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Food and Drink

Revealed: The Biggest Fast Food Chains in the World

Revealed: The Biggest Fast Food Chains in the World

Fast food is a common factor in everyday life. Even if people prefer to cook their own meals, today’s fast-paced world means they often turn to fast food as a convenient, affordable way to see them through the day. 

When it comes to selecting a fast-food establishment, there are countless options available. In virtually any major town or city, you’ll find everything from Chinese takeaways to pizza shops that are ideal for suppressing any feelings of hunger – or gluttony! 

While local businesses are available, a lot of fast-food enthusiasts will turn to chain restaurants. Due to their familiarity and consistency, they are typically seen as a safe option. Plus, due to their worldwide prevalence, the biggest fast-food chains are pretty much everywhere you turn. 

However, which are the most prominent chains on a global scale? This article is here to provide the answer based on revenue generated. 

1. Starbucks 

As it primarily sells drinks, you may be forgiven for forgetting that Starbucks falls under the fast-food chain category. Yet once you do realize, it’s not much of a surprise they are ranked at #1. 

With over 31,000 locations globally, it’s not difficult to find a Starbucks in pretty much any part of the developed world. People also love the brand, as evidenced by the $26.7 billion revenue generated based on 2020 statistics

The sky-high revenue figure could be explained due to purchasing habits. While other takeaways will be enjoyed on occasion, people often visit Starbucks daily.

2. KFC

This one might come as a shock, but KFC currently sits at number two on the list. While it only has a little over 24,000 locations worldwide, 2019 figures highlight it produced a massive $26.2 billion in revenue. 

The success of KFC can be attributed to its dominance in Asia. Along with having a healthy 11.6% share of China’s massive fast-food market, it is also popular in the likes of Thailand, Indonesia, Japan, and Malaysia. 

3. McDonald’s

In terms of locations, McDonald’s has a comfortable second place in the list of most prominent fast-food chains. Yet it’s near 39,000 restaurants that have only generated $20.8 billion in overall revenue in 2020. 

Nevertheless, the burger-flipping king still wins the popularity contest. Based on a study by Betway, McDonald’s dominated search statistics between March and May 2020 –, particularly across Europe. 

4. Subway

If this list was based on the number of locations, Subway would be at the top of the pile. The subway sandwich specialist boasts 41,000 stores in total. Sadly for the company, this figure doesn’t equate to having the highest revenue. 2020 numbers point out Subway generated $10.4 billion in revenue. 

5. Domino’s

In the battle of the pizza chains, it is Domino’s that comes out on top over Pizza Hut. While the latter has slightly more locations – 18,703 to 17,020 – Domino’s is dominant in terms of revenue. With Pizza Hut sitting at $1.15 billion, Domino’s more than triples that figure with $3.62 billion in revenue.

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