These Are The 10 Fastest Growing Food Chains In America And I’ve Legit Never Heard Of #1

Margherita Neapolitan style pizza

iStockphoto / Paolo Paradiso

Chain restaurants in America aren’t what they used to be. If you go back in time, 15 or 20 years, it was pretty much all the same restaurant (Chili’s vs. Applebees) with different branding. And it was all about a fast/casual meal where the customer knew exactly what to expect every time regardless of whether they were in Ft. Lauderdale or Sacramento.

These days, chain restaurants are thinking about the customer’s needs more than ever before. The fastest growing chain restaurants in America reflect the desires of customers to personalize meals and in some cases eat healthy. Case in point, the #1 and #2 fastest growing chain restaurants in America are pizza joints that serve up personalized pizza with top-shelf ingredients. And the #4 restaurant chain on the list was actually co-founded by my friend’s dad and they’re all about fresh ingredients, eating healthy, and making sure the customer gets exactly what s/he wants. As for the #1 list on the 10 Fastest Growing Chains in America from NRN, I’ve legitimately never heard of it until now. I know #2-4 really well but I’m not familiar with #5, #7, #9, or #10.

#1. MOD Pizza — 80% grown in annual sales last year
#2. Blaze Pizza — LeBron James made $35 million+ investing in this chain
#3. Shake Shack — The best burger in America (in my opinion)
#4. First Watch — over 200 locations nationwide and the best breakfast around
#5. Cooper’s Hawk Winery & Restaurant — 30.4% increase in sales
#6. Raising Cane’s Chicken Fingers — Opened 50 locations in the past year
#7. Fuzzy’s Taco Shop — Never heard of it but I’m intrigued
#8. Tropical Smoothie Cafe — How are they still growing? They’ve been around forever
#9. Black Bear Diner — 106 locations
#10. Freddy’s Frozen Custard & Steakburgers — the steakburger is underrated

This data comes from NRN‘s annual report which follows the top 200 chains in America. They’ve also tracked the largest chains in America if you want to check out that list, here’s #50-1.

(h/t Food and Wine)