all classic KFC chicken meals that include a selection of chicken wings and drumsticks.

KFC has also opened the KPRO in China. KPRO’s menu consists of salads, sandwiches, and fresh juices. KFC’s unorthodox approach helped them to dominate the Chinese fast-food business.

The unique idea behind KFC’s marketing plan and strategy is to adapt to the local tastes of the nations where it aims to open its restaurants.

5. Pizza Hut


Location: 18,500

Pizza Hut is an international restaurant chain headquartered in the United States. The company began in Wichita, Kansas, in 1958, when two college students, Frank and Dan Carney, launched their first pizza business. Yum! Brands Inc. owns Pizza Hut, which has more than 18,500 locations globally.

Pizza Hut is primarily a pizza restaurant, offering pasta, wings, breadsticks, and various desserts. In addition, Pizza Hut has recently teamed with Beyond Meat Inc to meet the growing demand for healthy foods worldwide.

Pizza Hut has locations in over 100 countries, including Armenia, Iceland, Russia, and the United States. However, with over 7,000 locations, the United States remains the largest Pizza Hut market. 

Every year, the enterprise consumes roughly 300 million pounds of cheese.

Despite the location closures in 2020, Pizza Hut improved same-store sales in the US division to 8% in Q4, the highest level since 2010, when it was 10%.

6. Burger King

Burger King

Location: 17,800

Burger King is a hamburger fast-food restaurant brand based in the United States. Miami-Dade County, Florida, is home to the company’s headquarters. Insta-Burger King, a subsidiary of Burger King, was created in Jacksonville, Florida, in 1953.

In addition to burgers, milkshakes, sodas, and French fries, Burger King’s menu has expanded to include a range of things. Burger King is thought to have 17,800 locations in 100 countries around the world. Almost half of the outlets are in the United States, and 99.5 percent are privately owned and operated.

Burger King has a long history of using creative marketing strategies. For example, in Japan, the company introduced black buns stained with bamboo charcoal in 2015. This method was utilized to compensate for the company’s restricted advertising budget in Japan, and the public favorably welcomed it.

Franchises, leased properties, and company-operated restaurants are the three primary sources of revenue for Burger King. However, Burger King’s most excellent profit-generating source was franchising, which accounts for over 90% of the company’s units. In 2020, the company’s systemwide revenues declined 11% to $20.038 billion, down from $22.921 billion in 2019.

7. Dominos Pizza

Dominos Pizza

Location: 16,300

Domino’s Pizza is a pizza restaurant chain based in the United States. Pizza Hut’s main competitor is Domino’s. James and Tom Monaghan started it in Ypsilanti, Michigan, two years after Pizza Hut.

The menu at Domino’s differs per region. In the United States, the current Domino’s menu includes a mix of Italian-American main and side items. However, Pizza is the main attraction, with bare, specialized, and custom pizzas in various crust styles and toppings available.

When Domino’s announced the debut of Pizza Tracker in the late 2000s, the firm embarked on a journey of creative marketing methods. The strategy allows customers to track the development of their orders. These techniques aided in the development of a strong digital brand and provided a platform for customer connection.

It has 16,300 outlets worldwide in more than 90 countries. The company’s global retail sales in 2020 were $16.1 billion, up from $14.3 billion in 2019.

8. Dunkin Donuts

Dunkin Donuts

Location: 11,800

The most popular coffee store in the United States is Dunkin’ Donuts. It was developed by William Rosenberg in Quincy, Massachusetts, in 1948 under the name ‘Open Kettle.’ Dunkin’ Donuts became the official name in 1950. 

Donuts, bagels, coffee, and “Munchkins” donut holes are among the company’s offerings. Franchisees own and run all of the stores. 

It has 11,800 outlets throughout the world. In addition, many gas stations, supermarkets, mall and airport food courts, and Walmart stores have Dunkin’ Donuts locations. 

South Korea was Dunkin’ Donuts’ largest overseas market, accounting for approximately 40% of international sales.

Dunkin’ Donuts declared in 2018 that it would no longer use artificial colors in its goods, instead opting for fresh juices and other extracts. Hash browns, brown sugar oatmeal, cinnamon raisin bagel, plain bagel, and various beverages are also available.

9. Baskin-Robbins


Location: 8,100

Baskin Robbins is the world’s largest and oldest ice cream chain, opening its doors in 1945. The company was started in Glendale, California, by Burt Baskin and Irv Robbins. It claims to be the largest ice cream store chain in the world.

It has more than 8,000 sites worldwide, with almost 2,500 in the United States. In approximately 50 countries, Baskin-Robbins offers ice cream.

Royalty fees and revenues helped the corporation control costs and created more income. Customers can get special offers, purchase monitoring, and even a free scoop on downloading the app through their mobile app. Baskin Robbins was able to grow its digital sales from 10% in 2019 to 35% in 2020 due to the epidemic.

10. Hunt Brothers Pizza

Location: 7,5 00

Hunt Brothers Pizza is a pizza restaurant chain in the United States. It was formed in Nashville, Tennessee, in 1991. It has 7,500 outlets worldwide. Hunt Brothers Pizza is the largest made-to-order pizza brand in the convenience store market in the United States.

As a grab-and-go Hunk A Pizza, Hunt Brothers Pizza serves original and thin-crust pizzas. For no extra charge, Hunt Brothers Pizza offers up to ten toppings. Wings and wing bits are the ideal accompaniment to Hunt Brothers’ Pizza.

The headquarters of Hunt Brothers Pizza is in Nashville, Tennessee. Its yearly income is anticipated to be 11.9 million dollars.


Every day, millions of people eat at fast-food establishments. They now have more choices than they did previously.

There’s a quick-service restaurant for practically any hunger, from burgers to pad thai. Customers can choose their favorite fast food establishment from all of these options.

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