100 Under 100:新兴连锁餐厅席卷美国

2023-07-30 07:04  来源: 中餐通讯编

新兴的餐厅品牌无疑很有趣。他们经常带来新的菜单和品牌理念,以创造性的方式挖掘消费者趋势,展示对未来的一瞥。但新兴品牌也很重要,因为它们有朝一日可能会成为国际巨头,其一举一动都会被行业其他成员效仿。


通过这份少于100家门店的前100家新兴连锁店名单,Nation's Restaurant News着手量化哪些新兴品牌真正拥有美国最大的动力。为了创建此列表,NRN 与 Datassential 合作,审查了前 750 家连锁餐厅的销售和单位数量信息。到 100 年底,该列表仅缩减为拥有 2022 个或更少地点的地点,然后按 2021 年至 2022 年间的单位数量增长率进行排序。


100家新兴连锁店名单


100. Roberto’s Taco Shop

HQ: Las Vegas

Units: 75

Unit increase: 3 (+4.2%)

Roberto’s Taco Shop is a family-owned Mexican chain, claiming to have been San Diego’s first walk-up, drive-thru taco shop when it was founded in 1964. The brand, still owned by the founding Robledo family, now has more than 70 units in California and Nevada, most of which are open 24 hours and many of which have drive-thrus. In addition to tacos, the menu features burritos, chimichangas, tostadas, enchiladas, tortas, quesadillas, tortilla chips, sides and (non-alcoholic) drinks.

99. Pinkberry

HQ: Scottsdale, Ariz.

Units: 75

Unit increase: 3 (4.2%)

Pinkberry Frozen Yogurt is a subsidiary of Kahala Brands, wholly owned by Canada-based MTY Brands of Montreal, Quebec. It offers twists on frozen yogurt, from (white) Peachy Spring to Orange Tang.

98. Cotton Patch Café

HQ: Southlake, Texas

Units: 49

Unit increase: 2 (4.3%)

Cotton Patch Café of Southlake, Texas, offers a wide variety of Southern staples, with an emphasis on Texas cuisine, in a casual setting. Popular items are fried pickles and chicken-fried steak. Cotton Patch, founded in 1989 in Nacogdoches, Texas, has locations across New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas. The brand was acquired in 2015 by Palo Alto, Calif.-based Altamont Capital Partners.

97. Toppers Pizza

HQ: Whitewater, Wis.

Units: 73

Unit increase: 3 (4.5%)

This 32-year-old chain founded by Scott Gittrich, who is still the company’s chairman of the board, leans into its Wisconsin heritage by using only cheese from the state, as well as offering fried cheese curds as a side dish. It makes an exception for its vegan customers and was an early adopter of dairy-free cheese substitutes.

96. Portillo’s

HQ: Chicago

Units: 72

Unit increase: 3 (4.3%)

Iconic Chicago dog and Italian beef chain Portillo’s made waves in 2022 by opening its first location in Texas as the brand continued its expansion across the Sun Belt. It also introduced its first express pickup location in Illinois and added a plant-based hot dog (Garden Dog) to the menu for the first time.

95. Pancheros Mexican Grill

HQ: Coralville, Iowa

Units: 71

Unit increase: 3 (4.4%)

Fast-casual concept Pancheros Mexican Grill grew from 68 to 71 units from 2021 to 2022, or 4.4%, while its sales grew by over 10% to $97 million. The first Pancheros opened in Iowa City, Iowa, in 1992. It has since grown to 13 states and features signatures such as fresh-pressed tortillas, mixed bites and pepper-jacked queso.

94. California Fish Grill

HQ: Brea, Calif.

Units: 47

Unit increase: 2 (4.4%)

This fast-casual spot offers seafood that has an eye on sustainability. It serves seafood that is rated Best Choice or Good Alternative by the Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch program or Eco-Certified by a third party.

93. Blake’s Lotsaburger

HQ: Albuquerque, N.M.

Units: 70

Unit increase: 3 (4.5%)

Blake’s Lotsaburger brings New Mexico flair to traditional QSR staples, topping fries and hamburgers with green chilies. It boasts traditional New Mexican breakfast foods like burritos as well. Founded in 1952 by a WWII veteran, this chain now has 70 restaurants and saw 4.5% unit growth in 2022, according to Datassential.

92. Wahlburgers

HQ: Hingham, Mass.

Units: 70

Unit increase: 3 (4.5%)

Actors Mark and Donnie Wahlberg are owners of this hybrid concept that, at the discretion of franchisees, offers full service on one side of the restaurant and counter service on the other. Their brother Paul Wahlberg is the chef. Much of the growth in recent years has been at supermarkets, such as Midwestern grocer Hy-Vee, which now hosts multiple locations of the brand.

91. Biscuitville

HQ: Greensboro, N.C.

Units: 68

Unit increase: 3 (4.6%)

Greensboro, N.C.-based Biscuitville Fresh Southern has offered the “biscuit window” since 1966, providing fresh biscuits ever 15 minutes. It serves breakfast all day from 5 a.m. to 2 p.m. The company remains owned by the family of founder Maurice Jennings.

90. Mr. Gatti’s Pizza

HQ: Fort Worth, Texas

Units: 68

Unit increase: 3 (4.6%)

Mr Gatti’s Pizza first opened its doors as The Pizza Place in Stephenville, Texas, in 1964. With a move to Austin in 1969 also came a name change, which paid tribute to the wife of founder James Eure’s maiden name: Gatti.

89. Manhattan Bagel Co.

HQ: Lakewood, Colo.

Units: 67

Unit increase: 3 (4.7%)

Manhattan Bagel Co., headquartered in Golden, Colo., was founded in 1987 and is now part of Panera Brands. It focuses on New York-style bagels, boiled and baked in-store daily, as well as New York-style deli sandwiches.

88. Goodcents Deli Fresh Subs

HQ: De Soto, Kan.

Units: 66

Unit increase: 3 (4.8%)

Initially named Mr. Goodcents Subs & Pastas, Goodcents Deli Fresh Subs is a chain specializing in soups and — what else — subs and pasta. With the slogan “Good Food Makes Goodcents,” the De Soto, Kan.-based chain was founded more than 30 years ago.

87. Lee’s Sandwiches

HQ: San Jose, Calif.

Units: 65

Unit increase: 3 (4.8%)

What initially began as a food truck and later turned into a catering company in Northern California would eventually become Lee’s Sandwiches, a banh mi sandwich shop based in San Jose, Calif. It’s not just traditional Vietnamese sandwiches, though; it also has Euro-style sandwiches as well.

86. Café Zupas

HQ: West Jordan, Utah

Units: 65

Unit increase: 3 (4.8%)

Café Zupas was founded by two friends who had traveled often and found a lack of healthful options in their own backyard. The fast-casual chain offers made-from-scratch food and saw 4.8% unit growth in 2022, according to Datassential.

85. Mooyah Burgers, Fries & Shakes

HQ: Plano, Texas

Units: 85

Unit increase: 4 (4.9%)

This fast-casual burger chain specializes in Certified Angus Beef burgers served on house-baked buns accompanied by fries that are made from fresh potatoes. It also has seasonal shakes that it pairs with seasonal burgers.

84. Yard House

HQ: Orlando, Fla.

Units: 85

Unit increase: 4 (4.9%)

This division of Orlando, Fla.-based Darden Restaurants Inc. offers beer by the yard, should the consumers be so inclined. The American menu offers a casual-dining setting.  Darden completed its acquisition of Yard House in 2012.

83. Another Broken Egg Café

HQ: Orlando, Fla.

Units: 83

Unit increase: 79 (5.1%)

This brunch chain was founded in New Orleans in 1996 by Ron Green, a single father who wanted to create a concept that would allow him to be home with his son in the afternoons. It’s at the forefront of breakfast and brunch chains that are part of a rapidly growing segment.

82. Gyu-Kaku

HQ: New York City

Units: 62

Unit increase: 3 (5.1%)

Gyu-Kaku, the interactive Japanese barbecue brand that emigrated to the U.S. and was modified for American markets, has been on a growth trajectory since NRN named the yakiniku restaurant a Hot Concept winner in 2007. The full-service restaurant, headquartered in New York, allows customers to grill their own meats tableside with a variety of sauces and side dishes.

81. Pappadeaux Seafood Kitchen

HQ: Houston

Units: 41

Unit increase: 2 (5.1%)

This Louisiana-inspired offshoot of the Pappas family of restaurants offers classics inspired by the state, including stuffed crab and other specialties. The atmosphere is casual-dining and comfortable.

80. Metro Diner

HQ: Tampa, Fla.

Units: 59

Unit increase: 3 (5.4%)

Metro Diner’s first branded location opened in 1992 in Jacksonville, Fla., and the concept continued to grow to 12 states with its signature comfort diner food. Its meatloaf was featured on an episode of Guy Fieri’s “Diners, Drive-ins and Dives,” while it’s also known for its fried chicken and waffles, Charleston shrimp and grits, and more.

79. Primanti Bros

HQ: Pittsburgh

Units: 38

Unit increase: 2 (5.6%)

Founded in 1933 as a sandwich cart, Primanti Bros prides itself on being “Almost Famous, Always a Favorite,” and that’s shown in the brand’s 5.6% unit growth in 2022, according to Datassential. Known for its signature sandwich with French fries inside, the chain is leaning into its rich history for growth.

78. 110 Grill

HQ: Chelmsford, MA

Units: 37

Unit increase: 2 (5.7%)

Two business partners took over a restaurant in Chelmsford, Mass., on route 110 in 2014 and began what is now 110 Grill. The menu boasts gluten-free options for everything on the main menu and, throughout most of the chain’s 37 units, there are outdoor seating areas and fire pits.

77. Chronic Tacos

HQ: Aliso Viejo, Calif.

Units: 35

Unit increase: 2 (6.1%)


Fast-casual concept Chronic Tacos, founded in 2002 in Aliso Viejo, California, is inspired by authentic Mexican food, Southern California vibes and third-generation recipes for traditional dishes like tacos, burritos and bowl-ritos. The made-to-order concept also includes non-traditional items such as the California burrito and Chronic Fries.

76. Ocean Prime

HQ: Columbus, Ohio

Units: 17

Unit increase: 1 (6.3%)

Columbus, Ohio-based restaurateur Cameron Mitchell’s flagship and growth vehicle offers steak and seafood, along with wine and cocktails to go with it, in a fine-dining setting.

It opened a new unit last year and another one just opened in Las Vegas.

75. Hopdoddy Burger Bar

HQ: Austin, Texas

Units: 34

Unit increase: 32 (6.3%)

This burger chain has a unique model of scratch-made food and a full bar in a fast-casual setting. It also has creative monthly burger specials using lesser-used proteins, such as lamb and fried bologna.

74. Luna Grill

HQ: San Diego

Units: 51

Unit increase: 3 (6.3%)

Founded in 2004, San Diego-based fast casual concept Luna Grill focuses on Mediterranean cuisine, including its signature kabob plates, gourmet salads, bowls, appetizers, wraps, desserts, craft beer and wine. Luna Grill grew to 51 locations in 2022.

73. Rudy’s Country Store & Bar-B-Q

HQ: Brownsville, Texas

Units: 51

Unit increase: 3 (6.3%)

Just north of San Antonio, at the edge of the Texas Hill Country, sits the small community of Leon Springs. Founded in the 1800s by Max Aue, Leon Spring's cityscape changed when Max's son, Rudolph, opened a one-stop gas station, garage, and grocery store. Barbecue was added to the operation in 1989, and Rudy's "Country Store" and Bar-B-Q has been serving up tasty food ever since.

72. East of Chicago Pizza

HQ: Lima, Ohio

Units: 67

Unit increase: 4 (6.3%)

East of Chicago Pizza was originally named Greenwich Pizza Barn in 1982. The brand specializes in pizza, wings, breadsticks, and subs.

71. Peter Piper Pizza

HQ: Irving, Texas

Units: 99

Unit increase: 6 (6.5%)

Irving, Texas-based CEC Entertainment, the parent company to the Chuck E. Cheese’s brand, also owns Peter Piper Pizza. It was founded in 1973 by Anthony Cavolo in Glendale, Ariz. CEC acquired Peter Piper in 2014.

70. Mr. Pickle’s Sandwich Shop

HQ: Loomis, Calif.

Units: 49

Unit increase: 3 (6.5%)

Since 1995, Mr. Pickle’s Sandwich Shop has specialized in sandwiches, salads and catering. The brand has grown to 62 locations across California and Arizona.

69. Blue Bottle Coffee

HQ: Oakland, Calif.

Units: 74

Unit increase: 2 (7.4%)

This pioneer of the Third Wave coffee movement serves premium pour-over coffee, cold brew, and espresso drinks, as well as NOLA, its term for the coffee-and-chicory blend that’s popular in New Orleans and has also gained a foothold in the San Francisco area. It also has a robust retail presence.

68. Tender Greens

HQ: Culver City, Calif.

Units: 29

Unit increase: 2 (7.4%)

This fast-casual chain was founded in 2006, putting it at the cutting edge of using local, seasonal ingredients in this segment. It got a boost in 2015 when Danny Meyer’s Union Square Hospitality Group took a minority stake in the company, helping it to fuel continued growth.

67. Dog Haus

HQ: Pasadena, Calif.

Units: 58

Unit increase: 4 (7.4%)

Gourmet and multicultural hot dogs on Kings Hawaiian rolls are the bread and butter, so to speak, of this fast-casual chain. It also has monthly promotions, often in collaboration with other chefs, proceeds of which go to hunger relief organization No Kid Hungry.

66. Eddie V’s

HQ: Orlando, Fla.

Units: 28

Unit increase: 2 (7.7%)

This fine-dining seafood division of Orlando, Fla.-based Darden Restaurants Inc. is known for its special attention to the guest. It was founded in 2000 in Austin, Texas, by Guy Villavaso and Larry Foles. Darden acquired the brand in 2011.

65. Glory Days Grill

HQ: Powhatan, VA

Units: 42

Unit increase: 3 (7.7%)

Powhatan, Va.-based Glory Days Grill is a sports-themed family-friendly American grill and bar concept with 42 locations. The casual-dining brand features an abundance of TVs perfect for watching any game that’s on television at any given time.

64. Miller’s Ale House

HQ: Orlando, Fla.

Units: 96

Unit increase: 7 (7.9%)

Founded in 1988 and headquartered in Orlando, Fla., Miller’s Ale House is a sports-themed casual-dining restaurant with locations in 10 states. Miller’s Ale House serves a wide variety of entrees, burgers, salads and sandwiches. Restaurants feature over 60 TVs and open-air patios. According to Datassential, the brand grew by nearly 8% in 2022, with 96 total locations.

63. Old Chicago Pizza & Taproom

HQ: Houston

Units: 82

Unit increase: 6 (7.9%)

Old Chicago Pizza & Taproom is a restaurant specializing in authentic pizzas, taproom fare and local and legacy craft beers. Founded in 1976, Old Chicago operates over 80 restaurants in 24 states. It’s also the home of the World Beer Tour, which rewards members for enjoying 110 of the best craft beers from down the street to across the globe.

62. Margaritas Mexican Restaurant

HQ: Portsmouth, N.H.

Units: 27

Unit increase: 2 (8%)

Margaritas Mexican Restaurant first opened in 1985 in Orono, Maine, and now also includes locations in Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey and Pennsylvania. Its menu includes margarita flights and infused tequila margaritas, as well as a variety of Mexican cuisine such as fajitas and enchiladas.

61. Boston’s Pizza Restaurants

HQ: Dallas

Units: 26

Unit increase: 2 (8.3%)

Dallas-based Boston’s Gourmet Pizza was founded nearly 60 years ago in Alberta, Canada, as a casual-dining restaurant and sports bar. Boston’s has specialized in providing a relaxing atmosphere and food from scratch, including sandwiches, burgers, appetizers, salads and pizzas.

60. Salata

HQ: Houston

Units: 90

Unit increase: 7 (8.4%)

Founded in 2005, Houston-based franchisor Salata is a fully customizable, built-to-order salads and wraps concept. Salata has 92 corporate-owned and franchise locations in Texas, Georgia, Southern California, Louisiana, and North Carolina.

59. Villa Italian Kitchen

HQ: Morristown, N.J.

Units: 89

Unit increase: 7 (8.5%)

This limited-service pizza concept, founded in 1964 in New York City, has locations in malls, casinos, airports and other nontraditional sites. The parent is Villa Restaurant Group, with also operates and franchises Green Leaf’s Beyond Great Salads, Bananas Smoothies & Frozen Yogurt, South Philly Cheesesteaks & Fries, Far East and others.

58. Hard Rock Café

HQ: Davie, Fla.

Units: 38

Unit increase: 3 (8.6%)

This legacy casual-dining chain was founded in London and is known for the rock-themed paraphernalia that’s at the heart of its décor, as well as its t-shirts and burgers. It’s a global brand with around 165 restaurants around the world, along with hotels and casinos.

57. Juice Press

HQ: New York City

Units: 76

Unit increase: 6 (8.6%)

This vegan and raw juice-and-smoothie bar in New York City has a following for its green juices, ginger shots, and other nutrient-dense drinks, as well as its green ethos with compostable cups and straws made out of sugarcane. It scaled back its food program a few years ago, but it continues to open new locations.

56. Lazy Dog Restaurant & Bar

HQ: Huntington Beach, Calif.

Units: 44

Unit increase: 4 (10%)

Lazy Dog Restaurant & Bar was founded in 2003 in California and now operates across eight states with more on the way. The concept was influenced by the lifestyle of the Rocky Mountains, where founder Chris Simms spent time with family growing up. The menu features handcrafted American food, specialty cocktails and a wide selection of craft beers. Lazy Dog’s Beer Club provides access to small-batch specialty beers and more.

55. Pokeworks

HQ: Irvine, Calif.

Units: 54

Unit increase: 5 (10.2%)


In 2022, Pokeworks was the top poke brand in the fast-growing category, with five locations added and 31% sales growth throughout the year for a total of 54 units and $56 million in sales. For the first time ever, the Irvine, Calif.-based brand introduced plant-based, sushi-grade tuna and continues to invest in its franchising program to bring the Hawaiian raw fish bowls to new markets, with plans to reach triple-digit unit counts by 2025.

54. Lou Malnati’s

HQ: Chicago

Units: 74

Unit increase: 7 (10.4%)

Chicago’s Lou Malnati’s has been selling its signature deep dish pizzas since 1971 and has grown into one of the city’s most iconic brands. A member of the Malnati family has been running the business since it started, handing down the family recipes for four generations.

53. Jollibee

HQ: West Covina, Calif.

Units: 61

Unit increase: 6 (10.9%)

Jollibee — the most popular fast-food chain in the Philippines — continues to make itself at home in the U.S., with locations popping up in multiple new markets, including a New York City flagship in Times Square that opened last summer. The company had a total of 61 U.S. locations as of the end of 2022, giving more American customers the ability to try out Jollibee’s iconic spaghetti and peach mango hand pies.

52. Aroma Joe’s

HQ: Portland, Maine

Units: 90

Unit increase: 9 (11.1%)

Founded in 2000, Aroma Joe’s features handcrafted coffee and espresso drinks, unique infused blends, signature AJ’s RUSH Energy Drinks and all-day food offerings. Its footprint grew by over 11% from 2021 to 2022, while its sales grew by over 31% to about $62 million.

51. Eggs Up Grill

HQ: Spartanburg, S.C.

Units: 59

Unit increase: 6 (11.3%)

This breakfast, brunch, and lunch chain focuses on opening in neighborhoods and providing reasonably priced meals in the communities where it operates, an approach it has taken for more than 25 years.

50. Johnny Rockets

HQ: Beverly Hills, Calif.

Units: 98

Unit increase: 10 (11.4%)

Burgers and shakes are the specialty of this chain, traditionally accompanied by dancing servers, although the company, now owned by FAT Brands, has moved to a more modern look in recent years.

49. Wild Wing Cafe

HQ: Charlotte, N.C.

Units: 39

Unit increase: 4 (11.9%)

“Hot Wings, Cold Beer, Good Times” is the motto of Charlotte, N.C.-based Wild Wing Cafe, which was established in 1990. In 2012, private-equity group Axum Capital Partnership acquired a majority stake in the company, which had seven units at the time.

48. Red Crab Juicy Seafood

HQ: Pensacola, Fla.

Units: 48 (11.6%)

Unit increase: 5 (11.6%)

Red Crab Juicy Seafood first opened in Florida after its founders fell in love with seafood boils. The menu now includes not only the seafood boil, but also fried offerings, appetizers, po’ boys, sides and desserts, while all seasonings are made in house.

47. Mendocino Farms

HQ: Los Angeles
Units: 48

Unit increase: 4 (9.3%)

In 2022, Mendocino Farms kicked off the year with an identity rebrand, including a new logo and mission. The year was also all about introducing unique new menu items like the Sweet Heat Crispy Thai Chicken.

46. Valentino’s

HQ: Lincoln, Neb.
Units: 38
Unit increase: 4 (11.8%)

Pizza is the claim to fame at Valentino’s, which cut its teeth in the college town of Lincoln, Neb., and has grown since. Valentino's was founded by Val and Zena Weiler in 1957. The restaurant was purchased by two Lincoln families in 1971 and began franchising additional locations.

45. La Granja Restaurant

HQ: Tamarac, Fla.

Units: 46

Unit increase: 5 (12.2%)

Tamarac, Fla.-based La Granja Restaurant initially began as a concept in Aruba that served Peruvian food and was known for its chicken. The chain then moved to Florida where it began to expand in the ’90’s.

44. Guthrie’s

HQ: Haleyville, Ala.

Units: 45

Unit increase: 5 (12.5%)

What started as a drive-thru restaurant based in Haleyville, Ala., by a recent college graduate has become a chicken finger spot for people across the South. Guthrie’s is known for its sauces that accompany its chicken fingers, helping the chain grow in 2022 by 12.5% to a total of 45 restaurants, according to Datassential.

43. PrimoHoagies

HQ: Westville, N.J.

Units: 94

Unit increase: 11 (13.3%)

PrimoHoagies, founded in South Philadelphia in 1992, has 94 locations and grew in unit count by 13.3% in 2022, according to Datassential. The chain is known for its Philadelphia-style hoagies, or sandwiches.

42. Mi Cocina

HQ city: Irving, Texas

Units: 25

Unit increase: 3 (13.6%)

Carrying the Spanish name for “kitchen” heightens the bar at this regional Mexican player. The concept is known for its culinary specialties as well as a bar program.

41. Le Pain Quotidien

HQ: New York City

Units: 57

Unit increase: 7 (14.0%)

Belgium-based Le Pain Quotidien, a fast-casual bakery/café concept, first opened in Brussels in 1990 and came to the U.S. with a New York City location opening in 1997. In 2020, the U.S. arm filed bankruptcy and closed all 98 domestic units, but Aurify Brands, which acquired those units, planned to reopen 35 locations. In 2022, the chain kept clawing back, with 57 locations, or 14% year-over-year.

40. Vino Volo

HQ: Oakland, Calif.

Units: 32

Unit increase: 4 (14.3%)

Known for its broad selection of wines as well as casual-dining lunch, dinner and small plates menu, Vino Volo is most often seen in airport concourses. The menus also offer vegetarians and vegans options, and gluten-free selections as well.

39. Fogo de Chão

HQ: Plano, Texas

Units: 55

Unit increase: 7 (14.6%)

Experiential dining is in, and this all-you-can-eat Brazilian churrascaria concept provides dinner and a show of sorts, with gaucho meat experts carving different cuts at tableside. It also features an all-you-can-eat “market bar” and à la carte items at the bar.

38. Piada Italian Street Food

HQ: Columbus, Ohio

Units: 47

Unit increase: 6 (14.6%)

Piada Italian Street Food almost stands alone in the Italian fast-casual category — a fact that has likely been a boost to the brand’s success over the last few years. With 14% unit growth in 2022, to 47 restaurants, and 26% sales increases to $94.9 million, Piada is making moves in the industry as it expands across the U.S.

37. City Barbeque

HQ: Columbus, Ohio

Units: 60

Unit increase: 8 (15.4%)

City Barbeque, headquartered in Columbus, Ohio, specializes in a variety of barbecue styles, from Texas brisket to Carolina pulled pork, with everything smoked on site.

36. Rosati’s Pizza

HQ: Chicago

Units: 82

Unit increase: 11 (15.5%)

Chicago-based Rosati’s Pizza has been serving authentic Chicago-style pizza and traditional Italian fare since 1964, with recipes passed down through generations. The company finished 2022 with 82 locations, according to Datassential.

35. &pizza

HQ: Washington, D.C.

Units: 66

Unit increase: 9 (15.8%)

&pizza, the Washington, D.C.-based fast-casual pizza brand, is known for its progressive approach to leadership and uses flexible scheduling and unique benefits to prevent high turnover rates. In 2022, the company went through a leadership reorganization and is continuing its expansion in the Northeast — particularly in New Jersey — opening nine locations in 2022.

34. Red Mango

HQ: Dallas
Units: 51
Unit increase: 7 (15.9%)

Owned by BRIX Holdings LLC, Red Mango offers frozen yogurt and juices. The first location opened in 2007.

33. El Torito Cantina Autentica

HQ: Cypress, Calif.

Units: 36

Unit increase: 5 (16.1%)

This casual-dining chain has a long history, but it’s known for its Mexican specialties and enchiladas. It also offers Saturday breakfast and Sunday brunch.

32. Ward’s Restaurant

HQ: Hattiesburg, Miss.

Units: 43

Unit increase: 6 (16.2%)

Richard and Ed Ward opened the first Ward’s burger location in 1978. The two brothers rotated shifts with one working early and one working late. Known for homemade chili and homemade root beer, the brand is also singled out for its signature hamburgers, referred to as the “Big One” and the “Little One.” Dressed with Ward’s homemade chili and signature sauce, these favorites are two of the most popular on the menu.

31. Maple Street Biscuit Company

HQ: Nashville, Tenn.

Units: 50

Unit increase: 7 (16.3%)

After being purchased by Cracker Barrel in 2019, Maple Street Biscuit Company has been on a steady growth trajectory, and in 2022 added three locations. The fast-casual biscuit and homestyle food restaurant has plans to open at least a dozen more units in 2023. Cracker Barrel’s fast-casual sister brand “has continued to perform above expectations,” according to Cracker Barrel CEO Sandra Cochran, with sales up 14% to $65 million in 2022.

30. Bluestone Lane

HQ: New York City

Units: 50

Unit increase: 7 (16.3%)

New York City-based Bluestone Lane is an Australian-inspired coffee shop, café and lifestyle brand that embraces the coffee culture hub of Melbourne. The company strives to make the coffee experience less about addressing a need for caffeine and more about relevant experiences.

29. Philz Coffee

HQ: San Francisco

Units: 63

Unit increase: 9 (16.7%)

Founded in San Francisco’s Mission District in 2003, this chain focused on brewed-to-order cups of coffee has since expanded across California and also has restaurants in Chicago.

28. Rock N’ Roll Sushi

HQ: Destin, Fla.

Units: 54

Unit increase: 8 (17.4%)

This casual-dining chain’s goal is to take the intimidation out of sushi with plenty of cooked items and groovy rolls, as well as the classics, in a rock music-themed setting. It was founded in Mobile, Ala., in 2010 by husband-and-wife team Lance and Gerri Mach Hallmark.

27. Tupelo Honey

HQ: Asheville, N.C.

Units: 20

Unit increase: 3 (17.6%)

Tupelo Honey first opened in 2000 in Asheville, N.C., with a focus on scratch-made, farm-to-table Southern cuisine and craft beers and cocktails.

26. Tous Les Jours

HQ: Los Angeles

Units: 86

Unit increase: 13 (17.8%)

This bakery franchise was founded in 2004 and specializes in French- and Asian-inspired baked goods. It’s a global powerhouse, with nearly 1,700 locations worldwide, and it had 86 domestic units at the end of 2022. It has opened at least four restaurants in 2023.

25. Sandella’s

HQ: West Redding, Conn.
Units: 52
Unit increase: 8 (18.2%)

This West Redding, Conn.-based brand started in 1994 when the first Sandella's coffee shop opened in a mall in Connecticut. In 1996, Sandella's authentic brick-oven-baked flatbread was created and introduced to all stores. In 2016, Sandella's Flatbread Cafe was acquired by Diversity Food Brands.

24. Roy Rogers Restaurants

HQ: Frederick, Md.

Units: 51

Unit increase: 8 (18.6%)

This legacy quick-service concept once had 648 locations, but it hit the skids several years ago. The brand, which sells roast beef sandwiches, fried chicken, and burgers, was bought by franchisee Jim Plamondon in 2002, and while it hasn’t come close to its former glory, it’s recently started to reverse course.

23. Black Angus Steakhouse

HQ: Sherman Oaks, Calif.

Units: 38

Unit increase: 6 (18.8%)

Founded in 1964 as Stuart Anderson’s Black Angus Restaurant, this high-end steakhouse chain operated 103 restaurants at the turn of the century but then closed restaurants after filing for bankruptcy protection in 2004. In 2021, only 32 restaurants remained, but it expanded significantly last year.

22. Poke Bros

HQ: Columbus, Ohio
Units: 57
Unit increase: 9 (18.8%)

Founded in 2016, Poke Bros features sushi-grade fish and farm-fresh veggies in an authentic Hawaiian poke bowl. After some research and trial and error, the Poke Bros founders developed their own brand of poke bowl flavor.

21. Cheba Hut

HQ: Fort Collins, Colo.

Units: 50

Unit increase: 8 (10.0%)

Fort Collins, Colorado-based Cheba Hut has been serving toasted subs, salads, and munchies since 1998. Most locations also have a full bar. The chain, which embraces “a very specific counterculture,” had 50 locations at the end of 2022, marking a 10% unit-count increase.

20. Walk-On’s Sports Bistreaux

HQ: Baton Rouge, La.

Units: 71

Unit increase: 22 (20.3%)

Founded in 2003 by former walk-on college basketball players at Louisiana State University, this Cajun-oriented sports bar praised for its high-quality food and family-friendly atmosphere received a growth investment from Atlanta-based 10 Point Capital in 2020, which has helped fuel its rapid expansion.

19. Black Rock Coffee Bar

HQ: Portland, Ore.

Units: 100

Unit increase: 18 (22.0%)

This 15-year-old coffeehouse chain has spent recent years expanding in the suburbs, where demand has been on the rise since the start of the pandemic. It now operates in six states from Washington to Texas.

18. Jinya Ramen Bar

HQ: Burbank, Calif.

Units: 48          

Unit increase: 9 (23.1%)

The chain founded in Tokyo and now based in the Los Angeles area offers high-quality ramen and side dishes such as miniature tacos, edamame, and dumplings. There are also frequently rotating specials, including noodle soup with a side of fried chicken.

17. La Parrilla

HQ: Atlanta

Units: 26

Unit increase: 5 (23.8%)

A full-service Mexican spot with lunch and dinner service, La Parrilla offers combination plates, with salads, bowls, tacos, nachos and quesadillas. The cheese dips and tableside guacamoles are also popular.

16. Taqueria Arandas

HQ: Houston

Units: 30

Unit increase: 6 (25.0%)

This Houston-based chain of taquerias started in 1981, when the immigrant Camarena family pawned everything they owned to open the first taqueria. The Camarena parents became U.S. citizens in 2006, and the taquerias live on in another generation.

15. Harold’s Chicken Shack

HQ: Chicago

Units: 50

Unit Increase: 10 (25.0%)

Harold’s Chicken Shack is a Chicago-based fried chicken concept founded in 1950 by Harold Pierce that has established itself as a part of Chicago’s South Side culture. The company has since grown its presence in seven other states.

14. Freshii

HQ: Chicago
Units: 63
Unit increase: 13 (26.0%)

This healthful fast-casual salad concept has designer roots. While working in New York City for fashion designer Oscar de la Renta, founder Matthew Corrin was inspired by mom-and-pop delis with fresh food but lackluster branding and service. He sought to “add magic to the fresh food business” and, in 2005, founded Freshii.

13. Taco Palenque

HQ: Laredo, Texas

Units: 38

Unit increase: 8 (26.7%)

This Laredo, Texas-based limited-service Mexican concept comes from Juan Francisco “Pancho” Ochoa, who grew the El Pollo Loco brand in Northern Mexico to 85 restaurants in 20 cities before exporting it to Los Angeles. He started Taco Palenque to bring authentic Mexican flavors north of the border.

12. Handel’s Homemade Ice Cream and Yogurt

HQ: Canfield, Ohio

Units: 94

Unit increase: 20 (27%)

Founded in 1945 by Alice Handel, who made ice cream using fruit from her own backyard, this chain now franchises and has been growing rapidly in recent years. It operates in 11 states.

11. Bubbakoo’s Burritos

HQ: Point Pleasant, N.J.

Units: 69

Unit increase: 16 (30.2%)

This seaside-themed fast-casual burrito concept headquartered on the Jersey Shore specializes in flavors not as frequently seen in this segment, such as hibachi steak and Buffalo chicken. It signed on several new franchises in 2022, which has helped to spur its growth.

10. Hook and Reel

HQ: Lanham, Md.
Units: 76
Unit increase: 18 (31.0%)

This Lanham, Md.-based full-service seafood and steak concept is known for its Cajun seafood boils, an infinitely shareable mainstay.

9. El Nopal Mexican Restaurant

HQ: Louisville, Ky.

Units: 45

Unit increase: 12 (36.4%)

El Nopal Mexican Restaurant, which features a full menu of authentic Mexican cuisine, grew its footprint by over 36% in 2022, with 45 locations mostly around the Louisville, Ky., and Southern Indiana, region.

8. WNB Factory

HQ: Atlanta

Units: 59

Unit increase: 17 (40.5%)

Atlanta-based WNB Factory started as a way for two friends to bring their neighborhood some good ol’ Southern hospitality and has since become a wing destination offering wings, fried rice, cheesesteaks and more.

7. Crab Du Jour

HQ: Augusta, Ga.

Units: 60

Unit increase: 18 (42.9%)

The full-service Crab Du Jour offers a variety of Cajun-inspired seafood items. It has 60 units across 12 states and is known for its fresh seafood boils, po’ boys and hush puppies.

6. Mo’Bettahs - Hawaiian Style Food

HQ: Bountiful, Utah

Units: 39

Unit increase: 12 (44.4%)

Mo’Bettahs Hawaiian Style Food was founded in Bountiful, Utah, in 2008 by Hawaiian natives Kimo and Kalani Mack with an objective of giving guests an authentic Hawaiian island barbeque experience. The concept’s signature plate lunch menu features items like teriyaki chicken and steak, kalua pig, and deep-fried katsu chicken. Now headquartered in Lehi, Utah, Mo’Bettahs joined the Savory Fund upon its founding after having joined its previous iteration, Four Food Groups, in 2016. It has since grown to 43 locations in six states.

5. Ziggi’s Coffee

HQ: Mead, Colo.

Units: 65

Unit increase: 20 (44.4%)

This specialty coffee shop and drive-thru franchise was founded by husband-and-wife team Brandon and Camrin Knudsen in 2004 and started franchising in 2016. Its expansion has picked up speed in recent years, and as of the end of 2022 it had 65 locations, but has since expanded to 72 units, with another 25 or so set to open this year.

4. Gino’s Pizza & Spaghetti House

HQ: Charleston, W.Va.
Units: 56
Unit increase: 18 (47.4%)

Charleston, W.Va.-based Gino’s Pizza & Spaghetti House offers full-service dining with pizza, pasta and wings. The company had 56 restaurants at the end of 2022.

3. Salad And Go

HQ: Phoenix

Units: 82

Unit increase: 44 (115.8%)

Salad and Go was created by And Go Concepts LLC of Phoenix in 2013 in Gilbert, Ariz. Under the CEO leadership of Charlie Morrison, formerly a board member, the breakfast-lunch-dinner concept grew 44 units in 2022. With no dining rooms and its own supply chain, Salad and Go has passed 100 units already this year.

2. Hawaiian Bros. Island Grill

HQ: Belton, Mo.

Units: 37

Unit increase: 20 (117.6%)

Hawaiian Bros. Island Grill features Hawaiian plate lunches with signatures like the Molokai Chicken and the Luau Pig. Brothers Cameron and Tyler McNie opened the first location in Belton, Mo., in 2018, after 15 years of experience working on their family’s Hawaiian grill business.

1. Dig

HQ: New York City

Units: 30

Unit increase: 19 (172.7%)

Dig, formerly known as Dig Inn, is the sustainability-minded fast-casual lunch spot that has taken New York City lunch breaks by storm with hearty portions and vegetable-focused comfort fare. After having to close 60% of its restaurants during the pandemic, the company nearly tripled in size in 2022 to 30 restaurants (including reopening several locations). Dig expanded its presence to six states in 2022 after building up a whole new leadership team, including Tracy Kim, who was promoted from COO to CEO.



Editor-in-Chief: Betty Xie Executive Editor 编委 : Guanwen Lee(李冠文) 美食评论家: Vincent Xia

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