Top 16 Largest Fast Food Chains in US [Report 2024]


Are you craving a burger or a serving of tasty French fries? Well, in today’s world the most accessible and delicious food is fast food.

Even if people know they should consume nutritious food, they do not think twice about ordering a relishing meal to satisfy their hunger with these rich in calories foods. Because of its extreme popularity, fast food chains are growing dramatically in the US.

Want to know which ones are the largest fast food chains in US? Here is the list for you to get the idea of the fast-paced success of the fast food chains.

1. McDonald’s

McDonald's is one of the largest fast food chains in US

With over 1796 current running locations, number one on the list is the most popular food chain called McDonald’s. Due to its consistent popularity, it is one of the most recognizable brands in the world, and it remains one of the fastest growing fast food chains in the world, bringing in $21.08 billion in 2019 and the number keeps on rising to this day.

It was founded in 1940 as a small restaurant in California owned by Richard and Maurice McDonald. It serves delicious burgers and different packages of meals, among which the breakfast and child meals are the most popular ones.

Presently, the CEO of this food corporation is CEO Raymond Kroc. With over 69 million customers a day around the world, McDonald’s Corp is presently operating in more than 100 countries with more than 39,000 restaurant branches.

2. Subway


Founded in Connecticut, US, Subway is one of the fastest growing multinational fast food chains in the US. Even if they started with submarine sandwiches, they kept on adding different ravishing foods like wraps, salads, and beverages.

This food chain targets attracting vegans as well as adding vegetarians. You might be astounded to know that this incredible fast food restaurant was founded by a 17 – year old boy named Fred DeLuca who was financed by Peter Buck in 1965 to start this business.

3. Starbucks


Who does not like a coffee re-boost every day to deal with the hectic lifestyles of the present world? Well, topping as one of the fastest growing fast food chains is Starbucks which is the world’s most popular coffeehouse chain. It started in 1971 in Seattle, Washington.

Presently, they operate in over 70 countries worldwide with service at over 33,000 locations. The coffee culture in the US is rapidly increasing and the market share of Starbucks Corporation is around 40%. They serve different breads, snacks and meals at this coffee house as well, to complement the various kinds of coffees and drinks.

According to the Starbucks Corporation team, they targeted opening over 55,000 outlets by 2030.

You might also get interested to know about the largest grocery chains in US.

4. KFC 

Remember the White Man logo with a mustache on the famous fried chicken bucket? The man in the logo is Colonel Sanders who founded KFC. The full title is Kentucky Fried Chicken, which is another subsidiary of Yum. KFC is famous for its signature fried chicken.

According to the statistics, after McDonald’s. KFC is the second-largest restaurant chain in the world based on sales. Even after years of its popularity, and competing fried chicken restaurants, KFC remains one of the top ones because of its extraordinary trade secret of fried chicken recipe seasoned with Colonel Sanders’s recipe of 11 herbs and spices.

5. Burger King

With outlets in over 100 countries in the world, Burger King is a multinational fast-food restaurant chain. With its name, you might have guessed that they started as a burger shop.

Founded by James W. McLamore and David Edgerton, Burger King has been included as part of the Restaurant Brands International Inc. It was founded in 1954 in Miami. Their signature fast food item is the Whopper, which is the favorite among customers.

6. Pizza Hut

One of the main competitors of Dominos is Pizza Hut when it comes to pizza fast food chain. It was founded in 1958 in Wichita, Kansas by Dan and Frank Carney. This pizza restaurant has become a network of 19,703 outlets located in more than 100 countries around the world. With its different flavors of pizza, it offers different side dishes and fast foods for its loyal customers. In terms of locations, this franchise has become the largest pizza chain in the world.

7. Domino’s 

When it comes to pizza, Domino’s Pizza is one of the first brands that comes in people’s mind. Currently, their menu has different meals, beverages and side dishes that have also gained popularity among people in America.

Domino’s Pizza, Inc was founded in 1961 by James Monaghan, Tom Monaghan, and Dominick DiVarti. Its headquarters are in Ann Arbor, Michigan. This pizza food chain will bring revenues of over $4.12 billion in 2020, which it is called the pizza chain powerhouse.

Besides America, in India this franchise has operated over 1,200 locations. Worldwide, more than 80 countries have branches of Domino’s Pizza, Inc. 

8. Dunkin’ Donuts

When it comes to doughnuts, the most popular multinational fast food chain is none other than Dunkin’ Donuts. They serve doughnuts as well as different types of other fast foods like sandwiches and more. Their most famous item is the Munchkin donut holes. It was founded in 1950 by William Rosenberg.

First, they started with doughnuts and coffee, but now they have expanded their menus by adding beverages and more options. Today, there are over 12,000 locations in 42 countries of the world. This food chain is owned by Atlanta-based company Inspire Brands who bought it with a deal of $11.3 billion from Dunkin’ Brands.

Due to its advanced management, experts predict that Dunkin’ Donuts will become one of the fastest growing fast food chains not only in the US but also internationally.

9. Chipotle 

With a revenue of more than 5.586 billion USD per year, Chipotle is a widely famous fast food chain which was founded in Connecticut, United States.

Its official name is Chipotle Mexican Grill, Inc. which was originally an American chain and is presently spreading their outlets in different countries like Canada, France, Germany and more. They specialize in serving delicious tacos and Mission Burritos.

10. Hunt Brothers

Who would be able to resist Hunt Brothers Pizza. This food chain was founded in 1991 by four brothers: Don, Charlie, Jim, and Lonnie Hunt. Its massive popularity started at its headquarters in Nashville, Tennessee.

This family – owned pizza brand has gained international popularity after its popularity in America with having 7,800 outlets all over the United States. You can find them in nearby convenience stores, schools, sports institutions, in gas stations and more.

11. Taco Bell 

Tacos were originally a Mexican dish. With Taco Bell’s great food experience, many people have come to appreciate Mexican food. Taco Bell is a Mexican – inspired fast food chain that serves different delicious Mexican foods like burritos, chalupas, tacos and quesadillas.

It was founded in 1962 by entrepreneur Glen Bell. The original place where it started was Downey, California. Presently, they have opened more than 7,542 outlets in the US and worldwide, more than 7000 restaurants.

12. Orange Julius

Orange Julius is an American chain of fruit drink beverage stores. It has been in business since the late 1920s and is noted for a particular drink, also called an Orange Julius. The beverage is a mixture of ice, orange juice, sweetener, milk, powdered egg whites and vanilla flavoring.

13. Wendy’s 

Founded in 1969, Wendy’s is a fast food chain in US that represents America’s diverse food origins. It was founded by Dave Thomas, who opened the restaurant in the name of his 4th daughter, Wendy, and the family lived in the city of Columbus.

Originally, they served burgers, square sandwiches and beverages. However, over the years, they introduced several other items which soon gained popularity among Americans.

Their special item, Frosty, is a soft – served ice cream. In the United States, they have over 6700 Wendy’s along with outlets in 29 other countries of the world.

14. Baskin-Robbins 

America’s international ice cream chain is Baskin-Robbins which was founded by Burt Baskin and Irv Robbins. This couple from Glendale, California established this ice cream place in 1954. The company gained success as they attracted people of all ages to fall for their delicious multi – flavored ice creams.

With 2,737 in the US, this company has gained the title of the world’s largest ice cream chain which also serves fast foods like waffles, cones, and different types of other fast foods. They have maintained their quality for over 50 years and constantly expand their menu.

15. Hardee’s

Hardee’s Restaurants LLC is an American fast-food restaurant chain operated by CKE Restaurants Holdings, Inc. (“CKE”) with locations primarily in the Southern and Midwestern United States. The company has evolved through several corporate ownerships since its establishment in 1961 in North Carolina.

In April 1997, CKE Restaurants Holdings, Inc., the parent company of Carl’s Jr., paid $327 million to Montreal-based Imasco Limited for Hardee’s.

16. Papa John’s

Papa John’s International, Inc., Papa Johns, is an American pizza restaurant chain. It is the fourth largest pizza delivery restaurant chain in the United States, with headquarters in Louisville, Kentucky and Atlanta, Georgia metropolitan areas.

Papa John’s global presence has reached over 5,500 locations in 49 countries and territories; and is currently the world’s third-largest pizza delivery company.

Fast foods have become a go-to meal choice for most people of all ages in America. With these fast food chains growing quickly, they provide more options for people to choose from different cuisines, portions and other criteria. The list of the largest fast food chains in the US can give you an idea of the future prospects of the fast food industry in America.

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