13 Most Popular Chain Restaurants in the World

13 Most Popular Chain Restaurants in the World. The global fast food and restaurant industry caters to billions of customers annually, driving staggering revenue figures year in, year out. In this fiercely competitive arena, trends may come and go, but the names dominating the charts remain remarkably consistent. These top-tier chain restaurants have firmly entrenched themselves as household favorites, consistently delivering on taste, value, and convenience.

From the aromatic allure of freshly brewed coffee to the indulgent sweetness of glazed donuts, and from the zesty punch of tacos to the savory satisfaction of burgers, we delve into the diverse menus and savvy business strategies that have propelled these establishments to the summit of success. Through a lens focused on their innovative culinary creations, sustainable practices, and unwavering commitment to excellence, we uncover the secrets behind their enduring reign at the apex of the industry.

Dunkin’ Donuts

Since its inception in 1950 by William Rosenberg, Dunkin’ Donuts has burgeoned into a multinational coffee and donut empire, boasting a staggering presence across 42 countries through over 12,900 outlets. With a steadfast commitment to delivering delectable coffee, mouthwatering donuts, and freshly baked goods, Dunkin’ Donuts has emerged as a go-to destination for morning pick-me-ups and anytime snacks. Its straightforward menu and prompt service render it an ideal choice for individuals navigating hectic schedules and seeking convenience on the fly.


Wendy’s, born in Columbus, Ohio, back in 1969, has evolved into a formidable force in the fast-food realm, boasting a staggering $2.09 billion in revenue in 2022 alone. With an unwavering dedication to top-notch ingredients and meals crafted fresh upon order, Wendy’s has cultivated a devoted following spanning the globe. Distinguished by its inventive menu offerings and a steadfast pledge to sustainability and ethical sourcing, Wendy’s has carved out a unique niche amidst the competitive landscape of fast-food chains.

Domino’s Pizza

In 2022, Domino’s Pizza achieved a remarkable revenue of $4.48 billion. This American pizza titan has firmly cemented its status as a household favorite, serving up delectable pizzas, pastas, wings, oven-baked sandwiches, and an array of tempting sides to families worldwide. With a steadfast commitment to online ordering convenience, swift delivery services, and consistently mouthwatering pizza creations, Domino’s Pizza has secured a commanding 30% share of the pizza delivery market, alongside clinching the eighth position for highest revenue in the industry.

Restaurant Brands International

Established in 2014 through the merger of Canadian coffee icon Tim Hortons with American fast-food titan Burger King, Restaurant Brands International (RBI) stands as a prominent multinational fast-food holding company headquartered in Canada and the United States. Expanding its portfolio further in 2017, RBI added Popeyes to its repertoire. With an impressive revenue of $6.36 billion in 2022, RBI claims its spot as the seventh-largest fast-food chain globally. Fueled by the enduring popularity of its renowned brands such as Burger King, Tim Hortons, and Popeyes, RBI anticipates maintaining its dominance across diverse market segments, with its profitability and stock value on a steadfast upward trajectory.

Chipotle Mexican Grill

In 2022, Chipotle Mexican Grill boasted an impressive revenue of $8.6 billion, operating across a diverse range of locations spanning the United States, UK, Canada, Germany, and France. Renowned for its signature offerings of tacos, burritos, and bowls, Chipotle sets itself apart with a commitment to customization and the utilization of top-tier ingredients.

What sets Chipotle apart is its appeal to health-conscious consumers seeking alternatives to traditional fast-food fare. The company prides itself on its dedication to sourcing responsibly raised meats and locally sourced produce, a testament to its unwavering commitment to quality and sustainability. This ethos resonates with customers, solidifying Chipotle’s reputation as a go-to destination for those craving flavorful yet wholesome dining experiences.

YUM! Brands

Yum! Brands clinched an impressive fifth spot among the top 10 largest fast-food chains worldwide, boasting a substantial revenue of $6.8 billion in 2022. This American fast-food powerhouse oversees a diverse array of brands, including household names like KFC, Pizza Hut, Taco Bell, The Habit Burger Grill, and WingStreet, operating across global markets, with the exception of China, where Yum China manages its divisions.

With a strategic focus on expansion into new territories, a relentless drive for innovation, and a robust portfolio featuring some of the most iconic fast-food establishments globally, Yum! Brands has firmly established itself as a trailblazer within the industry, setting the bar for success in the competitive world of fast food.

YUM China

Yum China holds exclusive rights to operate a wide spectrum of fast-food chains within China, boasting a diverse portfolio that includes KFC, Pizza Hut, East Dawning, Little Sheep, Taco Bell, COFFii & JOY, and Huang Ji Huang, catering to the varied tastes of Chinese consumers. As the largest restaurant company in China, Yum China reported an impressive revenue of approximately $9.56 billion in 2022.

Presently, YUM China operates a vast network of over 11,000 restaurants spanning 1,600 cities, providing employment opportunities for over 450,000 individuals across mainland China. Positioned as an industry powerhouse, Yum China is primed for further expansion and success in the years ahead, solidifying its status as a dominant force within the Chinese dining landscape.


Subway stands out as a privately held American restaurant franchise renowned for its submarine sandwiches and salads. What’s intriguing about Subway is its distinctive business model—it doesn’t own any of its locations. Instead, Subway garners 8% of revenue from each franchise.

Boasting an expansive network of 43,600 stores worldwide, Subway holds the distinction of having the highest number of locations of any restaurant globally as of 2020. Moreover, the franchise reported an impressive revenue of $16.1 billion in 2021. Subway’s remarkable global footprint, coupled with its innovative franchising approach, has firmly entrenched it as a prominent player in the fast-food industry, underscored by its stellar sales performance.


With an impressive revenue tallying $23.18 billion in 2022, McDonald’s asserts its dominance with over 37,855 outlets spanning across more than 100 countries, catering to an astounding 70 million customers daily. This American fast-food giant has etched its name in culinary history with iconic offerings such as the Big Mac, Chicken McNuggets, and the McChicken, alongside a diverse array of breakfast items, soft drinks, milkshakes, wraps, and desserts.

McDonald’s revenue stream primarily flows from rent, royalties, and fees paid by its franchisees, in conjunction with sales generated by company-operated restaurants. Remarkably, McDonald’s also claims the title of the world’s second-largest private employer, boasting a workforce of approximately 200,000 office employees and an impressive 2 million restaurant workers dispersed across over 100 nations.


In the fast-paced world of 2022, Starbucks emerges as the reigning champion, boasting an impressive revenue of $32.9 billion. This iconic chain of coffeehouses and roastery reserves, headquartered in Seattle, Washington, has captured the hearts and palates of quality-conscious coffee aficionados worldwide. Starbucks prides itself on offering a wide array of meticulously crafted, hand-made coffee beverages, ranging from lighter roasts to an extensive selection of hot and cold drinks. Additionally, Starbucks offers whole-bean coffee, teas, juices, pastries, and snacks to cater to diverse tastes.

Setting itself apart from many competitors, Starbucks operates solely through company-owned locations, eschewing the franchise model. From perennial favorites like the pumpkin spice latte to its ever-evolving lineup of seasonal and location-specific offerings, Starbucks has firmly entrenched itself as a household name and continues to expand its global footprint, one cup of coffee at a time.

Convenience is King!

The success of these restaurant chains can be attributed to various factors, including their unwavering commitment to quality ingredients, their knack for innovation in menu offerings, and their ability to provide convenience for customers with busy lifestyles. Despite facing controversies and criticisms over time, these chains have demonstrated resilience by evolving and adapting, continually introducing new menu items and expanding into new markets to stay relevant in an ever-changing industry landscape.

As the fast-food industry continues its rapid growth and transformation, it remains an intriguing arena to observe, with keen interest in which brands will emerge as the leaders of tomorrow. For now, stalwarts such as McDonald’s, Subway, and Starbucks retain their status as the largest players in the global fast-food arena, and it appears likely that they will maintain their dominance for the foreseeable future.

Sushi Itto

Rounding out our list is Sushi Itto, a global sushi chain that has taken the world by storm. With their fresh fish and creative sushi rolls, Sushi Itto offers a taste of Japan in every bite. Whether you’re a sushi aficionado or a newbie to Japanese cuisine, Sushi Itto is sure to impress with its delicious offerings.


America runs on Dunkin’, and for good reason. With their freshly brewed coffee and irresistible donuts, Dunkin’ has become a breakfast staple for millions of people worldwide. Whether you’re grabbing a quick coffee on the go or treating yourself to a sweet treat, Dunkin’ always hits the spot.

Pizza Hut

Who doesn’t love a hot, cheesy pizza? Pizza Hut has been delivering the goods for decades, serving up piping hot pies topped with all your favorite toppings. Whether you’re dining in or ordering delivery, Pizza Hut never disappoints when it comes to satisfying your pizza cravings.

In conclusion,

The enduring success of leading fast-food chains like McDonald’s, Subway, and Starbucks is a testament to their ability to consistently meet the evolving needs and preferences of consumers worldwide. By prioritizing quality ingredients, fostering innovation in their menus, and providing convenience for busy lifestyles, these chains have solidified their positions at the forefront of the industry.

Despite facing occasional controversies and criticisms, these brands have demonstrated resilience by continuously adapting and expanding, introducing new offerings and venturing into new markets. As the fast-food landscape continues to evolve, it will be fascinating to observe which brands rise to prominence in the future.

For now, McDonald’s, Subway, and Starbucks stand as towering figures in the global fast-food arena, and their continued dominance seems assured for years to come.

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