McDonald’s has pecked its way to the top of the fast-food industry, hitting nearly $40 billion in sales in 2018, according to QSR magazine which compiled a list of the top-selling fast-food chains in America.
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The fast-food behemoth outpaced competitors by almost $20 billion in system-wide sales across the United States in 2018 with coffee giant Starbucks coming in as its closest competitor. Coming up on the heels of the Golden Arches are other well-known chains offering a quick fix including fellow chicken war competitor Chick-fil-A.
The fast-food industry generates revenue of over $570 billion, according to Franchisehelp. In 2015, the U.S. alone saw a whopping $200 billion, an uptick from the mere $6 billion in 1970. Over the course of the next seven years, the industry is projected to have a growth of 2.5 percent, Franchisehelp reported.
Recently, competition in the sector has become fierce with the industries heaviest hitters going head to head trying to provide more options as consumer preferences shift towards healthier, more sustainable food.
McDonald's and Chick-fil-A are beefing up menu options with more plant-based and chicken sandwiches while Starbucks has a menu reflecting the fast-growing trend of non-dairy drinks with beverages made with plant-based milk alternatives.
Here are the top five fast-food chains:
1. McDonald's: $38.5 billion in systemwide sales.
2. Starbucks: $19.7 billion in systemwide sales.
3. Subway: $10.4 billion in systemwide sales.
4. Taco Bell( parent company YUM! Brands): $10.3 billion in systemwide sales.