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NRN Rounds up the 10 Fastest-Growing Restaurant Chains in America

Shake Shack tops this year’s list with 34.5% year-over-year growth.

Despite just about everything that has happened in 2020, Shake Shack managed to have quite a year, achieving 34.5% growth over last year. That was enough to put the fast-casual chain at the top of Nation’s Restaurant News’s ranking of the fastest-growing restaurant chains in America this year, displacing last-year’s top-ranking brand, MOD Pizza, which fell to the number-three spot.

Unsurprisingly, given the social-distancing protocols that closed public dining areas in markets across the country, limited-service chains are well represented in this year’s rankings, occupying seven of the ten placements.

Perhaps less predictably, chicken is the most popular menu item among the restaurants listed, due in part, no doubt, to a renewed buzz around chicken sandwiches sparked by the wildly successful rollout of Popeyes’ chicken sandwich last year.

All 10 had double-digit year-over-year growth in domestic sales, ranging from about 18% to more than 34%, for their latest completed fiscal years, which ended in late 2019 and early 2020. Given that timing, these results largely predate the impact of coronavirus, which continues to unfold. Still, they offer insights as to which brands had the strongest momentum coming into this year. 

Head to to see the full list.