10 Biggest Fast-Food Chains In America

McDonald's

McDonald's had a very good 2021, despite dealing with worker shortages, wage increases, the pandemic, and rising food costs.  This was largely due to the chain's ability to adapt to a changing market.

Starbucks

Starbucks has had a rocky year so far with a growing number of its stores unionizing. But in 2021, the chain saw big profits which reaffirmed its position as the second-largest quick-service chain in America. 

Chick-fil-A

Number three in the big league rankings, this "chicken little" is the smallest chain to compete with the heavyweights. At only 2,704 locations compared to McDonald's 13,438 U.S. units, Chick-fil-A packs quite a punch for its size.

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Taco Bell

Technomic's Top 500 Chain Restaurant Report indicates the Mexican fast-food chain has managed to bring in well over $12 billion in sales last year. It has also grown its footprint by about 200 locations in the U.S. during that time.

Wendy's

After dethroning Burger King as the nation's second-favorite burger chain behind McDonald's, Wendy's has been riding high and it doesn't appear to be relinquishing the title soon. 

Dunkin

America still runs on Dunkin', even under the threat of a pandemic. The fast-food chain was able to keep business humming thanks to innovative drinks and a lot of customers looking to treat themselves to a donut during a crisis.

Burger King

Last year, the chain was catering to the home-office crowd, pushing new caffeinated beverages and mobile ordering. It introduced a lineup of matcha and oat-milk lattes, plus Dunkin' Refreshers, made with iced green tea.

Subway

America's biggest sandwich shop landed in eighth place just like last year. But it is looking for a fresh start amid some serious turmoil in recent years. 

Domino's

Domino's is the only fast-food pizza chain to make it to the top 10, although the pizza segment was hot during the pandemic.

Chipotle

One surprising winner that came out of the pandemic was Chipotle, which traditionally had more dine-in sales. The brand had just launched its order-ahead drive-thru Chipotlanes a year prior to the pandemic.

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