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Retail Trends


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In the quick-serve universe, it’s still McDonald’s and everybody else. The rest are not insignificant – Subway has more restaurants than does McDonald’s — but McDonald’s share of the quick-service market is about 17 percent – roughly equal to those of Subway, Starbucks, Burger King and Wendy’s combined, according to restaurant industry research firm Technomic.

McDonald’s has budgeted nearly $3 billion for expansion this year, including opening some 1,325 new locations and remodeling others as the company strives to grow sales 3 to 5 percent and achieve operating income gains of 6 to 7 percent.

Five years ago, McDonald’s owned and operated nearly a quarter of the restaurants flying its banner. But like most large franchising operators these days, McDonald’s has reduced ownership to about 19 percent of its stores. The average franchisee owns five or six units.

According to FRANdata, a service of Franchise Information Services, there are 38,390 single-unit food franchisees in the country operating 23.8 percent of franchised restaurants.

Wendy’s passed Burger King as the country’s second-largest burger chain even as it sold off Arby’s. Carrols Restaurant Group spun off Pollo Tropical and other brands in order to acquire another 278 Burger King locations. Subway plans to open another 1,200 North American locations this year; YUM! Brands’ largest Pizza Hut franchisee, publicly held NPC, acquired another 36 units and now operates nearly 1,200 across the country.