Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Top 15 U.S. Fast Food Chains: "Subway" Surprise

Business Insider has ranked the top 15 U.S. fast food chains by sales HERE.

The fact that McDonald's is #1 was no surprise.  But I was surprised that McDonald's has many fewer restaurants in the United States (14,098) than #2 Subway (24,722).  I feels to me like there's a Starbucks every few blocks in America.  But there are apparently 2.5 times more Subway locations in America than #3 Starbucks (10,787).

Doing some quick math, I divided the 2011 U.S. sales by the number of U.S. locations and found that Subway had average sales at each U.S. location in 2011 of just over $460,000, while for McDonald's that figure was almost $2.5 million, and for Starbucks that was just over $900,000.  At my personal favorite chain on this list, #6 Taco Bell, that figure was $1.2 million, despite it having only about 1/5 the number of U.S. locations (5,674) as Subway (24,722).  Even #14 Arby's, with only 3,484 U.S. locations, had average sales per store in 2011 of about $870,000.

I wonder why there are apparently more Subway locations in America (24,722) than McDonald's (14,098) and Starbucks (10,787) combined, especially since Subway's per-location sales ($460,000) are so dramatically lower than those of its competitors.

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