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The Washington Business Journal reports that Five Guys Burgers and Fries was the nation’s fastest growing US restaurant chain last year, growing its annual sales by 50 percent to $453 million.

Restaurant consulting firm Technomic says that Tim Horton’s was number two with 23 percent growth, and Buffalo Wild Wings was number three with 22 percent sales increases. Rounding out the top ten were Jimmy John’s Gourmet Sandwich Shop, Wingstop, Noodles & Company, BJ’s Restaurant & Brewhouse, Chipotle Mexican Grill, Firehouse Subs, and Potbelly Sandwich.

According to the story, “Five Guys, which opened its first restaurant in Arlington in 1986, grew slowly in its first few years, with just a half dozen Washington locations by 2001. It began franchising regionally in 2002 and then nationally in 2003. The chain now has 550 locations in 35 states, and opened 300 of those locations in less than five years.”
KC's View:
There are a lot of folks who are pleased by the Five Guys growth, though I’ve gotten the impression that there are at least some that the franchising has resulted in at least some locations that don’t live up to broader company standards.

Other than that, it is interesting that of the ten fast-growth chains, two specialize in wings and three in sandwiches.